England v South Africa, World T20 2016, Group 1, Mumbai March 18, 2016

Root takes England to record WT20 chase


England 230 for 8 (Root 83, Roy 43, Abbott 3-41) beat South Africa 229 for 4 (Amla 58, Duminy 54*, de Kock 52) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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England completed the second-highest successful chase in T20 internationals and the highest in World T20 history to keep their campaign alive. They held their nerve chasing 230, thanks to a blistering start from Jason Roy and a clinical innings from Joe Root that ripped South Africa's attack apart and undid their batsmen's efforts.

Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy all scored half-centuries in a line-up that included AB de Villiers at No. 3 and South Africa would have thought they had enough. Instead, they were left to rue the three overs between 10 and 13, bowled by Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, when South Africa could not find the boundary and scored just 14 runs. Before that, they were 125 for 2; after it, 139 for 3 and it was the difference between a score under 250 and one greater than. In the end, South Africa needed the latter.

On a night when no one wanted to be a bowler, the England seamers' scattergun approach was nullified by South Africa's overcompensation in bowling too straight, as well as some ill discipline. While England only gave away two wides, South Africa donated 20. An England line-up whose approach is built on aggression punished them for that.

Given the magnitude of their task, England showed intent from the first ball. Jason Roy swung hard at Kagiso Rabada and took 21 runs of the opening over - the most Rabada has conceded in an over in this format.

Alex Hales treated Dale Steyn with equal disdain. He sent the first three balls for four, all flicks on the leg side, although he should have been dismissed off the first. Kyle Abbott was at short fine leg and could not hold on. Roy had even less respect for Steyn. He finished the over with 10 runs off two balls to take England to 44 after two overs, the most runs off 12 balls in a T20. It was also Steyn's most expensive T20I over

England were running away with it but Abbott made up for his earlier blunder when he had Hales rapped on the pads in front of middle and leg to strike the first blow.

Ben Stokes was promoted to No. 3, Roy kept going and South Africa had to turn to death bowling strategies in the Powerplay. Abbott searched for the yorker and found it but when he missed Roy ramped him for six over de Kock's head. Roy tried to do it again but skied it and de Kock took the catch, ending his contribution at 43 from 16 balls.

When Stokes hit a Rabada full toss to the deep square leg boundary, it was advantage South Africa. Although England had more runs than South Africa had after six overs - 89 to 83 - they had already lost three wickets.

Imran Tahir was introduced in the seventh over and immediately quietened things down. His opening over cost seven runs without a boundary and, having seen England's spinners have a similar impact, Faf du Plessis gambled with bringing on Duminy. It paid off as Duminy worked in tandem with Tahir and snaffled Eoin Morgan, who chopped on, to keep the advantage with South Africa at the halfway point. After 10 overs South Africa were 125 for 2; England 118 for 4.

But the brakes were slammed on South Africa's innings then when Rashid and Moeen kept du Plessis and Duminy quiet. In the same period, South Africa used Chris Morris, Duminy and Steyn and the effect was entirely the opposite. England scored 42 runs in those three overs, Morris bowled short balls to his detriment, Root and Jos Buttler finally decided to take on Duminy and Steyn could not scare England into a mistake. The advantage swung. After 13 overs, England were 160 for 4 and the required rate had been dragged down from over 11 to 10.

South Africa still had Tahir and he went on to become the only bowler not to concede a boundary on the night, and to remove Buttler, but he lacked support. Morris was South Africa's weak link and gave Root the full toss that saw him bring up fifty off 30 balls. His was the slowest half-century of the night, after de Kock's came up off 21 balls, Amla's off 25 and Duminy's 26, but it was the one that mattered most.

Root took England to within 11 runs of victory before he swatted Rabada to deep midwicket and left it for Moeen to finish off. England lost two more wickets before they got there, but they won't dwell on those late nerves.

They will, however, want to address their own bowling lapses and a messy fielding performance that saw them on the received end of a total in excess of 220 for the fourth time. Reece Topley offered too much width even as Morgan refused to put a fielder at point to allow de Kock to hit him through there three times. De Kock was even more severe on Willey and forced Morgan to introduce a spinner in the Powerplay.

Amla had only faced three balls by the time Moeen came on but already had his eye in. Amla found two boundaries before he should have been caught at mid-off but Topley, perhaps still recovering from his own mauling, spilled the chance. Jordan and Stokes could not find control and England conceded 81 runs in the five overs after Willey's first had gone for two.

Rashid was introduced as soon as the fielding restrictions were lifted but did not immediately appear a threat. De Kock used his first ball to bisect the men in the deep and bring up his first T20I fifty but did not add many more to his total. He picked out the fielder at deep midwicket to allow South Africa to unleash de Villiers on the perfect platform.

