Sport

England's decider against Proteas not to be a grudge match

England's decider against Proteas not to be a grudge match

Captained by Jos Buttler, England won the T20 series-decider match against South Africa by 19 runs.

England captain Eoin Morgan chose to rest himself for the match, a decision that initially drew criticism given this was a must-win game for England, but big-hitting Malan adapted quickly to global cricket.

Among the five wickets to fall after Malan departed was Liam Livingstone, who had started his worldwide career with a patchy innings of 16 in Taunton that went a long way to costing England the match.

But he could not repeat the trick and South Africa had a morale-boosting victory to follow their first-round exit at the 50-over Champions Trophy, with this win achieved despite the absence of coach Russell Domingo, who had flown home after his mother was involved in a traffic accident.

Tom Curran added two wickets to the three he took on debut at Taunton on Friday, while leg-spinner Mason Crane claimed the prize scalp of AB de Villiers as his first global victim. "I can't think I have made it after one game, I have to keep scoring runs for Middlesex and that's what I will do".

"They (South Africa) were certainly entitled to appeal and the spirit of the game is open to interpretation".

One of South Africa and world's most prominent batsmen AB de Villiers has left his country's tour of England midway to decide on his global future in August.

"All the best teams in the world have players have that depth and you have to if you want to produce a really good side".




For a brief period, Proteas skipper AB de Villiers looked as if he was going to sign off from national duty - for now, at least - in some style.

This high-profile first scalp for the leg-spinner was the moment when the game's destiny felt secure too, with De Villiers responding to three early wickets from Jordan, Curran and Liam Plunkett through some typically brutal hitting.

But his embarrassment, and a touch of awkwardness for the captain, was spared in the end as England's bowlers efficiently contained the tourists.

Young leg-spinner Mason Crane and batsman Alex Hales returned after playing in the Southampton opener, the latter reforming his partnership with Jason Roy at the top of the order.

Malan, who was born in South London but grew up in South Africa, finally holed out at long-on and his departure prompted a decline. It was a pretty good score, tough to score when they bowled their variations.

"It is a fantastic experience to play for your country and to contribute in a win like that on debut is fantastic", he said.

He brought his half-century up with a clip to the fine leg boundary off Tahir and looked well set to go onto an even bigger score before miscuing a big swipe down the ground off the same bowler, Dane Paterson holding the catch to dismiss him for an unforgettable 78.

"I thought this day might never come".


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