Van der Dussen - Markram's 103-run partnership, Rabada's last over hat-trick help South Africa beat England
South Africa 189/2 in 20 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 94*, Aiden Markram 52*; Moeen Ali 1/27) defeat England 179/8 in 20 overs (Ali 37, Dawid Malan 33; Kagiso Rabada 3/48, Tabraiz Shamsi 2/24) by 10 runs
England which is reigning at the top of the table of Group 1 of Super 12 stage, entered the game undefeated, having won four games in a row and virtually qualifying for the semis. The Proteas, on the other hand, set out to bag a win by a substantial margin and ascend the rank from their third position of the "Group of Death", having a lower NRR than Australia.
The Proteas charged at the English team with brute force, the match being a must- win situation for them.
Already high on confidence, England had a fortuitous start in the game, having won the toss and choosing to field first in the fate-decider game of South Africa.
South Africa get off to sluggish start
Playing their most crucial match of the tournament, South African batters put in to bat first got off to a sluggish start. They lost an early wicket in the form of Reeza Hendricks (2) on just the fourth ball of the 3 rd over.
Moeen Ali, as usual, gave England the early breakthrough and his first wicket of the game. Not letting the opening partnership of the opposition flourish has been England’s core strategy and South Africa remained no exception.
New batter Rassie van der Dussen arrived at the crease and got off the mark with a single, followed by a cheeky boundary in the next over. While Quinton de Kock, on one end, resorted to singles, Dussen showed signs of aggression. He hit Chris Woakes for a boundary and a six combined with singles and accumulated 14 runs off the 6th over. South Africa were 40/1 at the end of the mandatory powerplay.
De Kock and Dussen batted along well and kept their side’s cruise sailing at a rate of over 6 runs per over. The duo completed their 50 run partnership for the 3rd wicket in the 10th over in front of a seemingly ineffective England bowling attack. They further nurtured their partnership to 71 runs before Adil Rashid came and spoiled their party by dismissing de Kock for 34 runs and South Africa’s scorecard read 86/2 in 11.2 overs at that point in time.
Rassie van der Dussen carries out carnage
Rassie van der Dussen showed glimpses of his aggressive side of batting with occasional boundaries and sixes. He unsettled England bowlers to a great extent while anchoring his side towards a big total.
After de Kock’s dismissal, new batter Aiden Markram arrived at the crease. Dussen reached his 6th half-century in T20Is following a single on the first ball of the 13th over, and further took the South African score above the 100-run mark with a six over backward square leg.
Aiden Markram too got into the groove as he started pacing up with his companion by hitting a brilliant six off Adil Rashid in the 14th over. The duo opened their hands and got off to carrying out a carnage against the England bowlers who were already under tremendous pressure.
Dussen smacked Chris Woakes for two consecutive sixes followed by Markram adding another half a dozen runs equating to 21 runs in the 16th over.
Both the batters took down the England bowlers with their destructive partnership. In no time, they crossed the 50-run partnership, and went on to add another 50 runs in overs 16-20 that saw a deluge of sixes and boundaries. Markram reached his 6th half century in T20Is and scored an unbeaten 52* runs off just 25 balls, while Dussen remained unbeaten on 94* as the duo stitched a 103-run partnership and took South Africa’s total to 189 for 2 in 20 overs.
England bowlers felt the heat as both the batters looked more intimidating as they neared the innings end enroute posting a big total. All the England bowlers except Adil Rashid (1/27) and Moeen Ali (1/32) went wicketless during the SA innings.
England accumulate 59/1 in powerplay
To advance into the semi-finals, South African bowlers had to restrict England below 131 runs, however, the in-form England batters seemed to cast no mercy as openers Jason Roy and Jos Buttler got them to a roaring start right from the 2nd over. They attacked Anrich Nortje in the 2nd over for 9 runs, followed by 10 runs off Keshav Maharaj’s over with two boundaries and as many singles.
The duo then targeted Kagiso Rabada who came to bowl his first over for 15 runs including three boundaries. England were 37/0 after 4 overs but Jason Roy walked off the field after scoring 20 runs due to suffering pain in his hamstring.
England shortly lost their first wicket when Jos Buttler departed for 26 runs in trying to clear Anrich Nortje for a six over mid-on. England still managed 59/1 after the powerplay and looked very well on track during the chase.
SA got their second wicket when Tabraiz Shamsi got Jonny Bairstow out leg before the wicket cheaply on just one run. Shamsi struck for the second time in the game by getting South Africa their third wicket in the 13th over. Moeen Ali, in trying to go for a big shot, departed for 37 runs as England’s score read 110/3 in 12.2 overs.
Rabada returned in the 16th over and conceded three consecutive sixes, which also marked the end of SA’s campaign in this T20 WC. England officially eliminated SA as they crossed the 131-run mark.
Rabada takes a hattrick, SA win by 10 runs
However, Rabada with a forgettable outing so far, made a strong comeback in the final over when 14 runs were required for England to win the game. Rabada became the third bowler to take a hattrick in the ongoing T20 World Cup. He dismissed England skipper Eoin Morgan for 17 runs, followed by dismissing Chris Woakes (7) and Chris Jordan for a duck.
England were almost close to sealing the Super 12 campaign unbeatable but Rabada stole the game from their hands and helped South Africa win by 10 runs.
South Africa failed to qualify for the semi-finals owing to their net-run rate despite equalling England and Australia in terms of wins.
Player of the match
Rassie van der Dussen lifted the man of the match award for his unbeaten 94* off just 60 balls. He orchestrated SA’s innings to a stiff total of 189/2 in 20 overs. In the process, he also became the highest individual scorer for a South African batter in the T20 WC tournament.
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