De Villiers, Amla lead South Africa to England rout

JOHANNESBURG: AB de Villiers plundered 71 runs off 29 balls to lead South Africa to a nine-wicket victory over England and wrap up a 2-0 series win in the second Twenty20 International at the Wanderers on Sunday.


The tourists were bowled out for 171 in their last over and South Africa reached 172 with 32 balls to spare, wrapping up a comfortable win that stood in contrast to their narrow victory in Friday’s first encounter in Cape Town.

De Villiers broke his own record for the fastest half-century by a South African in a T20 international, trimming the mark from 23 to 21 balls.

Together with Hashim Amla, he enjoyed a first-wicket partnership of 125 to effectively seal victory before he was caught out on the boundary. Amla finished unbeaten on 69.

England were their own worst enemies when Eoin Morgan ran out in-form batsman Alex Hales with the score on 61, but a 96-run partnership between the England captain and Jos Buttler had guided the tourists to 157-3 in the 17th over.

They fell apart, however, when they then lost their last seven wickets for just 14 runs to leave South Africa with a modest target to chase at a ground where high scoring is the norm.

South African captain Faf du Plessis said he was pleased with the win but felt his team had only produced a “70 per cent” performance with the ball.

“Unlike [the first game at] Newlands we started well with the ball,” said Du Plessis. “The first three overs were excellent but then it got away from us a bit. But we pulled it back and that’s important.”

Du Plessis said there was room for improvement but South Africa would be confident going into the World T20.

Morgan, who was unlucky to be run out for 38 when bowler Kyle Abbott deflected a powerful drive from Ben Stokes into the stumps, said the collapse was “disappointing”.

But he was even more disappointed with England’s bowling. “We started terribly with the ball,” he said. “We missed our lengths and allowed them to play their natural game. When batsmen like that are in they will punish you.”

Morgan said, though, that he felt England could do well at the World T20 in India next month.

“We are lacking experience but we have talent and I honestly think we are on the right track to win an ICC event.”

Sunday’s match ended England’s 10-week tour where they won the four-match Test series 2-1 but surrendered a 2-0 lead in the ODI series to lose 3-2, before being beaten in both T20 internationals.


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