Captain Morgan steers England home in high-scoring match
Tourists chase down huge target to secure series victory 2-1
Captain Eoin Morgan scored a brilliant unbeaten 57 from 22 balls as England chased down a huge victory target of 223 to win the final Twenty20 international against SA at SuperSport Park on Sunday and secure a 2-1 series triumph.
SA won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 222/6, but England did not have too much trouble in their chase as they crossed the line on 226/5 with five balls to spare.
England also benefited from SA’s sloppy fielding as Temba Bavuma dropped one catch, while Dwaine Pretorius was also guilty.
In their chase, England lost Jason Roy early for seven runs but Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow managed to rebuild with a partnership of 91. Their partnership was broken in the 10th over when Buttler was removed on 57 when he was caught by Tabraiz Shamsi at short third man off the bowling of Pretorius.
Bairstow followed him soon afterwards when he was clean bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo after hammering a rampant 64, which included seven boundaries.
The next wicket was that of Dawid Malan (11) when he was caught by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Shamsi. England’s last wicket to fall was Ben Stokes on 22.
The other important partnership for England was the 61 between captain Morgan and Stokes.
The highlight of SA’s innings was Heinrich Klaasen, who sent a timely reminder to coach Mark Boucher about his white-ball credentials with an elegant but brutal display.
Klaasen scored a belligerent 66 off just 33 balls and was part of useful partnership of 27 with Rassie van der Dussen and 64 with David Miller.
Proteas openers De Kock and Bavuma started the match in blistering form and their partnership reached the 50 mark from 22 balls after only 15 minutes.
By the end of the first powerplay SA’s score was 64, with De Kock on 34 and Bavuma having contributed 29 as they put England bowlers Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Mark Wood and Chris Jordan under the cosh.
Their partnership of 84 was broken in the eighth over when Bairstow caught De Kock (35) at deep square leg off Stokes. Bavuma (49) followed his skipper soon after when he was bowled by Adil Rashid.
Dangerous all-rounder Stokes returned in the 12th over to wreck the Proteas’ rebuilding when he tricked Van der Dussen with a slower ball that was caught by Sam Curran at deep midwicket.
The dismissal of Bavuma brought on forgotten batsman Klaasen, who used the rare opportunity to put himself in the frame for selection for the T20 World Cup later in 2020.
Pretorius did not last long at the crease as he was caught behind by Buttler off Curran during the penultimate over and he was followed by Phehlukwayo.