One of the most dramatic T20 International series recently occurred between England and South Africa. The three-test match series saw England win 2-1; with England redeeming themselves after collapsing late in the first test to throw away a winning position by a single run.
1st T20I - East London
England’s target of 178 looked like a walk in the park with Jason Roy in to bat, as he plundered a powerful 70 runs from 38 balls. Furthermore, Eoin Morgan scored an impressive 52, meaning that England needed just seven from the final over. However, the duo’s spark and determination was dismissed by the resurgence of the South African side.
The brilliant Lungi Ngidi denied the seven runs that England needed from the final over, catching Tom Curran at deep-wicket whilst also bowling Moeen Ali with a pinpoint yorker.
Rashid had the opportunity to be the hero of the hour by scoring off of the only ball he faced, yet an inside edge to mid-wicket denied this - he was run out whilst coming back for the second run which would have forced a super over.
South Africa 177-8, England 176-9 - South Africa won by 1 run.
2nd T20I - Durban
England finally held their nerve to level the series with a heart-racing two-run victory. Tom Curran, the hero of the hour, denied South Africa the three vital runs they needed off of the last two balls to reach their 205 target.
Ali redeemed himself after his poor display in the first test, hitting a sublime 39 off 11 balls. Paired with Ben Stokes’ respectable 47 off 30 balls meant that the tourists secured a taste of victory with a score of 204-7.
South Africa however were also off to a flying start when going in to bat, with captain Quinton de Kock hitting a superb 65 runs off of 22 balls. South Africa roared, but England roared even louder. After what seemed an impossible 15 runs needed from the final over, Dwaine Pretorious hit a six and a four to give South Africa a glimpse of victory. Curran quickly shut it down with a stunning Yorker to remove him lbw, bagging the win for England.
A one-run margin on Wednesday and a two-run margin on Friday. Nail-biting to say the least. Will Sunday give our fingernails a chance to recover?
England 204-7, South Africa 202-7 - England win by 2 runs.
3rd T20I - Centurion
So it’s one a piece - the third test really was going to be the decider for the T20I champion. South Africa were first to bat, and Heinrich Klaase gave the home side a promising start with a 33-ball 66. But South Africa only managed to score 58 runs in the last five overs, meaning their respectable but unconvincing score of 222-6 was not out of the question for the visitors.
Captain Eoin Morgan scored seven sixes, hitting a blistering 57 not out from 22 balls. Morgan’s magic, alongside half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow (64) and Jos Buttler (57) meant that England took control of the series in sensational style. Moeen Ali sealed the 5-wicket victory with a boundary and saw England gaining the fourth highest T20 chase of all time with just 5 balls remaining.
The best T20 series ever?
There were 1207 runs across the series, which is more than any other three-match series in T20I history. The 15 sixes equal’s England’s best in a T20 with the ones they smashed at Auckland in 2013 against New Zealand. Furthermore, only six other T20I’s have had more runs scored in Centurion than this one at 448. Imagine if the last five balls had been bowled…
Watch England in action at The Kia Oval...
and at Edgbaston…
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