South Africa v England, 2nd T20, Johannesburg February 21, 2016

Dominant SA cruise to nine-wicket win


South Africa 172 for 1 (de Villiers 71, Amla 69*) beat England 171 (Buttler 54, Abbott 3-26) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An England implosion that saw their last seven wickets go down for just 14 runs and a sublime performance with the bat, combining the power of AB de Villiers with the elegance of Hashim Amla, saw South Africa seal the two-match T20 series in emphatic fashion. Victory meant South Africa won both limited-overs series against England, after losing the Test series, and ended the tour in fine style.

On a Wanderers pitch packed with runs, England needed a total in excess of 200 but could not get away at the start of the innings, rebuilt with a 96-run stand between Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler and then collapsed. De Villiers and Amla then made England wonder if 300 would have been enough when they polished off 100 runs inside seven overs to set South Africa up for a dominant win.

Unlike in the previous matches on this tour, South Africa did not allow England to get away from them early on. Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott kept a lid on things by bowling back of a length. Rabada could have had Jason Roy out first ball but JP Duminy spilled the catch at short cover. Ten balls later, Rabada had his man when Roy tried to smack him down the ground, was beaten for pace and his off stump was uprooted.

South Africa continued with their short-ball strategy but it did not work as well against Joe Root. He scored the first boundary of the innings off one of those deliveries and went on to punish Abbott, Rabada, Chris Morris and then David Wiese, who was dealt with even more severely once Root was dismissed.

The introduction of spin allowed South Africa to pull things back when Imran Tahir had Root caught on the extra cover boundary and he was on hand to run out Alex Hales when Eoin Morgan seemed to commit a second as Morris raced in from deep midwicket. By the time he sent Hales back it was too late.

AB de Villiers went off like a train in the chase © Getty Images

With two new batsmen at the crease, England needed time to rebuild and once Buttler had settled, he took it on himself to accelerate. He found runs with power and placement, particularly off Wiese, who missed the yorker and tried the slower ball without success. Morgan joined the party and Wiese's second and third overs cost 30 runs.

He was replaced by Duminy, who fared no better. Buttler targeted Duminy, Morgan looked more confident than he has throughout the series and was reading Morris well. With four overs to go, England, on 150, were well on track for a big score.

Then, their fortunes changed. Buttler was caught inches off the turf by Faf du Plessis and Morgan was run out at the non-striker's end in successive balls. England had two new men in again and their luck got no better. Stokes was caught off a ball that he should have hit into the ground but which popped up to Morris, Duminy made up for his earlier blunder with a good catch on the boundary to remove Moeen Ali and England were in free fall.

Abbott was rewarded for accuracy with two wickets in two balls at the death and England were bowled out without completing their 20 overs. Rabada took the final wicket in similar fashion to the way he claimed the first when he removed Adil Rashid's off stump.

At altitude and with a fast outfield, South Africa would have known the target was chaseable but may not have expected to get it as quickly as they did. De Villiers was in no mood to stick around. The first ball he faced found the boundary and that was just the beginning.

He sent the ball into the stands, the grass embankment and even the parking lot in a display of innovative hitting that the Wanderers has seen before. The ground was the venue of de Villiers' fastest ODI century and has now also witnessed his fastest fifty in the shortest format. It came off 21-balls.

By then Amla, who only had eight runs when de Villiers had 40, had just about caught up. In entirely contrasting style, Amla added 32 runs off nine balls with touches of finesse, like his flick through fine leg, and excellent timing.

South Africa's hundred was up in the seventh over and none of the England bowlers was spared. The attack were all guilty of missing their lines, often bowling too full and on the pads and were overawed by the assault they came under. De Villiers found the boundary six times and went over it another six but finally miscued Rashid to long-off to give England some relief but not much hope.

Amla got to fifty soon after, off 27 balls and batted through. He had his highest T20 international score by the time du Plessis finished off to give South Africa victory with 5.2 overs to spare.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 23, 2016, 19:49 GMT

    @D.S.A ON FEBRUARY 23, 2016, 13:17 GMT - I think you can look at the depth in 2 ways. When we collapse like this it can be a hindrance but maybe it has also helped us play more expansively too. We scored 399 and have been around the 400 mark on several occasions and yes they were on flat pitches but maybe the knowledge of having that depth helped others play more expansively. I think 9 should be plenty and if they went for my side - from the squad they have - they'd bat up to 9 with Finn and Topley at 10 and 11. Re Buttler , I'll bow to your knowledge on what Ponting said etc but I'd be surprised and disappointed if he didn't get a game. I guess you do get tactical buys in IPL

  • Devinderpal Singh on February 23, 2016, 18:10 GMT

    @mark: I'm afraid I didn't see it. How comes?

  • markbrop on February 23, 2016, 15:01 GMT

    DSA: Did you see the ball from Nawaz which dismissed Hodge first ball?