The innings seemed to be playing to script when de Villiers smacked successive sixes but his show was short lived. Instead it was Amla and then Duminy who kept South Africa going. They scored 90 runs off the last seven overs but on a small field, a good pitch and against a bloody-minded England, it was not enough.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 20, 2016, 8:25 GMT

    Comms funny and predictable as ever. Particularly love the comms re if this had happened or that had happened ... esp in ref to the extras and batting order. No one can say what would have happened. Of course Faf's SR wasn't good on this pitch but did we not have the same issue with Morgan? Of course SA had the dew to contend with but did Eng not have the dew factor against them vs WI? Of course if White/Dumminy came in earlier on yesterday's form SA would have scored more but Faf's SR is still way ahead of JPD's and only one behind White and that after the game when DW/JPDs would have increased and Faf's decreased. And could it not be argued that they may have scored less had Topley not dropped Amla early on? And re the extras - did England not gift SA some freebies with poor fielding and bowling? No doubt if Steyn (who happened to be the most expensive bowler from both sides - trusted with just 2 overs) hadn't played there'd have been "If Steyn played..,?

  • John on March 20, 2016, 8:23 GMT

    @AMOL_GH ON MARCH 19, 2016, 12:56 GMT - Think it was one of those games and one of those pitches but I think you're being hasty. Faf has a +10 better SR than Dumminy overall and only one less than White and that after yesterday. Before the game Faf's SR would have been better (as it obviously would have come down) and also JPD and DWs SR would have been worse ... And re Morris - Wasn't he the saviour with the bat in the last SF load of games between the 2 sides? Also . it's not like the other bowlers did well - All bar Tahir went for over 10rpo. And re Wiese - He didn't even play yesterday so not sure how you can attach any blame to him. BTW I presume Morkel is injured

  •   Stephen Scott on March 20, 2016, 8:00 GMT

    No Doubt! that England have the exciting batting power to lift the T20 cup, but the bowling is a concern. How L.Plunkett is not in the team eleven is bewildering given his T20 stats and experience and his handy lower order hitting power. And L.Dawson's spin in asian conditions surely would be better than C.Jordan & R.Topley's cupcakes. My eleven in batting order: A.Hales, J.Roy, J.Root, J.Buttler, E.Morgan, B.Stokes, M.Ali, L.Dawson, L.Plunkett, D.Willey, A.Rashid. And to finish, A.Rashid & B.Stokes bowling stats are not good in T20, so this is where I think we miss out on holding the cup.

  • Brokensaint on March 20, 2016, 3:54 GMT

    lay be at the mediocre Charl langeveldt who is the bowling coach. how can you coach a team and they bowl like this. every bowler was bad apart from tahir. rabada started off with a almost 20 run over

  • John on March 20, 2016, 2:29 GMT

    @ansell on March 19, 2016, 13:00 GMT

    "Take away the 20 extra balls and 20 runs"

    There weren't 20 extra balls. There were only 10. Also, why would you take away the runs and the balls? England were denied the opportunity to score runs off the bat on those 10 deliveries. Why would you assume that, had those 10 deliveries not been wides, that England would not have scored off them?

  • John on March 20, 2016, 2:22 GMT

    @ansell on March 19, 2016, 15:23 GMT

    "Every wide is one run - and one extra ball"

    You don't know what you're talking about. Every wide delivery is an extra ball and SA bowled 10 wide deliveries. Several of those deliveries ended up costing more than one run though. Also, it's silly to say that wides result in runs plus extra deliveries because they really only end up costing the run. If a delivery is called wide then it's because the batsman couldn't reach it so it's as though that ball wasn't bowled at all. In the case of a no ball, the bowler is penalised a run but the batsman could still hit it for six and then get an extra ball too. In the case of a wide though, the batsman is denied the opportunity to score off that delivery, so it's not the same thing. I guess if you want to remain in denial though, I guess that's your prerogative. I but that had England given up 20 runs in wides you'd have said that they didn't deserve to win because of their bad bowling.

  • Bigredmonster Bruce on March 20, 2016, 1:39 GMT

    All those who're saying SA give England the win cause of WIDES thank you???????????? Cause England gave SA 229

  • Dave on March 20, 2016, 0:17 GMT

    I read a lot of comments about the 20 wides bowled by SA being the reason England won.

    Truth is Dumeny was gifted a second life when he was LBW on ~26. He went on to make 50+ runs that he should not have made.

    If he had not been given the extra life, then SA's total, i.e. Englands target, would have been considerable less.

    So swings and roundabouts in the end.

  • Tom on March 19, 2016, 23:19 GMT

    ANSELL ON MARCH 19, 2016, 13:00 GMT England did not win this game or 'chase down' the SA score. South Africa gave it to them on a plate. 20 wides - that is 20 runs plus 3 extra overs so England had 23 overs =------------------------------------------------------------------------- Actually it was 20 runs in wides but only ten wides bowled (from memory two went for 4 and the batsmen ran 2 off another) so only ten extra balls, not 20.

  • Sayak on March 19, 2016, 19:15 GMT

    If I was a selector for SA, I would have brought in another spinner in the side and rested Steyn. Why waste what's left of arguably the best bowler of this generation on feather beds to make him look ridiculous? Save the aging champion for tests only.

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