1st T20I (N), Cape Town, November 27, 2020, England tour of South Africa
(19.2/20 ov, T:180) 183/5

England won by 5 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
86* (48)
Showing Newest
Full commentary

10.05pm An interesting take from Morgan, very similar to his lack of satisfaction in the lead-up to the 50-over World Cup. He has high standards, because he knows what this team can achieve. Let's see what awaits in Paarl on Sunday! But for now, from Miller, Alan, Venkat, and the rest of the ESPNcricinfo team, thanks for joining us, and good night!

Jonny Bairstow is man of the match "Really pleasing to start the series with some runs, everyone's happy in the camp. Change of role is something you have to enjoy, you learn to craft your innings, and if it continues, great. Different surfaces will change the order but we're very flexilble. I was happy with how I played [in the IPL], Disappointing not to finish. Newlands can be slow, but Paarl can be a cracker of a wicket. Got to adapt to those conditions. The ball into the pitch was tricky, so maintaining your weight forward [for the slower balls] was important. Tricky with some bowlers bowling 140 clicks.

"The length of our batting, with Adil and Jofra at 10 and 11, you are always in the game."

Quinton de Kock "We thought it was a good total, didn't come off tonight. I don't think it was that one over, Jonny and Ben built a partnership, Jonny batted really well, changed his gameplan to the pitch. George [Linde] has bowled really well in the nets, happy for him, a good day for him."

"Small things in the field we could have done differently, match awareness. We didn't play badly, they played really well."

Eoin Morgan "Pleasing because we were average apart from two or three guys. Chasing was difficult, especially three-down, but Jonny and Ben set it up nicely, to win when you don't play your best is nice. With the ball, we missed areas, a tad too full, and three-down early without support and partnerships...

"Collectively, regardless of the team and the time around each other, the more we play the more we will gel. Not doom and gloom, nice to start with a win, but we need to be doing the right things. We had a lot to make up."

9.58pm Chief Selector: "Dhoni style finishing by Barstow. Incredible innings and a much needed partnership with Stokes who did his crucial part. Great win by the WorldCup Champions again courtesy all round power who can bat and bowl when needed." Dhoni 2011, rather than the more recent IPL vintage, of course... time for some presentations

9.46pm High fives from the England balcony, that was a proper challenge of a run-chase, on a sticky deck that didn't encourage easy timing, and with two early wickets leaving their Powerplay tactics in a bit of strife. But Bairstow and Stokes steadied the ship, then kicked through the middle overs with ever-mounting authority. South Africa were valiant for the most part, not least the new boy George Linde. But Beuran Hendricks' short-circuit of an over cost them dear...

James : "YJB: "I don't want to bat 4, I want to open." Management: "Try it and see how you go." YJB: "I'll score 86 off 48. That'll show them." Management: "You're staying at 4."" So true, his internal monologue must be exhausting. Still, it's all's well that ends well

Moose: "Right we just need to keep slighting Bairstow until the WC. Think we've partly got SRH to thank for this one." Break up my bromance with Warner would you...? Grrr!

Ngidi to Bairstow, SIX runs

that's the way to finish it! In the slot, monstered over wide long-on to seal it with four balls to spare! Jonny Bairstow has quite possibly solved one of the key puzzles for England ... who can fill the void in the middle-order in their opener-heavy line-up? That's quite the audition.

Ngidi to Bairstow, FOUR runs

a roundhouse slog, picking up the width outside off, and hauled through midwicket! This is nearly done now ...

end of over 1911 runs
ENG: 173/5CRR: 9.10 RRR: 7.00
Jonny Bairstow76 (46b 8x4 3x6)
Sam Curran7 (3b 1x6)
Kagiso Rabada 4-0-32-0
Lungi Ngidi 3-0-21-2

Imtiyaz: "Brain: Don't say it... don't say it Me: ARE WE IN FOR A SUPER OVER?!" I suspect not ... but here's Ngidi ...

Rabada to Bairstow, 1 run

crunched with a straight bat, clean to long-on, "one, one," is Jonny's call. No need to make things happen. Seven to win in the final over iit is...

