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Anrich Nortje holds his nerve to help South Africa beat defending champion England in a see-saw battle

Anrich Nortje holds his nerve to help South Africa beat defending champion England in a see-saw battle

England needed just 25 runs from 18 balls at one point, but the South African quicks shined under pressure to win by 7 runs.

What a match! A game between two heavyweights, South Africa and England, what could have seen any team win until the penultimate ball of the match. Among two great batting performances, Quinton de Kock and Harry Brook, it was truly the bowlers who ruled in Saint Lucia.

QDK & Miller guide South Africa to 163

Quinton de Kock was on fire against England. He scored the joint-fastest fifty (22 balls) of the T20 World Cup as the Proteas raced off to 63 by the end of the powerplay. However, his opening partner, Reeza Hendricks, was struggling. He couldn’t hit the ball off the square and eventually went out for 19 (25).

His poor inning and de Kock’s dismissal thwarted South Africa’s early spurt. Heinrich Klaasen and Aiden Markram failed, but it was once again David Miller who rescued them. Miller first arrested the collapse and then kicked on, scoring 43 (28) and making sure his side crossed the 160-run mark.

The score didn’t look enough given how fast de Kock was batting, but with a quality attack and surface seeming to slow down as the game went on, South Africa knew they were in the game. “It started well. It looked like it came on nicely. But it got slower and slower,” Miller said after the first inning.

T20 World Cup

See-saw chase

Things started well for the Proteas. Kagiso Rabada struck in the second over, but that wicket of Phil Salt truly belonged to Hendricks, who flew to his left to claim a stunner at cover. Rabada thought he got Jonny Bairstow as well, only for Klaasen to drop a fairly simple catch.

But Bairstow’s luck ran out soon enough. Keshav Maharaj’s spin as he got Bairstow and Jos Buttler in the space of six balls. However, in the last few overs, South African bowlers began to feel the pressure. Rabada went for 18 in the 15th over, followed by a 13-run 16th over from Anrich Nortje and a 21-run 17th over from Ottneil Baartman.

From 77 in 37 balls, it came down to 25 from 18. But then they redeemed themselves. Rabada bowled a 4-run 18th over and sent Liam Livingstone back, followed by Marco Jansen’s 7-run penultimate over, and then Nortje held his nerve and stopped England from scoring 14 in the last over.

In the batting department, Harry Brook was the standout. He top-scored 53(37) saving England. Having entered at 61/4, he ensured a constant run of flow and was assisted perfectly by Liam Livingstone, who struck at a rapid pace 33(17). But ultimately, both lost their wickets when the chase was in control. Sam Curran hit a boundary but couldn’t take them home with too many needed.

ENG vs SA: Brief Scores

South Africa: 163/6 (Quinton de Kock 65, David Miller 43; Jofra Archer 3/40, Adil Rashid 1/20)

England: 156/6 (Harry Brook 53, Liam Livingstone 33; Keshav Maharaj 2/25, Kagiso Rabada 2/32)

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