Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
South Africa v England | Second T20 | Sunday 21 February | The Wanderers | 14:00
After a thrilling first T20 at Newlands, the Proteas and their English counterparts will travel to the Wanderers to do battle in the series defining second T20. For the hosts, this game represents a chance to wrap up the series while for the visitors, this one's all about restoring parity.
To Win Match
South Africa 7/10
Not the most convincing of victories for the Proteas but at the end of the day a win's a win. Imran Tahir was the star of the show at Newlands on Friday night. The excitable spinner picked up four wickets whilst only conceding 21 runs. His impeccable spell helped restrict England to a below par total of 134. He was well supported by all-rounder David Wiese who picked up a wicket and went at a miserly economy rate of 4.75.
Having restricted the tourists to 134 in their allotted 20 overs, one would have thought the Proteas batsmen would have no trouble chasing down the total. Their innings got off to a less than ideal start as AB de Villiers – who had been moved up the order to fill in for the rested Quinton de Kock – was dismissed for only seven runs. Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla helped rebuild the Proteas flailing innings. The silent warrior managed to post 22 runs before he was dismissed by Ben Stokes while Faf contributed 25 runs to the Proteas cause before he was sent back to the pavilion.
At this point, the Proteas looked set to canter to victory, however, a flurry of wickets between the 16th and 19th overs would leave South Africa requiring 11 runs off the final over. Que the Chris Morris show. The hard-hitting all-rounder managed to see his side over the line with some belligerent strokeplay during the final over.
So the Proteas are 1-0 up heading into the second T20. There are worries however for Russel Domingo, particularly the inability of his top order batsmen to capitalise on their solid starts. The Proteas top-order is going to need to fire this Sunday if they are to wrap up the T20 segment of the bi-lateral series.
With the series on the line, I can’t see Domingo making too many personnel changes for this one. He may opt to change up the batting order, though. Rilee Rossouw could move into the opening batting slot with AB de Villiers moving down the order.
Reece Topley must be a broken man after he dropped the hero of the piece, Chris Morris, and then failed to run Morris out off the last ball of the innings. While Topley had a bit of a mare his fellow bowlers were on top form. Seamers Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes were extremely economical. The former went at an economy rate of 5.75 and picked up 3 wickets, while the latter went at 4.75 and managed to dismiss Hashim Amla.
While their bowling performance was top notch, their batting display was rather poor. They lost wickets frequently, which was mainly due to them trying to force the scoring. Jos Butler and Alex Hales were the only Englishmen to post scores in excess of 15 on Friday night.
If England are to restore parity, they’re going to need their batsmen to fire. They have a quality batting line-up that’s capable of taking a game away from most sides. They need to show some maturity however, and ensure they don’t lose wickets at inopportune times.
Verdict: South Africa 7/10
Imran Tahir is in imperious form and the English simply can’t play him. My money is on the veteran spinner leading the Proteas to victory on Sunday.
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