England beat South Africa in a high scoring thriller to level the series

Picture Courtsey: BBC

It was an amazing game of cricket as England defeated South Africa in a high scoring thriller played at Kingsmead, Durban on Friday.

South African captain Quinton de Kock won the toss and decided to field first. The explosive Jason Roy looked in sublime touch with aggressive strokes before Lungi Ngidi got the breakthrough dismissing Jos Buttler cheaply. Jonny Bairstow and Roy took on Ngidi putting pressure on South African team. Roy and Bairstow smashed Beuran Hendricks taking England to 55 for 1 at the end of six overs.

After the power play overs, Bairstow took the liking to Phehlukawyo putting pressure on South African bowlers. After being smacked for 14 runs, Phehlukawyo got rid of Jonny Bairstow ending a dangerous 52 runs stand for the 2nd wicket. England captain Eoin Morgan and struggled initially before taking on Shamsi. Shamsi provided the big breakthrough dismissing Jason Roy with a catch by David Miller at long on. Dwaine Pretorius bowled tight overs against Morgan and Ben Stokes before both batsmen hit some big shots. Pretorius got the big wicket of Morgan to stem the run flow. Stokes and Morgan added 33 runs for the 4th wicket. Phehlukawyo dismissed Joe Denly cheaply as England struggled at 125 for 5. Moeen Ali came to the crease and smashed 21 runs off Beuran Hendricks over which changed the momentum of innings.

Stokes and Moeen Ali played with positive intent which created pressure on South African bowlers. After being smashed for big runs, Ngidi dismissed Ali for a quickfire 39 off 11 balls. Stokes and Ali added 51 runs in 18 balls. Stokes and Chris Jordan did the damage in the last over which helped England post a competitive total of 204 for 7 in 20 overs.

Chasing 205 runs to win, South African openers Bavuma and Quinton de Kock started cautiously before South African captain de Kock put pressure on Moeen Ali taking him for 20 runs. It was just superb display of batting by de Kock who just did not allow England bowlers to settle. At the end of six overs, South Africa raced to 69 for 0.

After the power play overs, de Kock reached his fifty off just 17 balls with a big six off Adil Rashid bowling. In the same over, Bavuma was given out but on review there was an inside edge. De Kock threatened to take game away from England but Mark Wood got the breakthrough dismissing the dangerous de Kock for a superb 65 off 22 balls which included 2 fours and 8 sixes. De Kock and Bavuma added 92 runs in 7.5 overs.

Soon after Mark Wood struck again to dismiss the other opener Bavuma to stem the flow of runs. David Miller who was promoted at number 3 took on Adil Rashid but struggled against Wood and other England pacers. Ben Stokes was bought into the attack and got wicket of Miller to put pressure on South African batsmen.

Jon Jon Smuts struggled against the England bowlers and could not hit big sixes. With 60 runs required off the final 5 overs, Tom Curran gave away 10 runs and made sure that South Africa need to hit big shots. Chris Jordan produced a brilliant 17th over dismissing Smuts and Phehlukawyo off successive balls which gave England control.

With 45 runs required off last 3 overs, Van der Dussen produced brilliant display of hitting Mark Wood for 19 runs which changed the equation to 29 off 12 balls. Pretorius and Van der Dussen hit 11 runs off Chris Jordan in 19th over.

Dwaine Pretorius hit 12 runs off 3 balls from Tom Curran bowling. Curran held his nerves and dismissed Pretorius with a superb yorker. Van der Dussen and Pretorius added 44 runs in quick time.  Curran bowled a brilliant slower one which Fortuin tried to scoop but went into Rashid hands to give England a thrilling 2 run win.

England 204 for 7 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 47*, Moeen Ali 39, Lungi Ngidi 3/48, Shamsi 1/30) beat South Africa 202 for 7 in 20 overs ( Quinton de Kock 65, Van der Dussen 43*, Bavuma 31, Chris Jordan 2/31, Mark Wood 2/39) by 2 runs.

England have levelled the 3 matches series at 1-1. The decider will be played at Super Sports Park, Centurion on 16th February.



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