Buttler: Powerplay cost England against South Africa

By Sports Desk June 21, 2024

England captain Jos Buttler believes his side lost their match against South Africa in the powerplay after losing by seven runs in the Super 8s.

South Africa registered their second-most productive powerplay in the tournament so far, with Quinton de Kock proving invaluable with 49 runs during that time.

In England's powerplay, they managed to get just 41 runs, their lowest such tally of the year, and though they pushed late on, they came up just short in the chase.

Buttler admitted that in hindsight, it was South Africa's start that cost England in the end, despite giving themselves a reachable target.

"I'd say it was lost in the powerplay," Buttler said. "Quinton de Kock came out and played with really good intent, and we couldn't really match that. I think we were about 20 behind them at the end of our first six.

"The wicket did slow up, which allowed us to pull it back in the middle, and we were happy to be chasing 160. But yeah, that innings was the difference.

"It's still a good pitch but a little slower than we probably expected. I'm proud of how we responded with the ball after their good powerplay, and Brook and Livingstone had an excellent partnership there to take us so close.

"At one stage, we were favourites but T20 cricket is never that simple, and credit to South Africa for closing it out.

"We know we're still in it. We played well today; we just didn't quite get over the line."

De Kock, who finished on 65, was named Player of the Match for his impressive turn – he equalled the fastest half-century of the tournament (22 balls, level with USA's Aaron Jones), and broke his own record for the most runs in a powerplay by a South Africa batter at a men's T20 World Cup.

South Africa remain unbeaten in the tournament so far and have put themselves in a good position to qualify for the semi-finals, and De Kock was pleased with how they got the win on Friday.

"My plan was to just bat as long as I can and score as many runs I can," De Kock said. "That was pretty much it. I don't really carry or lose confidence; I just get on with my game. So that is what I focused on.

"I thought we bowled really well, especially in the powerplay. We controlled it really nicely. Overall, we were pretty solid and to defend on 160 on a decent pitch is a good effort."

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