Rabada to Sam Curran, 1 run

up on the toes to cut to the covers, and it's nearly a run a ball now

Rabada to Sam Curran, SIX runs

width outside off, and Curran nails his launch down the ground! My God, he's got some ticker... had to wait and wait as the pace was off, but he cleared du Plessis by a distance at long-on!

Rabada to Bairstow, 1 run

slower bouncer, dug into the pitch once more, and out comes a tennis-smash of a pull as Bairstow reaches high to flog it to the leg side. A good finish to this over will keep it very interesting...

Rabada to Bairstow, 2 runs

cracked hard across the line as Rabada fires into the legs again. Deep square leg tidies up

Rabada to Bairstow, no run

nutmegged! Very full, and beats Bairstow's dancing feet for pace as he attempts a leg glance

end of over 185 runs • 1 wicket
ENG: 162/5CRR: 9.00 RRR: 9.00
Jonny Bairstow72 (42b 8x4 3x6)
Sam Curran0 (1b)
Lungi Ngidi 3-0-21-2
Beuran Hendricks 4-0-56-0

Saoirse: "Left right combinations since the 2nd ball. Have there been any matches with a full 20 overs of left/right partnerships?" Interesting. And I don't even think there was a switch in the batting to make that happen

Ngidi to Bairstow, 1 run

wafted to the leg side, another single to finish off the over

Christo: "The only similarity tonight between Linde and Hendricks is that the runs against them was doubled in their last overs... Linde 10, Hendricks 28"

Ngidi to Sam Curran, 1 leg bye

wears it on the lid! Banged in short, and Curran's attempts to wind into a pull ends up hitting him in the grille. Bairstow has no mercy and orders him through for the single, which he makes with a dive. We'll have an interlude for the mandatory concussion test, but he seems fine

Simon: "@Stephen Nortje averages 49 in T20Is and has a strike rate of 33. Hendricks averages 20 and has a strike rate of 13" Everyone has an off-day. Even Ben Stokes, if you recall ...

Ngidi to Bairstow, 1 run

tight line, full length, Bairstow leans forward with a respectful block but still steals the single into the covers

Talking of which, here comes the baby-faced assassin himself. He likes to welly it

Ngidi to Morgan, OUT

flogged to deep midwicket, and Morgan is gone! Bowled into the deck, no pace as it rose into the skipper's swinging blade, and just a glimmer for South Africa, although England don't exactly have a dearth of batting to come...

Eoin Morgan c Bavuma b Ngidi 12 (10b 0x4 1x6) SR: 120
Ngidi to Bairstow, 1 run

back of a length, open face, guided through third man

Ngidi to Morgan, 1 run

back of a length, slower ball, Morgan waits on the back foot and thumps a cut to point

end of over 1728 runs
ENG: 157/4CRR: 9.23 RRR: 7.66
Jonny Bairstow69 (39b 8x4 3x6)
Eoin Morgan11 (8b 1x6)
Beuran Hendricks 4-0-56-0
Kagiso Rabada 3-0-21-0

It's a funny old game, but hard to see how England mess it up from here

Hendricks to Bairstow, FOUR runs

back of a length, shaping into the pads, Bairstow nurdles to backward square, to end a 28-run game-wrecking over...

Stephen: "So Hendricks playing over Nortje... How is that good for cricket when the best players are sidelined.. South Africa and the transformation targets is not good for competitive sport. " Well, you say that. But if it ultimately increases the sport's talent footprint, the opposite will be true in the long run

Hendricks to Bairstow, 1 wide

sliding past the legs, a better ball by the standards of what's preceded it, but another wide...

This, you sense, is the Big Over ...

Hendricks to Bairstow, FOUR runs

fires in the fuller length, but the width is so inviting for the in-form Bairstow! He simply opens his face again, and plinks it through third man!

Hendricks to Morgan, 2 wide

short and wide, too wide ... Hendricks is losing his grip here ...

Hendricks to Morgan, SIX runs

pummelled over midwicket, and now Morgan joins the fray! And fray is the mot juste for this over, it's rather going wrong ...

Hendricks to Morgan, 5 wide

Crumbs, that's gone wrong! So wide it didn't hit the cut strip, on latitude or longitude! A direct delivery to fine leg, and that helps the cause!