Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Jordan combined to seal the T20I opener against South Africa by a 41-point margin.
Tristan Stubbs hits a six against England. (Courtesy of Reuters)
- Moeen Ali scored the fastest fifty by an Englishman
- Jonny Bairstow was dropped four times in the game
- Highly rated young SA Tristan Stubbs hit 72 of 28 balls
Clinical England tightened things up in the final three overs to seal a 41-point win over David Miller’s South Africa on Wednesday 27 July. Aided by Moeen Ali’s half-century record, England scored 234 runs aboard their 20 overs.
Moeen Ali scored England’s fastest half-century in the T20 Internationals with just 16 balls, breaking through Liam Livingstone’s 17-ball effort against Pakistan in the process. Jonny Bairstow’s terrific summer continued with a brutal 90 on 53 balls.
South Africa could have done much better if they hadn’t dropped Bairstow four times during the rounds, and they ended up paying the price. It seemed at a time when England were set to surpass the world record of 241 points set by New Zealand, but fell short in the final.
Moeen and Bairstow took over in the final 10 overs of the match and crushed the balls over Gloucestershire’s small bounds, putting Andile Phehlukwayo to the sword.
South Africa played a shorter length to try and deny small straight limits but Bairstow and Moeen punished them at the wicket as England hit 20 sixes, well beyond their previous T20 record of 15 .
Coming in at bat, South Africa tried to keep up the pace for most of their chase but couldn’t pull off the explosive finish. Needing a runrate of 18 per over in the bottom three, Chris Jordan’s brilliant 18th over sealed the game for England where he didn’t concede a single limit.
The highlight of the South African innings however was youngster Tristan Stubbs, fresh from the Mumbai Indians camp in the Indian Premier League, took just 28 deliveries to hit 72 runs, in one of the fastest counterattacks. amazing things from a 21-year-old player. -old against seasoned internationals. In the process, he scored the second fastest half-century in T20 games for South Africa, on 19 balls.
Flyhalf Reeza Hendricks scored a brisk 57 of 33 deliveries to start the innings, but the tourists were left with too much to do in the end.
The tour will now continue to Sofia Gardens in Cardiff, where the two teams will face off on Thursday July 28.
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