Rilee’s power and precison and Shamsi comeback leads SA win

Rilee Rossouw batted with power and precision and Tabraiz Shamsi bounced back superbly from his mauling in the first match as South Africa levelled the T20 series with an impressive 58-run win over England at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Thursday night.

Given how comprehensively they were outplayed in the first T20, the Proteas surprisingly fielded an unchanged XI and Rossouw, who scored just 4 in his comeback match, made the most of his second chance with a fiery 96 not out off 55 balls leading the tourists to a sizeable 207/3 after they had been sent in to bat.

Wrist-spinner Shamsi, who went for 49 runs in three overs in the Bristol battering, was the key bowler for South Africa, taking 3/27 in his four overs. That included the key wicket of Moeen Ali, who blasted England’s fastest ever T20 half-century in the first match and looked in similar touch in Cardiff as he blitzed 28 off 17 balls before Keshav Maharaj took a brilliant catch, running and diving at long-off.

It typified a vastly improved fielding effort by the Proteas as well, and when Sam Curran (2) fell to the same combination in the same over, England had slipped to 92/5 after 11 overs.

Reeza fulfils desire

Earlier, Reeza Hendricks continued to fulfil the desire of the Proteas management for more aggression up front, stroking a fluent, impressive 53 off 32 balls up front.

He dovetailed brilliantly with Rossouw, the pair adding 73 in 7.4 overs for the second wicket.

The left-handed Rossouw showed his power game as he launched five sixes, but he also produced some superb touches that created some of his 10 fours.

Also read: Rilee Rossouw’s Proteas return – ‘He’s a match winner,’ says Miller

Captain Jos Buttler gave England the rapid start they wanted with 29 off 14 balls, but Andile Phehlukwayo, another who rebounded extremely well with three wickets, had him caught off a leading edge.

Spinners Shamsi and Maharaj, with the important wicket of Dawid Malan (5) then did their job, and it was left to the outstanding Lungi Ngidi (2.4-0-11-2) to wrap up the game, England being bowled out for 149 inside 17 overs.

Also read: Some consolation for Stubbs, as Proteas are hammered in T20 clash