England levelled the series against South Africa with a 2 wicket win in Johannesburg yesterday. Although it was a little tight at the end, England did chase the score down with 40 balls to spare.
England captain Eoin Morgan was open in saying that they would have liked to chase the score down with only 4/5 down instead of 6. Despite this, it was a good performance by the England team, here are our player ratings:
Adil Rashid 9.5/10 - Rashid proved why he's so important to this England team. With his shoulder looking a lot better, he was able to fizz the ball in. He got the wickets of de Kock and Bavuma (and vd Dussen, but that's another story). I can't remember him bowling a bad ball until his 8th over and then I can't remember a bad one after that. He also had a run out to his name. Not a bad day's work for Adil.
Mooen Ali 8/10 - He came on in the middle overs and bowled beautifully, not giving the South African bowlers a sniff. He got the big wicket of vd Dussen and only going for 42 runs in his 10 overs was huge in stifling the South African run score. he also batting with restraint and saw the team home with 17*.
Joe Denly 8/10 - Joe Denly is just one of those characters who gets the job done. He's not flashy, but after England lost 3 quick wickets, Denly combined with Root to steady the ship and put England in a dominant position. He scored a vital 66 and moved England to a position where it was hard to lose.
Jonny Bairstow 8/10 - 43 runs, 23 balls. That speaks volumes, I think we all thought that Jonny was going to go on and make a big score, he was timing the ball perfectly and every single time Ngidi strayed, he was punished. That was Jonny at his free-flowing best and he got England off to the perfect start, reducing the pressure on the middle order to score quickly.
Saqib Mahmood 8/10 - What an impressive performance to start off with. Taking the new ball and getting the early wicket of Hendricks. He was economical in his overs, only going for 17 runs in 5 overs for a 3.40 rate which is tremendous. Was getting into the high 80's on the gun and looked like a great addition to the side. Can't wait to see him develop.
Tom Banton 7.5/10 - Banton showed glimpses of what we can expect to see from him. 32 runs in 32 balls including four boundaries and a big six. You can't try and limit Banton to play a different way, as then you lose what makes him so special. He also made a couple of nice stops in the field, one which resulted in the run out of Smuts.
Joe Root 7.5/10 - Root was a little expensive in his first spell, but he came back well in his 2nd and bowled a couple of very nice overs. overall he bowled 7 overs for 42 runs at an economy of 6.00. He was key to England recovering after the loss of 3 quick wickets but he'll be disappointed to be out on 49 trying to turn one around the corner. Not the best time or best way to give up his wicket.
Tom Curran 7.5/10 - I thought Curran bowled superbly. 38 runs in just 9 overs for an economy rate of 4.22. He'll be disappointed to not get a wicket and only pick up 5 runs as he is very decent with the bat, but he's in there for his bowling and I thought he did a fine job.
Eoin Morgan 6.5/10 - Morgan had another quiet day with the bat, scoring just 9 runs before punching a simple catch back to the bowler. The reason I've given him a higher score than Roy is because of his use of his bowlers. Maybe he should have given Mahmood a few more overs and Jordan got punished at the end. However he introduced Moeen and Rashid at the perfect time and that really stinted South Africa's progress.
Jason Roy 6/10 - Roy had to play 2nd fiddle to his opening partner with Bairstow taking the game away from South Africa in a hurry. It looked as though Roy was just starting to warm up before miscuing a ball that flew high into the air. With the ball coming onto the bat nicely, this game was made for Roy, but he was unable to capitalise this time.
Chris Jordan 6/10 - It was a game of two halves for Jordan. I thought in his first spell he bowled relatively well, all be it with a few wides after losing his length. However his 2nd spell was expensive at the death as he was targeted heavily by David Miller. He was the most expensive England bowler at 6.56 and didn't have time to contribute with the bat.