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South Africa Set England Target Of 208 To Win Second Men’s T20 – Live!

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WICKET! England 141-7 (Livingstone c de Kock b Phehlukwayo 18)Game over. Phehlukwayo has Livingstone caught behind, chasing a very wide attempted yorker. The bowlers who went the distance yesterday, Shamsi and Phehlukwayo, have taken South Africa to victory tonight.

15th over: England 137-6 (Livingstone 14, Jordan 4) Livingstone drives Rabada for four, and it’s a no-ball as well. Or is it? There are technical issues, apparently, and Livingstone doesn’t tee off for what should have been a free hit.

Jordan back cuts his first ball for four, making it 18 from the over, and it sounds like the no-ball was scratched off. I guess we’ll hear more about that if England lose by one run.

“No idea about the backheel,” says David Green, “but being bowled through the gate by a googly is def equivalent of the nutmeg.”

So what’s the football equivalent of the Natmeg?

WICKET! England 128-6 (Bairstow c Ngidi b Rabada 30)Another terrific catch! South Africa’s fielding was a mess in Bristol but tonight they’ve been flawless. Bairstow had hit successive boundaries off Rabada, including an extremely jaunty Natmeg, and was looking for another when he steered a slower bouncer over short third. Ngidi ran back, watched the ball over his shoulder and held onto it despite slipping. Tremendous stuff.

I hope people understand the selflessness of @CurranSM with his dismissal.

His job would of been to go out and and smack the spin and not to hang about,always put’s the team first 👌

— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) July 28, 2022 14th over: England 119-5 (Bairstow 22, Livingstone 9) A better over for England, with Bairstow (mainly) manhandling Phehlukwayo for 12. There were two boundaries, a cut from Bairstow and a hearty slice to third by Livingstone.

England need 89 from 36 balls.

13th over: England 107-5 (Bairstow 15, Livingstone 5) It feels like this is slipping away from England, though no game is lost with these two savages at the crease. They decide to play low-risk cricket in Shamsi’s last over, working the ball around for seven runs.

Shamsi ends a superb, probably matchwinning spell with figures of 4-0-27-3, and a number of fielders make a point of running over to embrace him. Well bowled indeed.

“I’m afraid Turkey won’t be making it into the World Cup finals,” says Robert Lewis. “They haven’t put up much of a struggle so far, and got thumped by Romania. They have, in fact, only beaten one other nation in their history, that being mighty Bulgaria. An encouraging number of Turkish-sounding names in the team though, which bodes well for the future.”

12th over: England 101-5 (Bairstow 11, Livingstone 3) This is an excellent point from Tim, with Jos Buttler’s form starting to feel less like a blip and more like a pattern. But how do you demote the world’s best T20 opener? It must be even harder when you are the world’s best T20 opener.

#ENGvIND #JosButtler discovering something that #AlecStewart could have told him. If you captain, keep wicket and then open the batting, you end up producing fluent cameos, because your eye is in but your battery needs charging

— Tim de Lisle (@TimdeLisle) July 28, 2022 11th over: England 92-5 (Bairstow 5, Livingstone 0) This is such an admirable comeback from Shamsi, who disappeared for 49 from three overs last night. Today he has figures of 3-0-21-3.

WICKET! England 92-5 (Curran c Maharaj b Shamsi 2)Sam Curran comes in ahead of Liam Livingstone to maintain the left/right combination. But England are all out of left-handers now, because Curran has belted Shamsi straight to long-off! It’s a much easier catch for Maharaj this time, and Curran goes third ball for two. England are no longer in bother; they’re now in all sorts.

WICKET! England 88-4 (Ali c Maharaj b Shamsi 28)What a catch! Moeen dumps Shamsi down the ground, where Maharaj charges round the boundary and swoops forward to take a magnificent two-handed catch! Moeen goes for a charming 17-ball 28, and England are in bother.

Keshav Maharaj takes a catch to dismiss Moeen Ali. England are in trouble. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images10th over: England 87-3 (Ali 28, Bairstow 3) Moeen drives Maharaj just short of long-on, where Phehlukwayo does very well to save the boundary. He has another escape off the last ball when a top edge looks over short fine leg for a couple. Eight from the over, all in ones and two, and that’s drinks.

9th over: England 79-3 (Ali 22, Bairstow 1) “What’s the cricket equivalent of football‘s backheel?” says Kim Thonger. “I say it’s a cheeky ramp?”

A reverse sweep? Or does it have to go directly behind the batter? I suppose it depends if you are talking strictly about Russo-style backheels, or whether you’d include flicks behind the standing leg.

