By Lee Dolbear
- Joe Root inspires England
- Australia lose to New Zealand
- India v Pakistan later today
MUMBAI, INDIA – England brilliance blasted a world record chase to beat South Africa in Group 1, Kiwis keep 100% record by sinking Australia in Group 2
An amazing world T20 record run chase landed England the deserved spoils at Eden Gardens on Friday when they reached the 230 target set by South Africa after Eoin Morgan asked the Proteas to bat.
South Africa openers Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla showed little mercy as they ruthlessly bludgeoned 96 between them before De Kock (52) holed out to Alex Hales off the bowling of Moeen Ali. Amla was in superb form too scoring 58 off 31 balls. It was a blistering platform and one that caught the eye.
JP Duminy and David Miller also found the boundaries on numerous occasions and South Africa after the 20 overs finished on a huge 229/4. Should England win the game the 230 target would be a world record chase down.
Jason Roy along with Hales quite simply laughed at the Protea attack in the powerplay, Roy in particular thrashing the ball to all parts of the ground, slamming 43 from 16 balls before he was caught behind by De Kock off a probing Kyle Abbott delivery. Hales (17) departed with the score at 71 and this was only from 4.3 overs. Ben Stokes scored a merry 15 before he fell.
The hero of the day though was Joe Root who dispatched some indifferent bowling to finish on 83 from 44 deliveries, which included 6 fours and 4 maximums. It was an innings to behold after the great work at the top the order. England finished victorious with a 2 wicket win with 2 balls to spare.
Today’s game was a pleasure to watch as a cricket fan and if you’d have invited a friend who had never seen or understood cricket before today then they would have loved what they observed.
Afterward England skipper Morgan told Sky Sports “I thought we would have to play out of our skin to chase down 230 – and we did just that. We have a lot of talent in our group and the best way for us to play is with freedom regardless of the situation, which we did tonight. The start we got from Hales and Roy was outstanding. We will now take a lot of positives forward but hopefully be savvier in the first six overs with the ball.”
Proteas captain Faf Du Plessis also told Sky Sports “We have played this game for long enough to know any score is chaseable – that was the message to our bowlers. We needed wickets up front but we didn’t get that and we bowled way too many extras. Our batting was superb, though.”
Over in Group 2 New Zealand beat the Aussies by 8 runs in Dharamsala to make it two wins on the bounce and surely now securing their place in the semi-finals, The kiwis won the toss, batted and posted 142/8 with Martin Guptill standing out with 39 runs from 27 deliveries.
Australia fell short by 8 runs thanks to some great bowling by Mitchell McClenaghan (3/17) who picked up Shane Watson, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Marsh.
Saturday’s game is a cracker, its back to Kolkata for India v Pakistan.
Stay tuned this will be spicy!