Proteas into ICC World Twenty20 semis

30 March 2014

The Proteas booked a semi-final place with a three-run victory over England in the ICC World Twenty20 in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Saturday. The win took South Africa to the top of the Group 1 standings, with three wins from their four round-robin matches.

Victory was actually a little more comfortable than the final margin would suggest as England were left requiring 20 runs off the last three balls of their innings, and all Dale Steyn made sure of doing was not bowling a no ball or a wide. Tim Bresnan took advantage of that by smashing a six, a four, and a six off those deliveries.

Put in to bat in very humid conditions, the Proteas responded well, despite a couple of breaks for faulty floodlights.


Serious momentum

Hashim Amla again provided serious momentum at the top of the order, smashing 56 off only 37 deliveries before he was the first man out in the 11th over, caught by Alex Hales off Chris Broad for 56. Fellow opener Quinton de Kock followed eight runs later for a less fluent 29 from 33 balls.

JP Duminy missed out, making only five, while next man in David Miller contributed 19 off 15 deliveries and Albie Morkel three off of three. However, that did not matter as AB de Villiers, captaining the team in the absence of the suspended Faf du Plessis, played an inspirational, gem of an innings, cracking an unbeaten 69 off only 28 balls, with nine fours and three sixes.


Fireworks

De Villiers’ fireworks began in the 16th over, which he began with 25 runs off 15 balls to his name. At the end of the over, bowled by Stuart Broad, he stood on 36 off 19.

After the next over, bowled by Johannesburg-born Jade Dernbach, he had reached 50 off 23. He then added a further 19 runs in the remaining two overs to help the Proteas to 196 for 5, the highest total of the tournament by any team.

Hales, the scorer of a big century in England’s win over Sri Lanka in their previous match, struck two fours in the first over of the English innings, bowled by JP Duminy, but was then caught at point off the bowling of Albie Morkel in the following over. The umpire called no ball, however, and Hales stayed on.


Incorrect call

Replays showed the umpire had been incorrect in his call, but Hales was unfazed, immediately hitting the next two deliveries to the boundary.

Wayne Parnell broke the opening stand in his first over when he had Michael Lumb caught by Miller for 18, with the England total on 46 in the fifth over.

Brought back into the attack in the eighth over, Parnell again did the trick, with Miller catching Hales for 38 off 22 balls, and Moeen Ali being caught behind by De Kock the very next ball for 10. The left-arm paceman went on to finish with 3 for 31 in his four overs.


Standout

The other standout performance with the ball came from leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who removed Eoin Morgan for 14 and Jos Buttler for a hard-hitting 34 off 24 deliveries. The slippery ball forced Tahir to bowl a little quicker than he usually would, but he nonetheless finished with 2 for 27 in his four overs.

Ravi Bopara showed some fight with 31 off 18 balls lower down the England batting order, but when Steyn had him caught in the deep off the first ball of the final over, the writing was on the wall for England. When Bresnan managed only a single off of the second ball and Broad another single off of the third, the result was decided.

In the end, England tallied 193 for 7.


‘It was a great game’

Proteas’ skipper AB de Villiers was an obvious choice for man of the match. “It was a great game. The boys did extremely well,” he said at the post-match ceremony.

“They were very tough conditions to field in. I knew from the start we had to be unpredictable and mix things up, but once again the execution of the bowlers was amazing.

“I’ve lost a few as captain in T20s and it was important for me to get the guys through and get Faf back [and] pumped for the semi-finals,” he added.


‘Heartbroken

“It was a fantastic game. Credit to the players for that,” England captain Stuart Broad said. “We’re heartbroken to come out on the wrong end, but AB has taken the game away for us.

“It didn’t go to plan in the last three overs, but apart from that it was a good game for us. We’ve had some guys get going this innings, but no outstanding score, which you need chasing such a big total.”