WICKET! England 77-3 (Roy c Hendricks b Shamsi 20)More frustration for Jason Roy. He hacks Shamsi high in the air towards long-off, where Hendricks runs in to take a good low catch. Roy goes for a laboured 20 from 22 balls. It might be a blessing for England.

That’s out. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images8th over: England 72-2 (Roy 20, Ali 16) Moeen looks in lovely touch, and has moved easily to 16 from nine balls. Roy, who has struggled for most of his innings, blazes Maharaj handsomely over extra cover for four. England need 136 from 72 balls.

Here’s more from Romeo on the T20 World Cup qualifiers. “The last group games to decide the finalists, the winners of which go on to the Europe Regional finals (which send two teams to the actual World Cup in 2024), are on Saturday and the final’s on Sunday,” he says. “It looks like the final will be between Austria and one of Switzerland, Norway or France. Net Run Rate calculations will almost certainly be required to decide which and all the games are live, for free, on”

7th over: England 62-2 (Roy 15, Ali 12) Tabraiz Shamsi, who was savaged in Bristol last night, comes on for the first over after the Powerplay. Moeen smacks a boundary down the ground and England take a single off the other five deliveries.

“In reply to Brendan Large, it may not surprise you to hear that yes I think there is merit in some batters getting out regularly, especially when they are in the form that Jason Roy continues to demonstrate,” says Brian Withington. “I expect he’ll score a brutal hundred now…”

I wouldn’t bet the farm.

6th over: England 53-2 (Roy 12, Ali 5) Moeen Ali comes in ahead of Jonny Bairstow so that England still have a left- and right-hander at the crease. Moeen waves his first ball round the corner for four.

WICKET! England 48-2 (Malan c de Kock b Maharaj 5)Keshav Maharaj strikes with his fourth ball. Malan top-edged the ball miles in the air, trying to work it to leg, and de Kock took a comfortable catch.

Dawid Malan is out cheaply for 5 runs. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images5th over: England 43-1 (Roy 12, Malan 1) Roy clobbers Ngidi to long-on for a one-bounce four, an effective if not entirely convincing stroke.

“Never mind the French gentleman’s achievement in smashing back-to-back centuries,” says Tom Van der Gucht, “I was equally as impressed by his name – Gustav McKeon. That’s a moniker destined for greatness. It sounds like a villain from a Pixar film. And the guy who emailed in was called Romeo too, just to add extra intrigue and an air of romance to proceedings.”

You’re bringing plenty to the party yourself, TVdG.

4th over: England 37-1 (Roy 7, Malan 0) Roy started with that lovely boundary but hasn’t timed it since. He has 7 from 10 balls, Malan 0 from 0.

WICKET! England 37-1 (Buttler c Hendricks b Phehlukwayo 29)Jos Buttler goes for a spectacular 14-ball 29. He smashed Phehlukwayo for successive sixes over long-on off the back foot, two awesome shots, then drove four more over mid-off. But he got slightly carried away and launched the next ball miles in the air towards midwicket. Hendricks kept his nerve and took a calm catch. Credit to Phehlukwayo, too, for bowling a very good slower ball after disappearing for 16 off his first three balls.

Joe Butler is out for 29 Photograph: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans/ShutterstockReeza Hendricks takes the catch. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images3rd over: England 21-0 (Roy 7, Buttler 13) Buttler swats Rabada to cow corner for a big six, the kind of shot that was once incredible and is now almost mundane. Eleven from the over.

Jos Buttler hits a six. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters2nd over: England 10-0 (Roy 6, Buttler 3) Lungi Ngidi, who took the most expensive five-for in T20I history yesterday, shares the new ball. Buttler slices a slower ball in the air but well short of Rabada on the third boundary. An excellent start from Ngidi, just four from it. His slower balls are like soap in the bath.

“How many players have scored centuries in two consecutive men’s T20I matches?” says Romeo.

I had no idea until I looked it up. What a great story.

1st over: England 6-0 (Roy 5, Buttler 0) In fact it’s KG Rabada who opens the bowling. His first ball is an offside wide; his first legitimate delivery is timed beautifully to the point boundary by Jason Roy. That’s a promising start for a player who has been in desperate form.

The rest of the over passes without incident.

“Is there something to be said for batters getting out at regular intervals in the T20 format?” says Brendan Large. “Of course you need to get in but I think another batter at the crease, who’d maybe been there for three overs for example, would’ve got more off those last overs, compared to Rossouw.”

There is a growing culture of ‘retired outs’, though it’s usually for people who are struggling rather than those who are 80-odd not out.

The players are back out, already, and Lungi Ngidi has the ball.

