South Africa win first T20I thriller by 1 run as England collapses

Tanya Simon
February 14, 2020

With England needing a victory to ensure they remain alive in the series, and South Africa wanting, or rather needing, a soothing win after a sustained period of tumult, both sides will certainly be going for it at Kingsmead as they look to arrive at a formula to take into the T20 World Cup later this year.

Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi took three wickets in his last two overs as South Africa snatched a thrilling one-run win in the first Twenty20 global against England at Buffalo Park here on Wednesday night.

Chris Jordan has insisted that England's fast bowlers do not feel as though they are playing for their places in their series in South Africa.

But he claimed that their one-run defeat after losing four wickets in the final seven balls to finish on 176-9 was an invaluable learning curve with the T20 World Cup just around the corner. "I didn't panic under pressure, they seemed to be cruising but my job was to get wickets".

England - chasing 178 - needed seven runs from seven balls but the tourists fell short as Morgan holed out to long on before a stunning final over from Lungi Ngidi (3-30) saw him remove Tom Curran and Moeen Ali.

South Africa captain Quinton de Kock identified each groups struggled to attain freely in the direction of the tip of their innings because the ball obtained softer and the bounce decrease. 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.

"It was an impressive recreation of cricket", added Morgan.

"There were faults in what we did and when you lose a game by one run there are many things you can look at". The pitch is expected to be good for batting, as all good T20 surfaces should be, but usually offers bounce for the bowlers too which should give them something to work with.

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Both innings followed a comparable pattern.

Jason Roy's swashbuckling 70 from 38 balls gave England a strong platform, which they failed to build on.

Earlier, De Kock (31) and Temba Bavuma (43) obtained South Africa off to a quick begin, placing on 48 for the primary wicket off 26 balls.

But the England spin duo of Moeen and Rashid slowed things down with returns of 1-22 and 1-23 respectively.

DID NOT BAT: M.A. Wood.

For Proteas, Beuran Hendricks who bowled exclusively at the death also played his part with 2-33 in 3 overs while there were also two wickets for Andile Phehlukwayo.

Morgan admitted that England should have "won easily" after reaching 132-2 in the 15th over in pursuit of South Africa's 177-8 in East London in the opening game of the three-match series.

The combination of the spinners and Stokes stifled South Africa and meant that while David Miller briefly sparkled, his attempt to tuck into Curran meant he clubbed to Jordan running back from mid-off.

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