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South Africa exit despite win over England


Photo: ESPNCricinfo Photo: ESPNCricinfo

South Africa beat England by 10 runs. With 8 points, equal to that of Australia and England, South Africa fail to qualify for the semi-final due to lower NRR.

As South Africa managed to post 189 on the board, the permutations and combinations regarding semi-final qualification got opened up dramatically.

In response to the target of 190, England were required to score at least 87 runs to secure their place and at least 107 runs to top the group.

On the other hand, South Africa were required to restrict the Three Lions within 131 runs to cement a spot for themselves in the semis. Considering the bowling lineup the Proteas have and the brand of cricket the Three Lions play, the stage was set for an interesting half. 

However, the opening pair of England, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, had only one thing in their mind - attack.

At 4.1 overs, the scoreboard displayed 38/0. Just when it started to seem all the excitement regarding the equations was about to get blown away by this pair, Jason Roy (20 off 15) went off the pitch due to some issue with his left hamstring. 

Soon after the game got its spice back as Anrich Nortje removed Buttler (26 off 15) and Tabraiz Shamsi dismissed Bairstow (1 off 3) in successive overs. At that point, England were 59/2 in 6.2 overs.  

Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan then got the innings back on track. Before getting dismissed to Shamsi while attempting to clear the fence, Moeen (37 off 27) stitched a 51-run partnership (36 balls) with Malan. By then, England had reached 110 runs, meaning that they had secured the top position in Group 1 regardless of what would happen in the rest of the match. 

In the first three deliveries of the sixteenth over, Liam Livingstone struck three back-to-back sixes to get England on the driver’s seat.

The second one of those three had England cross the 131-run mark - meaning that South Africa were out of the tournament and Australia were through to the semis as group runner-up. 

Malan (33 off 26) lost his wicket in the following over as Pretorious made South Africa believe again. 

In the last two overs, England required 25 runs to make it five out of five. Pretorious once again was back in business as he removed Livingstone (28 off 17) in the first delivery of the penultimate over. He ended up conceding 11 in that over as England required 14 more to win. 

In the last over, Kagiso Rabada brought his A-game on just when it mattered the most as he claimed a hat-trick removing Chris Woakes (7 off 3), Eoin Morgan (17 off 12), and Chris Jordan (0 off 1) - all caught in the deep while attempting to hit sixes.

He conceded only 3 runs in that over to put a halt to England’s unbeaten streak in this World Cup. 

Earlier today, winning the toss, England decided to put South Africa into batting. Despite losing Reeza Hendricks early in the innings, the Proteas got off to a decent start as they accumulated 40 runs during the powerplay. 

The partnership between Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen kept the scoreboard moving at a reasonable rate. Halfway through, they were at 73/1.

Although it was more than a good score to have on the board at the midpoint of an innings in normal circumstances, South Africa needed a massive acceleration to give their bowlers something substantial to secure a victory big enough to get their net run rate to exceed that of Australia. 

In an attempt to do so, de Kock (34 off 27) perished soon after to Adil Rashid. 

Aiden Markram then joined Dussen and the pair started throwing caution to the wind. In the remaining 52 deliveries of the innings, this partnership added 103 runs as Dussen and Markram both remained unbeaten at 94 (off 60 balls) and 52 (off 25 balls) respectively. 

This innings of the Player of the Match Van der Dussen is the highest score from any South African in the history of T20 World Cups - surpassing Herschelle Gibbs (90* vs West Indies in 2007). 

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