Twitter Reactions: Jonny Bairstow's 86* leads England to victory in 1st T20I against South Africa

Despite not playing their best cricket, England managed to trump South Africa on the day.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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After one of the best IPL seasons, it was finally time for some International T20 cricket. A three-match series between two great T20I sides in England and South Africa was always going to be a treat for the fans. The first match kicked off with England winning the toss and opting to bowl.

Both teams went in with strong line-ups even though some big players missed out. For England, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood had to miss out while for the African side David Miller and Anrich Nortje were notable absentees. England got off to a good start as Sam Curran dismissed Temba Bavuma in the very first over and what followed was a partnership worth watching.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis came together to stitch a 77-run stand. It was not just about the runs they scored but the manner in which they did it was just flawless. The former was dismissed after scoring a good 30 while the latter made 58 crucial runs for his side.

Rassie van der Dussen and Heinrich Klaasen provided the finishing impetus as South Africa finished with a score of 179-6. For England, Sam Curran was the pick of the bowlers as he got three wickets conceding just 28 runs in his four-over spell. Jofra Archer, Tom Curran, and Chris Jordan contributed with a wicket each.

Bairstow proves his worth with a brilliant match winning knock

A chase of 180 seemed well within the reach of a very strong English batting line-up. However, things did not start off well for them as they lost their top three batsman in the powerplay itself. However, a good partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes insured that they were always in the game.

Bairstow who was sent in at number four probably played one of his best innings. His knock of 86 in just 48 deliveries ensured that England could safely win the match. His innings included nine boundaries and four massive sixes. Ben Stokes played second fiddle to him and was later dismissed after scoring 37 runs.

For South Africa, debutant George Linde was the pick of the bowlers. He and Lungi Ngidi picked up two wickets each to dent the English top order. England chased down the target in 19.2 overs and now have a 1-0 lead in this series. It will be interesting to see if South Africa can make a comeback while the visitors will look to seal the series in the second match itself.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: