Proteas go 6 for 6 after 7-run win against England | T20 World Cup

The eventful winning streak continues for the Proteas after yet another game went down to the wire, only for the death bowlers to stage the unthinkable rescue act. They’re now 2 for 2 in the Super 8’s after today’s nervous victory against England.

Jos Buttler won the toss and chose to bowl first, but that seemed to benefit SA during the Powerplay. Quinton de Kock was already in fifth gear, as he attacked Jofra Archer and Sam Curran. The left-hander would reach a 22-ball half-century, but Reeza Hendricks was struggling to get set.

While de Kock was making hay, an attempted release shot from Hendricks ended up in long-on’s hands. In spite of a contentious let-off, de Kock was unable to capitalize, as a leaping catch from Buttler brought about an end to a domineering 65 from 38. The England captain would nail a direct hit to dismiss the dangerous Klaasen. And when Adil Rashid struck to remove the Proteas skipper in his final over, the early fireworks seemed to have completely fizzled out.

Fortunately, David Miller brought back the much-needed impetus, with three boundaries off Mark Wood. He’d hit a six off Archer and Curran towards the back end, but it was a largely respectable effort from England to prevent a score excess of 170. Archer struck twice in two balls in the final over, and the Proteas ended up with a reasonably competitive 163.

With a relatively middling total on the board, the bowlers had to create pressure and get wickets early on. And they got exactly that when Reeza Hendricks took an acrobatic catch at cover to send back the ominous, in-form Phil Salt.

Heinrich Klaasen grassed a sitter off Jonny Bairstow, but that drop would count for very little when he fell a couple overs later. Keshav Maharaj would strike to ease the nerves and guilt. Buttler also fell prey to the left-arm spinner when going for the big shot. And when Ottneil Baartman struck to remove Moeen, it looked like the Proteas were on course for a convincing victory.

Then again, it was time for the customary twists and turns. Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone upped the ante when they took the 15th and 16th overs for a total of 31. The asking rate was creeping, but the chase was now well and truly in England’s control.

Baartman bowled the 17th over, which went for 21, and it was England’s game to lose, with a mere 25 to get in the final 3 overs. But yet another twist occurred when Livingstone holed out to deep backward square. And a quiet penultimate over from Jansen would set up 14 to defend for the final over.

It was a toss-up between Baartman and Nortje for the final over, and Markram chose the latter. The first ball paid immediate dividends, as Markram grabbed a breathtaking catch running back from mid-on. Nortje would err with a loose delivery down leg on the 3rd ball, but only conceded one run in the final three deliveries to set up a priceless win.

Brook’s 53 kept England in the hunt, but a solid recovery from the South African seamers sealed the deal.

The Proteas are 2-0 in their group, but it’s far from over. Another win will seal a spot in the semis, but net run rate will play a pivotal role. Be sure to catch the game against WI early Monday morning (SAST).

SA 163/6 in 20 overs (de Kock 68, Miller 43 – Archer 4-0-40-3, Rashid 4-0-20-1)

ENG 156/6 in 20 overs (Brook 53, Livingstone 33 – Maharaj 4-0-25-2, Rabada 4-0-32-2)

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