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England v South Africa, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong

March 29, 2014

Let there be light

Devashish Fuloria

New Zealand's comfortable win against Netherlands had turned the match between England and South Africa to a virtual quarterfinal. Alex Hales had prepared two days ago for the contest by scoring his first century. Dale Steyn, on the other hand, went for a haircut to increase his fear factor.

Hashim Amla had barely started warming up to England's bowling in the crunch match - he greeted Jade Dernbach with a six and a four - when the lights were dimmed due to a faulty light tower, about 55 minutes before the Earth Hour.

Luckily for Amla, who looked in decent nick, the issue was resolved within ten minutes. He did give a chance immediately after the break, but was let off by the keeper, who missed an easy stumping.

Twenty minutes after the game resumed and twenty minutes before the time for Earth Hour, the light tower played up again, much to the chagrin of Amla, who was on 39 off 23 balls.

The England Cricket Board attempted to play god from their Twitter account but realised the futility even before they had completed the 140-character sermon.

The only plus side of the break, from England's perspective, was the disruption in South Africa's scoring. Amla, though, was in no mood to relent as he brought up his half-century - his first in T20 internationals - in quick time.

Meanwhile, Quinton de Kock's struggle to stand up to England didn't go unnoticed. He contributed 25 in an 85-run stand with Amla before getting out on 29.

Before going back though, Amla had passed on the baton of scoring to the captain AB de Villliers, who was in a belligerent mood. He brought up his half-century off 23 balls - the fastest by a South African - with a six. Dernbach leaked 26 in one of his three overs, but he was not the only one who faced the wrath of de Villiers.

And de Villiers was not the only one generating mind-boggling numbers..

Twice in two matches, England were facing a mountain to climb in Bangladesh and the hopes were straightaway pinned to their hero from two nights ago.

Hales started in the same vein as the other night, belting a series of boundaries. He was offered a lifeline by umpire Rod Tucker who ruled a perfectly legal delivery from Albie Morkel a no-ball after the batsman had been caught at point. But Hales couldn't make it count this time.

Imran Tahir added two more wickets to his tournament tally, the two critical ones on whom the last bits of England's hopes had hinged - Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler.

Ravi Bopara wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. Along with Chris Jordon, he kept the scoreboard ticking.

Steyn, with 22 runs of a buffer in the last over, is, well, Steyn.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (April 7, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

The floodlight issue appears to have been resolved by using the reflective power of James Tredwell's head --- Too good ! !

Posted by willsrustynuts on (March 29, 2014, 21:40 GMT)

Why didn't they just stop the England innings at the same point as the SA light disruptions? Then the England batsmen would also have had the benefit of talking with their coaches?

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 18:15 GMT)

Can't stop laughing after reading these....Anyway, my wishes for the SA;s great win and expect to get rid of the semi probs....Don't choke any more pls

Posted by WeeBee on (March 29, 2014, 18:10 GMT)

lol Hillarious ...... awesome ....

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