England thrash South Africa to set up ODI series decider

By Sports Desk July 22, 2022

Reece Topley made a big impact once again as England thrashed South Africa by 118 runs in a rain-affected second one-day international to level the series.

The Proteas won the opener on a sweltering Tuesday at Chester-le-Street, but it was a very different story on a gloomy Friday at Old Trafford.

Liam Livingstone top-scored with 38 on his home ground and Sam Curran made a quickfire 35 from 18 balls as England were all out for 201 in a match reduced to 29 overs per side, Dwaine Pretorius taking 4-36.

Topley (2-17) and David Willey (1-9) were then outstanding with the new ball before spinners Adil Rashid (3-29) and Moeen Ali (2-22) did damage as South Africa were skittled out for 83 in 24.3 overs, setting up a decider at Headingley on Sunday.

Anrich Nortje removed Jason Roy in the third over after Keshav Maharaj won the toss and put England in. A delayed start occurred due to the miserable weather, but England were going well on 49-1 at the end of the powerplay.

The excellent Pretorius (4-36) then came into the attack to dismiss Phil Salt before getting Joe Root caught behind for only one and bowling a well-set Jonny Bairstow (28) in the same over.

Tabraiz Shamsi (2-39) ended a scratchy knock from Jos Buttler to reduce the world champions to 101-6, but Livingstone and Curran cut loose before Willey chipped in with a run-a-ball 21.

The Proteas made a nightmare start to their run chase, Topley sending Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen on their way without scoring in a brilliant third over.

Willey got in on the act by getting Quinton de Kock caught by Livingstone and the tourists were in disarray on 6-4 when Aiden Markram was superbly run out by Buttler without facing a ball.

Heinrich Klaasen (33) was starting to motor before he was stumped when charging Moeen, and Rashid tormented South Africa as they were bowled out for their joint-second lowest ODI total, having also been skittled out for 83 by England at Trent Bridge in 2008.

 

Pretorius takes his chance

All-rounder Pretorius was a concussion replacement for Andile Phehlukwayo in the first match of the series on Tuesday and was given the nod to play in Manchester.

The 33-year-old took his opportunity with both hands by recording his best ODI bowling figures, settling on a good line and length as he dismissed the clean-striking Salt before claiming the big scalps of Root and Bairstow.


Paceman becoming England's Top man 

Topley almost retired due to injury, but the left-arm paceman is very much making up for so much lost time.

After claiming the best bowling figures by an Englishman in the 50-over format with 6-24 against India at Lord's, he returned to the side after missing out in Durham and set the tone with the ball along with Willey.

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    Having struggled in his previous five innings in England's seven-match T20I series, when managing just 59 runs, Salt hit a blistering 88 not out from 41 deliveries on Friday.

    Salt reached a half-century in 19 balls – the third-fastest by an England player in the format – as the tourists levelled up the series at 3-3 in Lahore.

    That set up a decider on Sunday, when Salt will have another chance to underline his credentials to retain his spot at the top of the order at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

    "I'm very grateful for the backing I've got from my team-mates and the management. It's very clear the way they want me to play," the 26-year-old said.

    "The way I play is aggressive and I want to win as many games as possible while I'm in an England shirt. 

    "The first few games haven't gone to plan – I've been finding ways to get out, hitting fielders or whatever – but it's nice to come up with a performance like that in a big game.

    “It's always a challenge at the top of the order when you feel like you're playing well but you're picking out fielders and finding ways to get out.

    "It was definitely [my best T20 innings] and it was nice to do it with the series in the balance."

    With Jos Buttler due to return from injury in time for the World Cup, Salt is realistically in competition with Alex Hales over partnering the white-ball skipper.

    "You need competition. The best sides in the world have competition and you can't get away from that – it's the same in any sport," Salt added.

    "Everyone is trying to put their best foot forwards and show the coaching team and the team-mates how good they are.

    "I'm not looking too far into the future; I'm just focused on the next game in a couple of days' time."

    Salt's destruction of the Pakistan attack came after home captain Babar Azam had hit an unbeaten 87 to set England a target of 170 for victory.

    Babar became the first Pakistan batter to reach 3,000 T20I runs during his half-century, doing so in the absence of the rested Mohammad Rizwan.

    He is the fifth men's player to reach that milestone in the format and the joint-quickest to do so alongside India great Virat Kohli.

    Reflecting on what was ultimately a disappointing day for his side, however, Babar said: "After losing a couple of early wickets, we thought 170 was a good score. 

    "Maybe we were 10 runs or so short, but the way Salt batted in the first four or five overs, they took the game away from us. 

    "The way they used the powerplay was the turnaround today. I think the middle-order needs to step up, they need to take responsibility."

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    Phil Salt hit a blistering 88 as England beat Pakistan by eight wickets on Friday to level up their seven-match T20I series at 3-3 in Lahore.

    Pakistan recovered from a slow start that saw them 15-2 at one point to post 169-6 at the Gaddafi Stadium, thanks in large to the brilliant Babar Azam (87 not out).

    But England made easy work of the chase as they reached 100 from seven overs to set up a decider on Sunday.

    Without in-form Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan initially struggled as Mohammad Haris (7) and Shan Masood (0) fell early on, leaving Babar to do much of the leg work.

    Haider Ali (18), Iftikhar Ahmed (31) and Asif Ali took their side to 136-4, but the latter upper cut to Reece Topley for nine runs and Mohammad Nawaz (12) followed soon after.

    Babar's 87 did at least give England something to think about, but Salt and Alex Hales put on an opening partnership of 55 off 23 balls, before the latter was removed for 27.

    Salt reached his half-century off just 19 balls en route to an unbeaten 88, including the decisive shot as England posted 170-2 to level things up.

    Babar brilliance not enough

    Pakistan were without run machine Rizwan but Babar stepped up with 87 runs off 59 balls, which included three sixes and seven fours.

    Babar surpassed a milestone 3,000 T20I runs in the process, yet it was not enough to steer the hosts to an unassailable series lead.

    England ease to victory

    The tourists were set 170 to avoid a third successive T20I defeat to Pakistan for the first time ever and had no trouble in reaching that target.

    Only once before – against New Zealand in November 2019 (6.4 overs in a game reduced by rain to 11 overs) – have England previously reached 100 from seven overs.

    Salt played a key part in that as he underlined his credentials to partner Jos Buttler at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

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