South Africa Beat England by 1 Run in First T20


Oh, England. Coasting towards victory, the boys in red somehow managed to lose the first T20 against South Africa at Buffalo Park in East London.


England got off to a horrendous start with Quinton de Kock and Bavuma racing out of the gates, targeting some wild and off-line bowling by Tom Curran and Mark Wood.


South Africa were in a commanding position, reaching 48-0 after just 4 overs. With South Africa heading towards a score of 200, England introduced spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid to the attack


The spin twins slowed South African's run rate considerably with Mo getting the big wicket of de Kock, and Rashid getting Temba Bavuma.


England managed to restrict South Africa to 177 runs despite some poor fielding with Joe Denly allowing a ball to squirm through his legs and Jason Roy dropping a straight forward catch.


Roy more than made up for his drop, hitting 70 runs off 38 balls for a strike rate of 184. With England reaching 132-2, they were well on their way to a victory. Roy then tried to direct a slow bouncer and only managed to loop it into the air and into the waiting hands of Ngidi.


Following Roys wicket, a number of England batsmen played questionable shots, giving their wicket away when they just needed to manage the run chase.


A big talking point was the dismissal of England captain Eoin Morgan with Hendricks appearing to step over the line, Replays suggested there was no boot behind the line, but Morgan was given out anyway. Yet another puzzling umpire decision on this tour.


Denly, Stokes, Moeen and Tom Curran scored a combined 14 runs through England's middle order. Despite this, England required just 7 runs from the final over, but some questionable shots resulted in England losing the game by a single run.


Opinion


This is what it comes down to


Poor team selection

Poor situational batting

Poor fielding


On one hand, you have a player with an average hovering around 11. On the other, you have a guy averaging around 57. The Guy who averages 11 plays and fails, the guy who averages 57 is left running drinks.


I'm not sure what Dawid Malan has done to Eoin Morgan. Maybe the England captain hasn't forgiven him for leaving Middlesex, but in no universe can you justify picking Joe Denly in T20 ahead of Malan. Morgan said the best XI would play, he lied. I would question whether Joe Denly was in the best XV let alone the starting lineup.


England let the game drift through the middle overs, where Shamsi tightened the screw but you always for the impression they were one power hitter short today. It wasn't that England lost the game, it's the manner in which they lost the game that is so frustrating.


I argued for Buttler to open, but if the choice to not play Malan was down to the fact he's a top-order batsmen, then you have to move him down to a finishers role and insert Bairstow into the opening two and play Malan at three.


We lose the first test and went on to win the series. We loset the first ODI and came back to draw the series. We've lost the first T20, and I fully expect us to go on and win this series.

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