Friday, March 18, 2016

World Cup T20 : South Africa vs England

England won the toss & elected to field - maybe the battering they got from Gayle storm the other day, prompted them to do so.
South Africa, according to me, one of the favourite teams here, started in a whirlwind fashion. Amla & de Kock simply went hammer & tongs against the English pace attack. By the end of power play, they were sitting on 83 runs without any wicket. Both the openers eventually got to their half centuries, & though there was a blip of sorts in the middle overs, with de Villiers & du Plessis getting out after getting set, the Proteas went past the 200 mark without a bother. Duminy & Miller just whacked at will & the total swelled to 229 at the end of 20 overs. Duminy too, got his half century ( only the second time even in T20, when three batsmen in an innings got 50s), & Miller too played a beautiful cameo. The English players looked quite dejected & the body language looked limp after the battering from Windies & now from South Africa. the pitch at Wankhade looks a belter & promises tall scores. At halfway mark, it looked quite gloomy for the English players.

South Africa have a good bowling attack, with a good mix of pace & spin. England openers Roy & Hales had to go all out & the 1st over itself produced 21 runs, as Rabada sprayed all over & Roy hit him at will. 2nd over by Steyn too went for plenty, with Hales taking stride, as England raced to 44 for no loss...unbelievable. However, such dream runs dont last long & Hales got out LBW to Abbott. Roy was simply belligerent, scoring 43 in just 15 deliveries, but he too got out & then went Ben was 89 for 3 at end of power plays. Huge scores, vastly due to Roy, but 3 wickets down !!
And when Morgan was bowled in the 10th over, with score at 111, it looked a clear South African victory. But a young man from England thought otherwise. Joe Root played the innings of his life scoring 83 invaluable runs off just 44 deliveries, taking England to the doors of victory. Though there were a few hiccups in the last over, but it was England scaling the near impossible chase, with Moin Ali hitting the winning run to give them vital 2 points. This was the highest successful chase ever in World T20 till date. It obviously Man of the Match for Joe Root.
South Africa had themselves to blame, as the bowlers were extremely inconsistent. The line was poor, giving batsmen easy runs to score & there were 22 extras, which finally hurt them.
They are a fabulous team, but need to discipline their bowling. Steyn is a spent force, & they should bring in Wiese, as he also bats well down the order. SA need to pull up their socks... & pretty fast. This is their second consecutive loss after putting up more than 200 runs. This means, their bowling is getting lax or overconfident or lacking discipline, & they need to mend this quickly to progress any further. They would do better to chase, with such a fabulous batting line up.
England now have a lifeline to survive.