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England v South Africa, 3rd T20I, Review: Hosts pile on the agony for Proteas, clinch series 2-1

England beat South Africa by 19 runs.

England
England players celebrate taking the wicket of South Africa’s AB de Villiers. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

Team South Africa showed great spirit to upset the hosts in the second T20I of the three-match series. The way they were beaten brutally by England in the first game gave them very little chance in the second. But a contrasting game of play was on display in the second game. Moreover, the English side failed to capitalize at the crunch moment and succumbed under pressure.

All in all, it all set things up beautifully for the third and the final game of the series at Cardiff. The decider had both sides on the edge of their seats. Amidst this situation, the two skippers walked out for the toss. AB de Villiers won the toss for the Proteas and opted to bowl first. As expected, they drafted in Imran Tahir for Tabraiz Shamsi in the lineup. The English team continued to live up to their promise by handling another uncapped player his debut game.

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Dawid Malan was brought in the side for Jonny Bairstow. Liam Dawson was benched to accommodate Mason Crane. And the biggest surprise was at the toss itself with skipper Eoin Morgan resting himself as Jos Buttler walked out for the toss. In walked English openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales to start the proceedings. Roy, who was phenomenal with the bat in the previous game, could only score 8 before being dismissed by Morne Morkel in the second over.

Debutant Malan walked in at number three. He took the attack to the opposition right from the word go and never let the pressure creep in. Hales, at the other end, looked comfortable too. However, it was Malan who dominated the 105 run second wicket partnership. En route the partnership, Malan notched up a fifty on his debut. The marathon stand came to an end with Andile Phehlukwayo dismissing Hales on 36 (28) in the 13th over.

An over later, the other set batsman Malan also perished as Tahir bagged his first for the day. Malan scored 78 off 44 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes to his name before getting out. Two new batsmen were at the crease – Sam Billings and Jos Buttler. The team needed a final flourish. But both could only score 12 and 31 respectively before being dismissed in the death overs.

The lower middle order crashed big time with as many as 7 batsmen in the lineup getting single digits. England managed to score 181/8 in their 20 overs. Dane Paterson ran through the lower middle order to return with figures of 4/32.

And the run chase

In the run chase, the Proteas team perhaps got it all wrong with their experimentations as England bowlers dominated the game. JJ Smuts and Reeza Hendricks opened the innings for South Africa. Hendricks was sent back for a duck by Tom Curran in the second over of the chase. Surprisingly, it was Chris Morris who was sent at number three.

The move backfired big time as Chris Jordan sent him packing on 8 in the 5th over. Skipper AB de Villiers then joined Smuts at the crease. Both batsmen took their time to settle in. Smuts found it tough middling the ball and his struggle at the crease ended in the 10th over when Liam Plunkett dismissed him on 29 (30). An over later, AB was sent back to the dug out by Mason Crane – the Hampshire leggie.

AB could only score 35 off 19 deliveries with 2 fours and as many sixes. Wickets of David Miller (7) and Farhaan Behardien (3) fell in quick succession with Jordan being the beneficiary on both occasions. At 91/6 in 13.4 overs, South Africa were staring at an embarrassing defeat. Mangaliso Mosehle and Andile Phehlukwayo kept the scorecard ticking but it all seemed a far cry.

Mosehle’s quickfire 36 off 22 balls with 4 sixes and a four could only give hopes but not more. In the end, South Africa fell short by 19 runs and that handed England a comfortable 2-1 win in the series.

Brief Scores

England 181/8 in 20 overs (Malan 78, Hales 36, Paterson 4/32, Phehlukwayo 2/44)

South Africa 162/7 in 20 overs (Mosehle 36, AB de Villiers 35, Jordan 3/31, Curran 2/22)

Check full scorecard here.

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