England v South Africa, 3rd NatWest T20I, Edgbaston

Momentum on offer in series decider

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

September 11, 2012

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

September 12, 2012, Edgbaston
Start time 6.30pm (1730GMT)

Craig Kieswetter made 1 off six balls, England v South Africa, 2nd NatWest T20I, Old Trafford, September 10, 2012
England's batsmen could do with a good showing in the third and final T20I © AFP
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The Big Picture

Each of the series played between these two teams this season has come down to a final-match decider but, as with the Test matches, the best England can hope for is a share of the trophy. Given they needed 13 off five balls at Old Trafford to be ahead of the D/L target that is probably a position they are fortunate to be in.

The Nine9 in Manchester was a hectic affair: batsmen swinging from the hip, the ball skewing off edges, fielders slipping on a wet outfield, a couple of wonderful catches, another England drop and some impressive quick bowling. On balance it is South Africa who still hold an edge, particularly with the strength of their batting, which is in sharp contrast to the problems England have.

It was instructive to watch Hashim Amla's approach to what was basically a slog-fest. He barely slogged. Sure, he tried to hit the ball hard, and occasionally lost his shape, but his boundaries were well-timed, well-placed shots and not just the wild hacks attempted by Craig Kieswetter, Alex Hales and Luke Wright.

Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn were a handful on a lively pitch - unlike what is expected in Sri Lanka - while most of England's bowlers performed well, too. Two-over spells are difficult to analyse, but Graeme Swann did not conceded a boundary and Jade Dernbach just the one.

For both sides this is their final outing before departing for the subcontinent and whoever wins will feel they can take a little bit of momentum and confidence - although it is difficult to gauge much from either camp with no players having spoken for three days. But whatever happens at Edgbaston it won't count for much when the World Twenty20 starts.

Form guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)

EnglandL WWWL
South Africa WWWWL

Watch out for

Jade Dernbach is a bowler to watch with an open mind. When it goes wrong it can get very ugly but he has a unique set of skills that can make him a match-winner. He took wickets at Chester-le-Street but was expensive, then two overs at Old Trafford cost just 12 runs. On the slow pitches in Sri Lanka his ability to bowl yorkers and slower balls will be invaluable. However, it will not always go to plan.

Dale Steyn has bowled beautifully since returning to the side midway through the one-day series, with a combination pace, control and swing. He had a wry smile on his face at Old Trafford when Alex Hales outside edged him for six over third man. With South Africa keen to manage Steyn's workload he has not always been a regular in the T20 side - playing 23 matches - but bowling like he is, makes the attack formidable.

Team news

The indications are that England are settling on their main bowling attack having played the same combination in both matches, supplemented by Luke Wright in place of Ravi Bopara in Manchester, although they may yet decide to tinker when they get to Sri Lanka. Michael Lumb, Danny Briggs and Tim Bresnan are the three of the World Twenty20 squad yet to play.

England (possible) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad (capt), 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

Earlier in the series, AB de Villiers indicated he would like to give all his players a game at some point, which would mean bringing Wayne Parnell and Farhaan Behardien into the side - but they will also want to win the series.

South Africa (possible) 1 Richard Levi, 2, Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel

Pitch and conditions

Edgbaston has suffered as much as anywhere from all the rain this season and the forecast suggests a risk of interruptions. When players did get on the pitch for a full Friends Life t20 innings, scores ranged from 149 to 173, which is ideal for the format.

Stats and trivia

  • If England level the series they will jump above South Africa to the No. 1 spot in the Twenty20 rankings

  • Graeme Swann became England's leading T20 wicket-taker when he clung on to the caught-and-bowled to remove JP Duminy in the second game

  • England have not played a Twenty20 international at Edgbaston

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dabhand on (September 13, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

RandyOZ - once again the accuracy of your predictions is highlighted, as with your team in T20s, your win ratio is extremely poor - time to get another record; Romanticstud - how about 32 off one over - 2nd highest score for an over in T20 history; Edgie - wrong on both counts.

