Cricket Article

South Africa Choke England to Win Opener by One Run

South Africa Choke England to Win Opener by One Run Photo: TT
South Africa beat England in opening T20I

South Africa came back from behind to stun England by 1 run in their first T20I.

For the first T20I in East London, South Africa recalled Dale Steyn to the international arena, whilst Dwaine Pretorius was preferred to Litho Sipamla. England brought back Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Jos Buttler, with Joe Root, Tom Banton, and Saqid Mahmood the men to miss out.

England won the toss and opted to field first, but South Africa got off to a good start, with Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma putting on 46 for the first wicket until de Kock, who had struck 2 sixes, was caught by Joe Denly off Moeen Ali for 31. Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen then added 65, until Stokes had van der Dussen caught by Jonny Bairstow for 31, having struck one six. Three balls later Bavuma fell out top scoring for his side with 43, caught by Moeen off fellow spinner Adil Rashid.

David Miller and JJ Smuts then put on 24 and, when Miller was out for 16, caught by Chris Jordan off a ball by Tom Curran, Smuts and Andile Phehlukwayo put on 35. Smuts was dismissed in the 19th over, caught by Stokes, Wood the bowler, and then England did a fine job to restrict South Africa to just 7 runs off the last eight balls, with three wickets falling in the last over.

Pretorius and Beuran Hendricks were both bowled by Jordan and then Phehlukwayo, who had made 18, including 2 sixes, was run out off the last ball, as South Africa closed on 177 8.

All the England bowlers took at least one wicket, with Jordan the most successful with 2 for 28.

In reply Jason Roy and Buttler aimed to give England a fast start, but Buttler fell in the third over to Steyn, caught by Miller for 15. However, Roy and Bairstow then added 72 for the second wicket off just 39 balls, as England took a grip on the match. Bairstow fell for 23, lbw to Phehlukwayo, but, by that stage Roy had passed the 50 mark.

He and Eoin Morgan put on 41 for the third wicket until Roy, who had reached 70 off 36 balls, including 3 sixes and 7 fours, was caught by Lungi Ngidi off Beuran Hendricks. South Africa then enjoyed more success with the ball when Joe Denly fell in the next over, caught by van der Dussen with Phehlukwayo the bowler.

Morgan and Stokes put on 15, but Stokes was caught by Miller off Ngidi, as England were checked suddenly. Morgan and Moeen added 19, but, when Morgan fell off the last ball of the 19th over for 52, caught by Bavuma off Phehlukwayo, it meant they needed 7 runs to win off the last over.

They never made it. First Ngidi had Curran caught by Miller, and then he bowled Moeen. With two to win off the last ball Rashid was run out by Steyn to seal the narrowest of wins for the home side.

Ngidi finished with 3 for 30, whilst both Phehlukwayo and Hendricks finished with two wickets apiece.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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