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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PIX: De Kock, bowlers help South Africa sink England

PIX: De Kock, bowlers help South Africa sink England

Last updated on: June 22, 2024 04:02 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup Super 8 Group 2 match between South Africa and England at Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Friday.

Quinton de Kock

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock gave South Africa a solid start, scoring 65 off 38 balls, in the T20 World Cup Super 8 Group 2 match against England at Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Friday. Photograph: ICC/X

Quinton de Kock's breezy fifty and a gritty effort by the bowlers powered South Africa to a nail-biting seven-run victory over England in the Group 2 Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Friday.

Harry Brook made a late charge for England, scoring 53 off 37 balls, which included seven fours, but there was not much from the other batters as the defending champions, chasing 164 for victory, ended up with 156 for 6.

Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj took two wickets each for the Proteas.

 

England lost their way despite a spirited fightback from Brook and Liam Livingstone (33).

South Africa's perfection in executing their plans of taking the pace off the ball corresponded with England's refusal to show intent as the defending champions did not find a single boundary between the fifth and 12th over.

Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone put up 78 from 42 balls but it was not enough for England.

IMAGE: Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone put up 78 from 42 balls but it was not enough for England. Photograph: England Cricket/X

Brook and Livingstone did extremely well to stage a fightback and bring England back into the game, but South Africa held their nerve, despite making plenty of errors, to keep their winning run in this World Cup intact.

England were still significantly far from target needing 46 runs to win from the final four overs, but Ottneil Baartman, who was measly throughout the group stage, sent down plenty of full-tosses as 21 runs were knocked off in the 17th over.

But Kagiso Rabada (2/32) stamped his class as he had Livingstone (33 off 17b, 3x4s, 2x6s) caught at deep backward square leg in the 18th over.

Harry Brook bats

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock watches anxiously as Harry Brook defends. Photograph: England Cricket/X

Marco Jansen then allowed only seven runs in the penultimate over, leaving England needing 14 runs off the final one, in which Anrich Nortje (1/35) did well to remove Brooks and seal victory for South Africa.

Brook and Livingstone came together in the 11th over with England needing 103 to win from 58 balls. They added 78 from 42 but it was not enough as England paid a heavy price for being meek in the beginning.

Reeza Hendricks deserved all credit for pulling off a catch out of thin air, in a stunning effort at extra cover while diving to his left, after Phil Salt (11) hit one hard against Rabada in the second over.

With Salt was dismissed early, England were neither quick off the blocks nor did they change their approach to counter South African tactics.

Jonny Bairstow (17) failed to make the most of a lifeline given to him when Heinrich Klaasen dropped a regulation catch running in from backward square leg off Rabada in the third over.

Keshav Maharaj celebrates with his South Africa temmates after dismissing Jos Buttler

IMAGE: Keshav Maharaj celebrates with his South Africa teammates after dismissing Jos Buttler. Photograph: ICC/X

However, with the South African bowlers keeping it tight another chance came their way when Keshav Maharaj lured Bairstow to slash one wide of the off-stump and the batter obliged by hitting in the air. Nortje grabbed the chance.

The wily Maharaj then foxed England skipper Jos Buttler by taking the pace off a delivery which he hit straight to deep mid-wicket, where Klaasen did not make any mistake.

Moeen Ali (9) was bounced out by Baartman, Maharaj taking the catch, as England skidded to 61 for 4 around the half-way mark.

Earlier, De Kock slammed 4 sixes and as many fours while scoring 65 off 38 balls and David Miller notched a useful 43 off 28 balls to give South Africa a fighting total.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid was England's most economical bowler (4-0-23-1) while pacer Jofra Archer their leading wicket-taker, with three for 40.

With De Kock going hammer and tongs to take the scoring rate to nearly 10 an over for most of the first half of the Proteas innings, England fought back with regular wickets courtesy excellent fielding.

De Kock launched a brutal assault on the English bowlers, particularly Archer even as Reece Topley kept it tight from the other end in the powerplay.

Jos Buttler celebrates withJonny Bairstow after taking a brilliant catch to dismiss Quinton de Kock

IMAGE: Jos Buttler celebrates with Jonny Bairstow after taking a brilliant catch to end Quinton de Kock's fiery innings. Photograph: England Cricket/X

Having banished a slow start with a six and four off Mooen Ali to end the second over, De Kock tore into Archer to collect 21 runs with two sixes and as many fours in the fourth over.

Using Archer's pace, De Kock flicked him off the pads to clear fine leg and smashed two powerful hits to midwicket for a six and a four.

In between, there was a perfectly executed uppercut for a four which left the English bewildered.

Jos Buttler is all smiles after running-out Heinrich Klaasen

IMAGE: Jos Buttler is all smiles after running-out Heinrich Klaasen. Photograph: England Cricket/X

There was some good fortune too for the Proteas. De Kock's sweep off Adil Rashid towards fine leg was caught by Mark Wood, but a part of the ball touched the ground, as confirmed by the television replays.

However, England broke through soon after when Reeza Hendricks charged down to Moeen in the 10th over and Harry Brook took a regulation catch to peg South Africa back.

Archer, who was at the receiving end, returned to have his revenge, but had skipper Jos Buttler to thank for it.

Adil Rashid gets a round of high-five from his England teammates after dismissing Aiden Markram.

IMAGE: Adil Rashid gets a round of high-fives from his England teammates after dismissing Aiden Markram. Photograph: England Cricket/X

De Kock looked to cut a short ball from Archer away from his body but Buttler came up with a sensational dive to pluck the ball with his left hand.

With run-rate touching 10, it seemed a right move by the Proteas to promote Heinrich Klaasen, but their plans were foiled by Buttler’s brilliance in the field.

Klaasen latched on to a short ball from Wood which eluded Buttler. As the wicketkeeper fumbled while trying to gather the ball, Klaasen attempted a quick run. Buttler did well to collect the ball,, turn in a giffy and hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end, catching Klassen short of his crease.

Jofra Archer celebrates dismissing  Marco Jansen and picking his third wicket

IMAGE: Jofra Archer celebrates dismissing Marco Jansen and bagging his third wicket. Photograph: England Cricket/X

South Africa's slide helped England regain control and they gained further ground when Rashid had skipper Aiden Markram (1), dragging one on to his stumps.

From 86 for no loss at one stage, South Africa were reduced to 113 for four by the 15th over.

Amid the steady fall of wickets at one end, Miller held his ground and his late charge helped South Africa go past the 150-mark.

And at the start of the last over, Archer took two wickets in two deliveries, as Harry Brook took the catch to dismiss Miller and Marco Jansen chipped the ball to Sam Curran at cover and was out for a duck.

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