T20 is a lottery, one good over by a bowler or batmen can seriously change the result of the game - which is why to me, T20 is not a game to be taken seriously though as always, once the result is known and England have won, none of those who predicted annihilation can be bothered to come back and explain how wrong they were.

Posted by Hira1 on (September 12, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

rain reduce match so a chance for England...

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

I really don't have time for these ridiculous t20 matches. The irony of me taking the time to make this comment is not lost on me.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 12, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

Oh yes, and I forgot to say rain-delays, matches lost to rain, matches reduced by rain... Yeah it's really hard following cricket in UK at times!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 12, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (September 12 2012, 11:38 AM GMT) Is it definite that Eng go number 1 if they beat SA today? It would seem strange and while I can kind of make out your theory , it would mean that ICC seem to change their rankings system as they feel. I mean if Eng and SA drew the test series (while almost level pre series) Eng would have held their ranking. Should it not be the same for T20s.?I thought Eng were harshly dropped down the T20 rankings but lucky to go so far up the ODI rankings but as SA are now T20 number 1 and at worst will come out of the series 1-1 , they should remain number 1 after the series

Posted by samy195samy on (September 12, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Amla must be a very brave man...... as fortune faver the brave

Posted by 12thUmpire on (September 12, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

@BG4cricket on (September 12 2012, 01:03 AM GMT) " - should play Bopara"… No! England should give him extended rest. He deserves it. Why should the poor guy wake up to the nightmares of a SA bowler charging at him?

Posted by mthi4life on (September 12, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

As a Proteas fan the only rankings that count are for Test Cricket.For Limited overs Cricket it is the ICC tournaments that are important.So who ever wins tonight it will not make a difference if they do not lift the Trophy in Sri Lanka.So good luck to the Proteas Tonight.Bring the Trophy Home from Sri Lanka.

Posted by wanatawu on (September 12, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

England to win and retain their Title, KP to play for SA in future

Posted by crindo77 on (September 12, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Some musings ahead of t20 WC; would love it if Afghanistan managed to upset England and/or India in the t20 WC. It would do justice to the format and to the team. Also,well done to SLC for changing some of the pitches to the faster variety; Pallekele for eg. This is a small and somewhat unnoticed change but may do a lot for SLC cricket in the long term. Even Colombo isn't a mudpatch as it used to be. What with KP's media stint, this t20 WC may throw up a few surprises. The only things unchanged will be Hashim Amla as he will continue to pile up scores; MSD's patented midwicket hoicks; several versions of Dil-scoop. Follow that up with the ultimate grudge series of India v England, and we are all good to go till the New Year! Long live cricket.

Posted by dsig3 on (September 12, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

I thought the "Watch out for" featured a player from each country. Why are there two South Africans and no English?

Posted by edgie on (September 12, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

At least with Steyn sitting out it will give either Tsotsobe and/or Parnell a game. Besides, no swann means England will be without their no 1 bowler, hence a serious drubbing for them on the cards.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 12, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

I have to say, nine overs or not, SA bowlers were on top in the last game IMO from what I saw compared to Eng... Batting wise there's simply no comparison at the moment. Amla is on fire... It's only a matter of time before AB clicks... and then of course there's Kallis, who even at no. 7 makes something happen. I don't care who England play for this game; as I said in the last game, I just want the bowlers to use more variation and the 'batsmen' to contribute something. @Randy, yorkshirematt, JG2704 etc. - if I EVER go missing in the future, it's because I've lost interest in cricket altogether or something else bad has happened to me. Rankings, form, wins, losses... been there throughout, bringing something different to these threads from the usual gripe!

