England stun South Africa in highest World T20 run-chase
MUMBAI – England posted the highest successful run chase ever at a World Twenty20 tournament with Joe Root smashing 83 as they overhauled an improbable South Africa total by two wickets in a run-fest on Friday.
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla struck half-centuries at the top while JP Duminy provided the late assault with an unbeaten fifty as South Africa posted a massive 229-4 after put in to bat in their Group One match at the Wankhede Stadium.
If South Africa, considered one of the favourites for the tournament, would have hoped they have had amassed enough runs, they were in for a rude shock as England went after their bowlers with nothing but attack on their minds.
England looked comfortable for most part of their chase before losing three wickets in seven balls towards the end but eventually reached their target with two balls to spare.
Jason Roy (43) and Alex Hales gave England a rollicking start, posting 48 in just 15 deliveries before both were out to paceman Kyle Abbott.
England broke a few team records as they looked to maintain their batting tempo though leg-spinner Imran Tahir tempered it with 1-28 in his four overs.
But Root, who was out in the penultimate over, hit six boundaries and four sixes in his 44-ball knock and added 75 for the fifth wicket with Jos Buttler (21), bringing the sizeable crowd to their feet.
England were on the receiving end of a brutal onslaught from West Indies opener Chris Gayle during Wednesday’s defeat when their spinners struggled to grip the wet ball and that prompted captain Eoin Morgan to field after winning the toss.
But Amla (58) and De Kock (52) tormented the English bowlers, plundering 96 runs off seven overs during an explosive opening stand.
South Africa opted to use Amla and De Kock as openers and it proved it was the right decision from the onset.
De Kock, who thrashed David Willey for 20 in the third over, hit seven fours and three sixes during his 24-ball knock before he fell to off-spinner Moeen Ali.
Amla, who was dropped on nine by Reece Topley off Ali, hit an identical number of boundaries before falling to the off-spinner.
Duminy (54 not out) and David Miller (28 not out) provided the finishing touches for South Africa with an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 60.
England paceman Chris Jordan conceded four fours and a six in the fifth over and finished with figures of 0-49 in three overs. Topley gave away 33 in his two overs. –Reuters