20th over: South Africa 207-3 (Rossouw 96, Stubbs 15) A sensational last over from Chris Jordan goes for just four runs. Roussouw needed a boundary off the final delivery to reach a century but was beaten by a textbook wide yorker. He hammered 96 from 55 balls; Stubbs, more subdued today, made 15 from 12.

England need 208 to win.

19th over: South Africa 203-3 (Rossouw 93, Stubbs 14) Sam Curran has the misfortune to bowl the penultimate over. Stubbs belts him down the ground for six, then survives a run-out chance to the bowler. That six is the only boundary from a pretty good over by Curran, even if it did go for 12. He finishes with figures of 4-0-38-0.

Sam Curran in action. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters18th over: South Africa 191-3 (Rossouw 90, Stubbs 7) Jordan doesn’t get his yorker right, and Rossouw beasts a full toss whence it came for his fifth six. Another full toss is bulldozed over extra cover for four more, and then Rossouw is nutmegged when he misses a ramp stroke at a wide yorker.

17th over: South Africa 176-3 (Rossouw 77, Stubbs 5) Stubbs slices Topley over cover, with the ball dropping short of Bairstow as he hares in from the boundary. Topley does very well to keep Stubbs quiet for the majority of the over: just six from it. In such a high-scoring game, an over like that can be decisive.

16th over: South Africa 170-3 (Rossouw 72, Stubbs 1) Rossouw is okay to continue – it looked bloody painful, mind you – and swishes the last ball over short third for four more. He has 76 from just 42 balls.

15.5 overs: South Africa 166-3 (Rossouw 72, Stubbs 1) Stubbs pulls his first ball for a single, but times it so sweetly that the commentators Mark Butcher and Eoin Morgan burst out laughing.

Rossouw, who is well and truly back in international cricket, smokes Gleeson over midwicket for six, then bludgeon a low full toss over mid-on for four.

The next ball is a wide yorker that knocks Rossouw over as he tries to play a ramp shot. He got in a tangle and ended up gloving the ball into his jaw, so there’s a break in play while he is checked by the physio.

15th over: South Africa 154-3 (Rossouw 61, Stubbs 0) A beautiful shot from Roussouw, who steers Jordan perfectly between short fine leg and backward point for four. The next ball goes to the boundary in more familiar style when Rossouw larrups a short ball round the corner. Eleven from the over.

WICKET! South Africa 143-3 (Klaasen c Malan b Jordan 19)A short, wide slower ball from Jordan is slapped to mid-off by Klaasen. He goes for a breezy 10-ball 19. The new batter is Tristan Stubbs, promoted up the order to keep the left/right combination.

Heinrich Klaasen is out for 19. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images14th over: South Africa 143-2 (Rossouw 50, Klaasen 19) A single off Topley takes Rossouw to an impressive, hard-hitting fifty from 32 balls. It’s his first in a T20 international since January 2015.

With Miller and Stubbs to come, South Africa are on course for a huge score here – probably 220+.

13th over: South Africa 136-2 (Rossouw 49, Klaasen 13) Rossouw reverse sweeps Rashid for four, then edges an almighty hack over the head of Buttler for four more.

It’s a very productive over for South Africa, even by the standards of this innings. Klaasen drives Rashid down the ground for six, even though he didn’t time it perfectly, and the usual scurrying between the wicket makes it 18 from the over.

12th over: South Africa 118-2 (Rossouw 40, Klaasen 4) The new batter Heinrich Klaasen pulls his first legitimate delivery round the corner for four.

WICKET! South Africa 112-2 (Hendricks c Bairstow b Gleeson 53)What a brilliant catch from Jonny Bairstow! Hendricks carted Gleeson towards deep backward square, where Bairstow took a very difficult two-handed catch over his shoulder and made sure he didn’t overbalance and touch the boundary sponge. That was immaculately judged.

Take a bow. Photograph: Ashley Western/Colorpsort/ShutterstockWhat a catch! Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images11th over: South Africa 109-1 (Hendricks 52, Rossouw 37) Hendricks scuffs Curran to short fine leg, where Gleeson puts down a slightly awkward two-handed chance to his right. He should still have taken it, but it wasn’t a sitter.

Earlier in the over Hendricks reached another stylish fifty, this one from 29 balls.

Reeza Hendricks celebrates his half century. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock10th over: South Africa 100-1 (Hendricks 44, Rossouw 37) Jos Buttler turns to Chris Jordan, who bowled so well last night. There’s a minor controversy when Rossouw survives a review for caught behind after gloving a short ball down the leg side. Buttler thought he took it cleanly just above the ground; the third umpire Alex Wharf disagreed.

Earlier in the over, Rossouw clubbed successive deliveries to long-on for four and six. He has 37 from 24 balls, Hendricks 44 from 25.