Posted by kakarocks on (September 12, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

i think eng wins.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 12, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

@Brenton1 on (September 12 2012, 05:38 AM GMT), I don't know for sure but here's my theory. England were #1 in T20 before the last correction, i.e. the last time that old results were dropped from consideration. That means that SA were probably not very far ahead. When SA won game 1, they were beating the #2 team. If England win this game, they will be beating the #1 team. That would make England's win, should it come to pass, more valuable than SA's. The difference in points between the two victories must be greater then the lead SA had prior to the series.

Posted by styx on (September 12, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

At the start of the Series SA was ahead of Eng in the Twenty20 rankings. The situation now is SA are a full 14 points clear at the top of the table, so how on earth can an Eng win send them to the top??? If they level a series they leapfrog South Africa who was ahead of them to begin with??? Shows you how silly the ranking system actually is.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (September 12, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Momentum? What Momentum? As an england fan, I hate to say this but our system has been exposed, ruthlessly by South Africa. Apart from some wins against the Lowly windies (and even then we were a bit lucky..tino best anyone?), and some pointless ODI's against Australia (a team any reasonable person can see was over here just to acclimatise against the duke), the main event this summer could well have been a winless! Where as other teams prepare...all we seem to prepare to do, is prepare to lose.! Infighting has removed the only decent player we have and there is no one else to take their place. Our much lauded depth has is as thin as a geordies lasses' dress in mid winter and although we speak about Aus dropping below Ireland in the T20 rankings, we;re the only team to lose to them! Shocking, SA has exposed us, the rest of the teams across the world will just mop up the pieces. Once again,we believe our own hype.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (September 12, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

Oh, there is a game on today? Yawn. @TommytuckerSaffa - Agreed, could've had more Tests instead of this rubbish.

Posted by Romanticstud on (September 12, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Number 1 in the world ... by beating SA who have a better allround side ... I do not think so ... In the T20 format they need to get some batsmen ... Not Bopara ... Someone like KP ... who can hit the ball cleanly ... @Kunal_Ind_SA ... I think they should put Levi in with Amla ... Kallis ... Duminy ... De Villiers ... Albie ... Parnell ... Botha ... Peterson ... Steyn ... Morne ... 12th man Tsotsobe ...

Posted by Hammond on (September 12, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

I personally couldn't give a rats, T20 is only fun when Australia loses. Apart from that it may as well be a totally different sport, boring, predictable and unrelated to the actual sport it came from.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

"If England win they will go back to Number 1 in ODI's" ...well it certainly beats being pathetically below Ireland in T20....thankyou australia, you always remind us that things could be alot worse.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

Dale steyn and Graeme swann gonna miss the final T20...Injury to Dale steyn during practice is a Huge blow for SA..Graeme Swann will be rested for ENG

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (September 12, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

@phoenixsteve... cdnt agree more mate, i saw 3 of the last ashes live and the recent 4-0 odis on tv... as you say ''england own australia'' and ive seen nothing recently that will change that, esp with m arthur & j langer in charge! its no worries!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (September 12, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Just imagine, instead of watching this dull ODI and T20 series unfold, we couldve had 2 extra test matches instead. Total travesty, sort it out administrators.

Posted by uncanny on (September 12, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

levi is a sleeping giant, who wakes up only once in the series !! so expect a "levi" show today. Moreover i think faf will be better opener than levi in asian conditions, given his success while playing for CSK. playing should always play steyn and morkel. But i still feel one left armer will be very useful, so they need to accommodate parnell somehow.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 12, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

I feel it will be an opportunity wasted if we don't give either Briggs or Lumb a game.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 12, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

@yorkshirematt on (September 11 2012, 19:57 PM GMT) Nice to single me out but I'd say JMC , Landl,RUFORREAL and 5Wombats (who said he's be away before these games) among quite a few others will stay firm through thick and thin.

Posted by   on (September 12, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

Breaking News: Dale steyn is Injured during training and set to Miss final t20 so Lonwabo tsotsobe will come in his place..As far as Eng are concerned Danny Briggs will replace Graeme swann

Posted by Brenton1 on (September 12, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Can someone explain how England can go to 1 if they win? SA was 1 before the series, SA won the 1st T20 so how can 1 win be worth more than the lead SA had coming into the series as well as the addition of the points gained by their win in the 1st match.

