England found the way to lose the first T20 against South Africa. I don't want to do a disservice to South Africa or Ngidi who bowled extremely well, but after 14 overs there should have been only one winner. In fact, once Morgan hit 14 in 3 balls to reduce the run rate to a run a ball, it should have been over.
We reviewed the game here, but this post is all about ratings. So let's get into it.
Jason Roy - 8
70 runs off 38 balls - 184 strikes rate
1 dropped catch
Roy was impressive with the bat, easing in and then punishing the South African bowlers. He hit 7 boundaries and 3 sixes and J.J Smuts won't want to bowl to him again anytime soon. He did put down an easy catch in the field, but he more than made up for that with the bat. Gave his wicket away cheaply trying to hit a slower ball that he should have just left alone.
Jos Buttler - 6
15 runs off 10 balls - 150 strike rate
Wasn't really able to impact the game at all. Hit 3 nice boundaries and then holed out off the bowling of Steyn. Questions will be asked about his position in the line-up, I understand the reasoning and logic of playing him as an opener, but for the composition of the team, he needs to move down to a finisher role. Wasn't an overly exciting night for Jos.
Jonny Bairstow - 6.5
23 runs off 19 balls - 121 strike rate
At one point it looked as though Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow were going to take the game away from South Africa, but he just got his bat down a little late on a Phehlukwayo ball that nipped back in towards the pads. You want more than 23 runs from Jonny, but he looked quite comfortable at the crease and he made a very nice diving catch to get rid of vd Dussen.
Eoin Morgan - 7
52 runs off 34 balls - 152 strike rate
This was the hardest rating to give. Morgan played really well with the bat, a strike rate north of 150 is good and he got England back into the game with 3 quick boundaries off Hendricks. Problem is he got us to a position where we could just knock balls into the gaps and coast to victory, then he went for another big shot and holed out. Captain needs to lead by example and that was poor situational batting.
Joe Denly - 3
3 runs off 4 balls - 75 strike rate
I'm not sure why he played. I'm not sure why he came in ahead of Stokes. I'm not sure what Denly brings to the England T20 side. He didn't bowl a single over, he only scored 3 runs and he allowed a ball to roll under his legs to the boundary, awarding South Africa a very handy 3 bonus runs. He did take a straight forward catch, so we'll give him that, but he shouldn't be near the T20 side when players like Malan, Banton, Hales, Salt are all available.
Ben Stokes - 5.5
4 runs off 7 balls - 57 strike rate
3 overs, 1 wicket, 24 runs, 8.00 economy
It's another poor outing with the bat for Ben Stokes in T20. He's excelled in other formats of the game, but he can't quite nail down that T20 score. I thought his bowling was good, he got the good wicket of vd Dussen, but we need more from his batting. There is an argument for dropping him down the lineup in T20 if you have Buttler moving down. Roy, Bairstow, Malan, Morgan, Buttler, Stokes is probably the way forward.
Moeen Ali - 7
5 runs off 5 balls - 100 strike rate
4 overs, 1 wicket, 24 runs, 5.50 economy
First up his batting wasn't good enough. He took a couple of wild swings when all he needed to do was guide the ball into gaps. One resulted in a dot ball, the other his wicket. He's a much better batsman than that. Saying that he was tremendous with the ball. Superb economy rate, he helped stem the runs and he got the big wicket of de Kock.
Tom Curran - 4.5
2 runs off 2 balls - 100 strike rate
3 overs, 1 wicket, 41 runs, 13.67 economy rate
This really wasn't Curran's night. He was targeted early by Bavuma and de Kock and it took him a while to get his variations right. Going for over 13 an over is a killer in T20 and he'll know he can bowl better than that. It was the way he gave his wicket away that was frustrating to see. Tom can be very handy with the bat, however today he tried to go for the big shot and was yet another player who didn't understand that just moving the balls into the gaps was the intelligent and safer way to win that game.
Chris Jordan - 7.5
0 runs off 0 balls
3 overs, 2 wickets, 28 runs, 9.33 economy
1 run out. 1 catch
Jordan was targeted in his first over, but he came back brilliantly at the end. His line and length in the final over were superb. He got 2 big wickets and got the easy run out when the ball was hit straight back to him. He also took a very nice catch over his shoulder running towards the boundary. I wasn't able to alter the game with the bat, and even though his economy was a little higher than you'd want, I thought his all-around game was very good.
Adil Rashid - 8
1 run off 1 ball - 100 strike rate
4 overs, 1 wicket, 23 runs, 5.75 economy
Another outstanding performance from Rash with the ball. He came on at a time where South Africa were motoring and he not only stemmed the flow of runs, he also got a huge wicket in Bavuma who looked extremely dangerous. He's our best T20 bowler for me and he was unlucky not to get more wickets. He had 2-3 LBW shouts turned down by the umpire which looked good.
Mark Wood - 6.5
Did not bat
3 overs, 1 wicket, 32 runs, 10.67 economy
First of all, I'll just say that his final over was superb. He restricted South Africa with some variation and a perfect length. He also got a very important wicket getting Smuts to chip to Stokes. I also think Morgan should have sent Wood in to face the final ball instead of Rashid. He did, however, start very wildly and was a little fortunate to still be in the game. A high full toss resulted in a no-ball and a warning, the very next ball resulted in another high full toss that was deemed (rather fortunately I thought) to be below waist height. He was rusty, but he showed at the end the value he will bring.