9th over: South Africa 87-1 (Hendricks 42, Rossouw 26) A wider delivery from Rashid is screamed over extra cover for four by Hendricks, who is batting with such certainty and confidence. Rossouw then swishes a big six over long-off, into the River Taff, and there are 13 from the over. I feel like I’ve said that a few times already tonight.

Reeza Hendricks smacks one to the rope. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images8th over: South Africa 74-1 (Hendricks 36, Rossouw 19) It feels like another 200+ evening. Hendricks charges Moeen and drives another six over mid-off; across the two games in Bristol and Cardiff he has made 93 from 53 balls.

7th over: South Africa 65-1 (Hendricks 28, Rossouw 18) Adil Rashid usually comes on straight after the Powerplay and today is not exception. He beats the left-handed Rossouw with a delicious googly, though that’s the only dot ball in the over: 4×1, 1×3.

6th over: South Africa 58-1 (Hendricks 23, Rossouw 16) Rapid Ricky Gleeson comes on for Moeen, and soon gives Rossouw the hurry-up with a sharp, short delivery. Rossouw responds by using the pace to help a leg-stump delivery round the corner for six. A pristine cover drive for four makes it 13 from the over.

5th over: South Africa 45-1 (Hendricks 22, Rossouw 5) A yorker outside leg stump from Topley is put away for four by Rossouw, though the next ball is a snorter that trampolines past the edge. Topley has a decent jaffa ratio.

In fact, the first delivery aside that was a terrific over from Topley, with only a leg-bye from the last five balls.

4th over: South Africa 40-1 (Hendricks 20, Rossouw 1)

WICKET! South Africa 39-1 (de Kock c Roy b Ali 15)Sound the match-up klaxon. Jos Buttler brings Moeen Ali on with the left-handed Quinton de Kock in mind, and de Kock obligingly clunks the fifth ball to mid-on.

Quinton de Kock serves up a dolly to Jason Roy at mid-on off the bowling of Moeen. Gone for 15. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock3rd over: South Africa 32-0 (de Kock 14, Hendricks 16) There’s the first six, pulled elegantly over square leg by Hendricks off Curran. The next ball goes for four as well, flicked easily to fine leg.

I’m already starting to feel a bit punch drunk, trying to describe all these boundaries, so frick knows what it’s like to be the bowler. Thirteen from Curran’s second over.

2nd over: South Africa 19-0 (de Kock 13, Hendricks 4) Reece Topley shares the new ball. He’s having a belting summer, with 19 wickets at 16 across both white-ball formats, and has jumped the queue for a place in the starting XI at the World T20.

His first over here isn’t the best. There are a couple of wides and then successive boundaries for de Kock, launched effortlessly over midwicket and cover. Fourteen from the over.

Reece Topley is a little wayward with his first over. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images1st over: South Africa 5-0 (de Kock 2, Hendricks 3) Curran bustles in with that familiar cartoon grimace. There’s a hint of swing – maybe an insinuation, no more than that – and the South African openers decide to have a look for a few deliveries. Three singles, one two and a nice last delivery from Curran that beats Hendricks.

Right, the players are ready, the sun is out, and Sam Curran has a white ball in his hand.

County Championship

The top three in Division One have all won, which means Surrey are still in charge of the title race. Emma John was at the Oval to watch them beat the champions Warwickshire in a fascinating game.

Here’s Simon Burnton’s report from last night

Team newsBoth teams are unchanged, which makes my job cut-and-pastingly easy.

England Roy, Buttler (c/wk), Malan, Bairstow, Ali, Livingstone, Curran, Jordan, Rashid, Topley, Gleeson.

South Africa de Kock (wk), Hendricks, Rossouw, Klaasen, Miller (c), Stubbs, Phehlukwayo, Rabada, Maharaj, Ngidi, Shamsi.

Jos Buttler has won a toss!And England will bowl first. That’s the first toss Buttler has won in eight games.

Jos Buttler wins the toss and puts South Africa in to bat. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesPreambleThe first T2o international in England was played at Southampton on 13 June 2005, a joyous pre-Ashes occasion in which England hammered Australia and Darren Gough spurned the chance of a hat-trick so that he could snarl at Andrew Symonds. In that game there were precisely three sixes, one by Kevin Pietersen and two by Paul Collingwood.

Things escalated quickly. Two years later there were 14 in a game against West Indies, and that was without Chris Gayle hitting any. The record for most sixes in a T20I in England kept rising: 23 v Australia in 2013, 27 v Pakistan last year and then, last night, 29 against South Africa.

Tonight, we should expect another orgy of six-hitting in Cardiff. The boundaries are short, especially straight, and a number of batters got their eye in last night. They might not break the record, but they’ll give it a good crack.

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