Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

England restrict South Africa to 177 in opening T20

England restrict South Africa to 177 in opening T20

But England could not chase down their target as seamer Lungi Ngidi successfully defended seven off the final over of the innings.

Steyn has already said that he wishes to participate in this year's T20 World Cup as he feels his vast experience of 15 years in global cricket will prove crucial to lead the Proteas quicks in Australia.

Absolute cracker of a game!

At nine down, Adil Rashid was left needing three from the final delivery for victory or two to force a super over, but he could only manage one as the returning Dale Steyn and captain Quinton de Kock combined for a runout that sparked joyous scenes in East London. For both teams, the strength of their batting is concentrated at the top of the order, led by the two wicket-keepers, Quinton de Kock and Jos Buttler. And Jordan admitted that England could have been "a little bit smarter" having required seven runs from seven balls. Spin once again caused them issues, continuing one of the themes of South Africa's summer. Each groups scored 68 runs within the first six-over energy play and each had scored 113 runs after 12 overs earlier than slowing down within the closing overs.

Morgan holed out to long-on off left-arm pace bowler Beuran Hendricks one delivery after reaching a fine 33-ball half-century. In 50-over cricket, his side have been, by and large, excellent at using defeats as motivation to get better, something Ben Stokes has previously called out as being a key factor in last summer's World Cup win.

The first game of the series turned out to be a thriller.

South Africa's Lungi Ngidi celebrates the wicket of England's Moeen Ali
Aden- Yasmin Abdel Azim- South Africa's Lungi Ngidi celebrates the wicket of England's Moeen Ali Image Credit Reuters

BOWLING: Moeen Ali 4-0-22-1; T.K. Curran 3-0-41-1 (1w); Wood 3-0-32-1 (1nb); Jordan 3-0-28-2; Adil Rashid 4-0-23-1; Stokes 3-0-24-1 (1nb, 2w). Jordan was not alone there.

But it went sour for England from there, as Morgan's dismissal to Hendricks gave Ngidi something to defend and the fast bowler delivered spectacularly.

England were not at their best in any department and will be seeking a quick response in the second game in Durban tomorrow.

SA got off to a positive start and things looked good with Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen adding 63 runs for the second wicket.

The hosts have selected a sizeable squad for this series which means there could be some changes if they decide to rotate their pack but it's probably more likely they will opt for consistency as they try to wrap up the series. For the major part of the game, they were dominating but such is the beauty of cricket that anything can happen until the last ball is bowled.

England's shortcomings in the field once again came to the fore as Jason Roy dropped a steepler after JJ Smuts had got a leading edge off Rashid, who, like Moeen before him, had proved hard to get away.

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