  • Devinderpal Singh on February 23, 2016, 13:59 GMT

    @markbrop: Smarter and faster bowlers than Stokes have failed in India, so I don't foresee him and Willey doing well tbh. Also, I find it ridiculous and hypocritical to hear these same pundits talk about the fast bowlers needing to learn to take pace off the ball, in prep for the WT20...i.e. bowl like a medium-pace bowler. Do you know who is best-fit to bowl like a medium-pace bowler? A MEDIUM-PACE BOWLER! However, England are disgusted by it, as if it is personally offensive, and only befitting of countries that can't produce strong people, as bowlers should only be fast, and not at medium pace, and if avoidable, not spinners, hence England's lack of quality spinners that can bowl in Tests. As Monty has been unavailable for Tests, they have forced Ali to be a bowler, and justify his spot with his bowling. I think Ali's...compliance...on certain issues are earned him brownie points, making him quite immune to being dropped, whether he is good, bad or in between. Interesting... P2 of 2.

  • Devinderpal Singh on February 23, 2016, 13:48 GMT

    @markbrop: I've not read his book, but I can definitely see someone like Strauss bluntly refuse any validity in English players playing in the IPL, ignoring any reasonable rationale. Now that he is in the ECB structure, he can't show disgust for India's premier T20 competition, as they are the big fish, and he cannot upset them. Both Strauss' and the ECB's view on the IPL is contradictory. The letters "IPL" were essentially banned by their echo-chamber, (the broadcaster), as if to suggest it is of little importance, but when ITV lost the rights to it, it is now routine for their pundits and channels to speak of the IPL.

    Re: Stokes: He is truly awful in limited-overs cricket at the international level, and it is just going to get harder for him in India, as both a batsman against spin, and as an unintelligent pace-bowler on Indian pitches. It is funny how successful Elliott and Bopara have been in the PSL, given that they lack pace, but what they don't lack is intelligence. P1 of 2.

  • Devinderpal Singh on February 23, 2016, 13:17 GMT

    @jg2704: I see your point about him, but I think batting to 10 is actually counterproductive, as it gives the batsmen the excuse of playing shots, simply because there is depth, in which case, a team deserves to have this back-fire (like it did here). I think the optimum number is 9; it is certainly not short, there is depth to recover from early wickets, but batsmen know that there are two 'non-batsmen', so the onus is on them to perform. Also, as it's a single digit number, it is psychologically smaller, meaning batsmen are less likely to take it for granted.

    Re: Buttler: Like I said before, franchises have been known to buy players, just so other teams don't have them. Mumbai is also one of the richer teams. Not sure if Punjab made a bid, but he would've been perfect there. Towards the end of the auction, they realised they needed a finisher, and bought Behardien (and made no bid for Holder...). Ponting said he was back-up for Patel, and LS, KP, CA, LM and MM are ahead of him.

  • markbrop on February 23, 2016, 12:00 GMT

    DSA - I was just looking at Ben Stokes' ODI and T20I records and you were spot on - they're absolutely dreadful.

    Stokes averages 21 with the bat and 36 with the ball in ODIs His T20 record is worse. He averages 14 with the bat and 49 with the ball

  • markbrop on February 23, 2016, 10:56 GMT

    DSA: "Allow me the pleasure of destroying the myth that a combo of Strauss, Bayliss, Farbrace and Morgan have done a magnificent job in making England competitive in limited-overs cricket"

    Strauss makes it up as he goes along DSA. Pietersen said in his book that talking to Strauss about the IPL was like trying to explain gangsta rap to a vicar. Now all of a sudden Strauss claims he has been a massive fan of the IPL and BBL. He just decides to go in whatever direction the wind blows.

  • John on February 23, 2016, 8:29 GMT

    @DSA - Saw your response re Willey. Maybe he will or maybe he won't cut it but I feel that batting at 10 is a hindrance for him as he is the last of the recognised players who can bat so he is maybe somewhat restricted and from opening to 10 is a massive gap. If we're playing with 10 who can bat then whoever bats at 10 (if required) is always going to be hamstrung more than those up the order. I'd play Rashid at 10 as I think he has the nous and brains to play that role. Willey is certainly better than Jordan with the bat so should bat ahead of him. In domestic T20 he always opens although I noticed Nhants had him at 6 (with no success) in the RLC. He was their start player when they won the T20 in 2014 and did well with the ball in the BBL this year. Re Billings and Buttler. Billings will unlikely get a game but I reckon Buttler will. Logic says they wouldn't spend that money on an IPL newbie just to bench him although strange things happen. We'll see

  • D N on February 23, 2016, 8:08 GMT

    Anyone who saw this game will question the wisdom of playing long days of boring test cricket. There is no pressure really on the players, they can take it easy. T20 needs real skill and talent besides luck. Let there be more T20 internationals than long drawn and boring test matches.

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