What a game of cricket, is it any wonder that T20 is quickly becoming the go-to form of cricket for new fans? Over 400 runs scored, the third game in a row that went down to the final over, we were treated to something special at Centurion yesterday.
At the start of this series, England captain Eoin Morgan said he wanted his team to be tested, and the new-look South African’s under Quinton de Kock certainly tested them.
Chasing down a 220+ run total will give the England lads a lot of confidence heading into the World Cup in Australia later this year. The track was great, and the ball does fly at centurion, but still. Let's get to the player ratings
Jason Roy 6/10
7 runs off 4 balls, 175 strike rate
Not his day today, but you can’t score runs every game. He hit a beautiful six and then just couldn’t get good contact on a ball that looped into the air. Usually, you’d back Roy to make some serious runs on a track like that, but he’s still one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. He also made a couple of nice stops in the field which stuck in my mind.
Jos Buttler 8/10
57 runs off 29 balls, 197 strike rate
That was the Jos we were all waiting to see this series. It didn’t go his way in the first two games, but when he hits the ball, it stays hit. He didn’t middle too many shots yesterday, but he’s so powerful that even balls from the toe of his bat fly over the ropes. The truth is you can bat Jos anywhere in the lineup, but yesterday showed why Morgan likes him at the top of the order.
Jonny Bairstow 8.5/10
64 runs off 34 balls, 188 strike rate
I thought Jonny was exceptional today. Bairstow in short-form is just a please to watch, he treated the South African bowlers with disdain and although I could say he clubbed them away, I think it would do his an injustice as some of his shots were beautifully struck. He’s also a player that gives absolutely everything in the field, which is exactly what you want.
Dawid Malan 6/10
11 runs off 12 balls, 91 strike rate
Finally, Malan got his chance but he looked like a player who hadn’t played a huge amount of cricket recently. He did have one beautiful drive through mid-off for a boundary, but he struggled to get his timing on the cut shot and Shamsi always looked as though he was going to get the wicket. I’m a huge Malan fan, but I’m not sure he’s going to get a lot of chances.
Eoin Morgan 9.5/10
57 runs off 22 balls, 259 strike rate
Morgan was just tremendous today, he took the game by the scruff of the neck and accelerated England to victory. His sixes to the leg-side were stunningly struck and whereas he gave his wicket away at the worst time in game 1, he stuck around and saw England over the line at Centurion. He’s in superb form at the moment, let’s hope he maintains that throughout the year.
Ben Stokes 8/10
22 runs off 12 balls, 182 strike rate
4 overs, 35 runs, 2 wickets, 8.75 economy
Only a couple of bowlers got away without getting battered yesterday and Ben Stokes was one of them. He bowled really well and got the massive wicket of de Kock as he was starting to accelerate. He may have only hit 22 runs, but they were key runs in the context of the game and his partnership with Morgan took England closer.
Moeen Ali 7/10
5 runs off 2 balls, 250 strike rate
1 over, 11 runs, 11.00 economy
It was a quiet day for Mo, he came in and scored the winning runs and bowled one relatively tidy over at the start of the game. Other than that he wasn’t called on to do too much. I thought Moeen may get another inning in the middle with the England pacers struggling, but it wasn’t to be. Quiet but productive day for Mo, and it’s just good to see him enjoying his cricket.
Chris Jordan 6/10
4 overs for 49 runs, 12.25 economy
Even Jordan’s bowling got a little bit wild at points, and that’s when you know the pressure is really on. He got through 4 overs, but went for 49 runs, the 2nd highest economy rate of any England bowler. He bowled a couple in the arc, but I didn’t think he bowled that badly to be perfectly honest, but even if you’re off by a few inches, the ball can disappear at Centurion.
Tom Curran 8/10
4 overs for 33 runs, 2 wickets, 8.25 economy
Tom bowled superbly throughout this game, even with the pressure on he managed to get 2 wickets and keep his economy down at 8.25. He’s obviously been working on his yorker and slower deliveries and I thought he controlled his game when others around him were losing their heads. He also got the huge wicket of Klassen.
Adil Rashid 7.5/10
4 overs for 42 runs, 1 wicket, 10.50 economy
I thought Adil bowled well, at some points he got hit, but that’s expected. However, his economy for Centurion wasn’t too bad and more importantly, he got the wicket of Bavuma with a beautiful delivery that the dangerous South African just failed to pick up. He’s one of the first names on the team sheet for me.
Mark Wood 5/10
3 overs for 47 runs, 1 wicket, 15.67
It just wasn’t his day. He was wild throughout failing to spot his yorker and missing with line and length most of the afternoon. Over 15 run economy for Wood, but T20 is very unforgiving for bowlers. He’s a superb talent and he’ll come back from this, although he may not want to bowl at Centurion very often.