Posted by 98-10_157-0 on (September 12, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

@randyoz you are soooo tedious - that must be at least the 4th time I have read a comment from you about England losing 6 out of 11 tests. Have a look at Australia's record between 1/10/2010 and 14/11/2011 - oh my P11, W2, D3, L6!

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 12, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

@phoenixsteve : English fans are okay in defeat but still in KP gate, all are just blaming KP as money minded and defending the actions of Broad, Swann and Anderson who are as much arrogant as KP but dont show it off outside and get the support as they are more English than the likes of KP. Though one or two like you accept ECB's bad stand, majority(by big margin too) are still acting as if ECB and its players are saints in KP gate.

Posted by BG4cricket on (September 12, 2012, 1:03 GMT)

This will probably see an England victory after my comment but I can't see any way England will reach the semis or better at the World Cup. Their batting looks threadbare and the bowling isn't flash either - Broad is a shadow of his best at the moment as too is Swann so Finn will need to be extraordinary. Morgan looks their best bat in this format and really should bat 3 but they look 1 batsman short of being able to post the big totals needed as Buttler is a non- entity - should play Bopara even down the order who can at least provide a bowling option and has more upside with the bat if he can recover his best.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 12, 2012, 0:47 GMT)

@randyoz and yorkshirematt.... I think that most of us England supporters just speak up when we have constructive things to say? I for one am not afarid to speak up when England have performed badly and acted badly (as in the KPgate sage). Trouble is that most of us suspect that rampant/diluded Aussies haunt the 'net and so we just remain silent and remember the Ashes.... Just like Texans "remember the Alamo". The Aussie fans (Jonesy, Biggus, RandyOZ, etc) need to learn some humility and remember that until proven otherwise England OWN Austraila! I also expect that England will do better than expectded against India and WHO CARES about the T20 World cup! Who are the world champions anyhow? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by Rash_inswinger on (September 11, 2012, 21:46 GMT)

give him a test match he'll give you 300 plus, give him an ODI he'll give you 150 plus give him a 9-9 he'll give you a 47 n.o..thats Hashim Amla for you. hope he gets some runs in SL and doesnt get out by edging the ball to the keepers foot and into the slips (most unfortunate dismissal in a crucial ODI, WC 2011 Qfinal ).

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 11, 2012, 19:57 GMT)

I doubt it Randy. With more disasters in the T20 and in India to come most will remain in hibernation, leaving myself and JG to continue to attempt to explain what went wrong amid the dissenting aussie and indian voices!

Posted by KunzMan on (September 11, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

Also, what are back-up plans for fiddling with the batting line-up in case like Manchester, it rains (which is not unlikely) in Sri Lanka and we have a (further) condensed game? Is the answer AMLA again? Isn't he human?

Posted by KunzMan on (September 11, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

SA genuinely have some questions unanswered before they embark on the plane to Sri Lanka. 1) Opening slot - Levi or Faf with Amla? 2) Role of Kallis and Amla while playing together? 3) Ontong or Behardien? 4) Morne or Parnell? (I hope Tsotsobe carries the drinks throughout). I know many people defending him as the ex number 1 bowler in ODIs but I sincerely treat it as a major travesty.

Posted by KunzMan on (September 11, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

Wow! A 14 point advantage is insignificant for ICC Rankings! We finally have competition for Ms. Duckworth n Lewis system in the category of pure nonsensical calculations in the cricketing world! All hail ICC!!!!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 11, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Surely a captain should be sure of his place in the team, so why is Broad captain? I think I'd even prefer Bopara in my team for a T20 rather than Broad.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 11, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

Expect another England loss, continuing the huge number they have had lately, including losing 6 of their past 11 tests. Maybe after South Africa leave we can welcome back some of the pommy commenters.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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