What’s the perfect cuisine for an explosive T20I series? Big sixes, short boundaries, movement in the pitch and wickets flying in all directions! Add all this in one place and you get the recently concluded England v/s South Africa T20 Series. 3 nail-biting matches including the highest T20 chase in the year, what an amazing cricketing extravaganza have we witnessed!
The series began with an astonishing good news for the Proteas with Dale Steyn coming back in the squad. South Africa was pumped up and all-set to welcome the ODI world champions on their home soil for an exciting T20 series.
Here’s all that happened in one of the most under-rated T20 series ever:
Death Over Thrill at East London
South Africa was put into bat at a good pitch in East London with the thoughts of ending the match in a successful run-chase by Eoin Morgan. The game began and Temba Bavuma along with Quinton De Kock absolutely nailed the powerplay overs and were going unstoppable. De Kock perished at the score of 31 and van der Dussen came in. Him & Bavuma took the total upto 111 unless the former got dismissed and soon enough Bavuma fell short of his half century at 43. After the fall of Bavuma South Africa struggled with a partnership as Chris Jordan railed through their tail-enders. The innings ended at 177-8, something to defend but a very fragile total against a mammoth lineup like England.
England replied with Jos Buttler perishing quickly but Jason Roy took the attack over South Africa and scored a fantastic 70 off 38. Apart from him it was only Eoin Morgan who had almost closed the match with his quickfire 52 unless Hendricks got him caught by a stunner from Bavuma. Lungi Ngidi pitched in the death and gave away only 10 runs from the 18th & 20th over which completely shifted the momentum and the match ended with South Africa winning by only 1 run.
Curran Holds Nerves at Kingsmead
Another nail biter was all set to happen at the Kingsmead, Durban where England batted first in the hope of putting a huge total on the board. Buttler failed again & Roy went berserk yet again clocking 40 in only 29 balls. The innings went forward with Bairstow, Moeen Ali & Ben Stokes heading the batting department scoring runs quickly and hitting some big sixes in the ground where Yuvi had hit his famous 6 sixes to Stuart Broad (wow!). England scored 204 in their quota of 20 overs with Ben Stokes remaining unbeaten at 47. Moeen Ali scored 39 in just 11 deliveries knocking them outta the park at a strike rate of 350 plus.
South Africa replied and how! Quinton de Kock went absolutely bonkers as he scored the fastest fifty by a South African in only 17 balls. His 65 in just 22 balls consisted of 8 sixes and only 2 boundaries, but all of this went in vain after nobody except Dussen and Pretorius showed some fight in the chase. Both scored 43 not out and 25 from 13 deliveries, but it was just not enough after Tom Curran bowled some exceptional deliveries at the death and the Proteas fell short by 3 runs.
Captain Morgan Chases the Port
The series was leveled and Centurion was all set to witness a thriller yet again after the first 2 went right down to the wire. De Kock and Bavuma were dealing in sixes until De Kock departed with the score of 84 on the board following which Bavuma missed another half century just by 1 run. Klaasen came in and scored at a strike rate of 200 and made 66 runs helped along by David Miller who gave finishing touches at the end helping South Africa reach 222/6 at the end of their 20 overs.
England required some chasing this time and Buttler finally got his form back. However, Roy missed out this time after hitting one maximum over long leg thanks to a stunner by Shamsi at the third man position. Buttler and Bairstow took the South Africans to the attack and blasted shots to every nook and corner of the stadium. Both scored their 50s in quick succession and made this run chase look like a cake walk until Buttler got dismissed at 57. Bairstow (64) & Dawid Malan fell shortly after and in came Captain Morgan. The cool headed south paw came in with a clear mindset- Hit ‘em out of the park, that’s it. After Stokes muscled 2 sixes out of the park, he got dismissed on 22 but Morgan was in a different beast mode altogether. Morgan(57*) hit 7 sixes and no boundaries (yes, read that again!) and took England over the line with 5 balls to spare.
The series saw an average run rate of 10 throughout the 120 overs bowled which is a record for any bilateral T20I series.
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