Thanks to brilliance by Lungi Ngidi, South Africa held their nerves to win the first T20I match against England played at Buffalo Park, East London on Wednesday.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to field first. Quinton de Kock looked in sublime touch putting pressure on Tom Curran hitting. Temba Bavuma also impressed with his stroke-making and rotating the strike. Moeen Ali provided the much-needed wicket dismissing de Kock for a quickfire 31 off 19 balls. South African openers added 48 runs in just 4.1 overs. Van der Dussen came to the crease and kept the momentum of the innings with attacking stroke play. At the end of six overs, South Africa raced to 68 for 1.
After the power play overs, der Dussen and Bavuma continued South Africa scoring with aggressive strokes and rotating the strike. Adil Rashid bowled with control and never allowed both batsmen to score runs easily. As things looked out of control, Ben Stokes dismissed Van der Dussen for 31. Van der Dussen and Bavuma added 63 runs for the 2nd wicket. In the next over, Adil Rashid dismissed Bavuma for 43. Rashid and Moeen Ali stem run flow which did not allow South African batsmen to score runs easily. Tom Curran dismissed dangerous Miller for 16. JJ Smuts and Andile Phehlukawyo played with positive intent hitting boundaries and sixes. Mark Wood gave away just 3 runs in the 19th over and took wicket of JJ Smuts. Smuts and Phehlukawyo added 35 runs for the 5th wicket.
In the last over, Chris Jordan gave away 5 runs and dismissed Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks with brilliant yorkers. South Africa posted 177 for 8 in 20 overs.
Chasing 178 runs to win, Jos Buttler showed his class with aggressive stroke play against Dale Steyn. Steyn came back strongly to get the breakthrough dismissing Buttler for 15. England openers added 19 runs. Jason Roy was severe against JJ Smuts hitting him for 22 runs which kept England momentum going. Bairstow also showed his cricketing skills. At the end of six overs, England raced along to 68 for 1.
After the power play overs, Roy and Bairstow looked in complete control with big hits and rotating the strike. Andile Phehlukawyo broke the partnership getting the wicket of Jonny Bairstow with a slower delivery for 23. Bairstow and Roy added 72 runs for 2nd wicket. Eoin Morgan came to the crease and initially struggled against Shamsi. Roy looked in complete control and reached his fifty off just 22 balls.
England was in complete control with Roy and Morgan at the crease. Beuran Hendricks who was not given an over till then got the wicket of Roy for 70. Roy and Morgan added 41 runs for the 3rd wicket. In the next over, Phehlukawyo dismissed Joe Denly to bring back South Africa into the match. Ngidi bowled a brilliant 18th over giving away 5 runs and picked wicket of Ben Stokes. With 23 runs required off 2 overs, Eoin Morgan hit 2 fours and a six to complete his fifty off 33 balls. Hendricks dismissed Morgan off the last ball to leave Ngidi with 7 runs in the last over.
Ngidi showed nerves by dismissing Tom Curran off the 2nd ball and then deceived Moeen Ali with a slower one. With 3 runs required off 1 ball, Adil Rashid was run out to give South Africa thrilling 1 run win.
South Africa 177 for 8 in 20 overs ( Bavuma 43, Quinton de Kock 31, Chris Jordan 2/28, Adil Rashid 1/23) beat England 176 for 9 in 20 overs ( Jason Roy 70, Eoin Morgan 52, Lungi Ngidi 3/30, Andile Phehlukawyo 2/32) by 1 run.
Lungi Ngidi for his brilliance with ball picking up 3 for 30 in 4 overs was awarded the man of the match. South Africa takes a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. The 2nd T20I will be played at Durban on 14th February.