Lungi Ngidi held his nerve, defending seven runs in the final overs to help South Africa beat England by 1 run in the first T-20 played at East London.
Chasing a target of 178, England, after a breezy half-centuries from Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan were marching towards a comfortable win before chocking in the final over, losing 3 wickets for 5 runs, handing South Africa a nerve-wracking victory.
David Miller of South Africa, left, and Lungi Pic Credit: Firstpost
As it happened
Put into bat, South Africa, on the back of a brutal assault from skipper Quinton de Kock, got off to a rollicking start, picking up 48 runs in 4 overs before Moeen Ali drew first blood for the visitors, drawing curtains on a breath-taking knock from de Kock, dismissing him for a 15 ball 31.
Post the wicket, Temba Bavuma took charge of the South African innings, adding 53 runs for the second wicket with Rassie van der Dussen.
South Africa was galloping at 111-2 in the 11th overs before Morgan got the man with a golden arm, Ben Stokes into the attack who accounted for van der Dussen in his first over.
The wicket of Dussen saw the tides turned in favor of England as their spinners, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali chocked the hosts, restricting them to 177 in 20 overs.
Pic Credit: News18
Chasing 178, Jason Roy got the visitors off to a flier, helping England knock of 68 runs in the powerplay itself. England was cruising to a comfortable victory at 91-1 in the 9th over before Phehlukwayo trapped Bairstow plumb, giving South Africa a sniff.
Beuran Hendricks ended a stunning inning from Roy for 70 as South Africa squeezed England to 132-3 in the 15th over. With wickets falling at the other end, English skipper Eoin Morgan took the responsibility on himself and played some crackling shots to get England close.
Morgan collected 16 runs of Hendricks in the 19th over, leaving 7 for the last. However, Lungi Ngidi bowled a brilliant final over, picking up 3 wickets and giving only 5 runs, winning the game by 1 run.
Top performers from the match
Pic Credit: Hindustan times
Jason Roy was simply outstanding with the bat, scoring a scintillating 70 of just 38 balls. Eoin Morgan too showed why he is regarded as one of the best limited over batsman among the current players, smashing an outstanding 52 off 34, that too under pressure.
In the bowling department, the duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid worked wonders for England, giving away just 45 runs in their 8 overs.
For South Africa, Quinton de Kock looked flawless in his knock of 31 but would be disappointed that he couldn’t add more to his total.
Lungi Ngidi was once again outstanding with the ball, taking 3 wickets for 30 runs in his quota of four overs.
Plenty of issues to deal with for South Africa and England
Pic Credit: Firstpost
South Africa might have won the match but England won’t be disappointed either. They almost had the match under their gasp before chocking in the final over.
Both, England and South Africa, however, need their issues sorted out as quickly as possible. The form of Bairstow is a real worry for England.
For South Africa, they need their senior pros de Kock and David Miller to step up in this transition phase. Temba Bavuma had shown promise at the top but players like JJ Smuts and Beuran Hendricks need to support the team too.
Both the teams now head to Durban for the second T-20 on Fri1day.
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