South Africa vs England 2020: Lungi Ngidi helps South Africa clinch last-ball thriller
South Africa: 177-8 (20 overs)
England: 176-9 (20 overs)
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South Africa were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as Lungi Ngidi successfully defended 7 runs off the final over to help his side win the game by one run.
Chasing 178 to win, Jason Roy got England off to a flying start and stitched crucial partnerships with Jonny Bairstow and skipper Eoin Morgan. South Africa took the crucial wickets of Roy, Joe Denly and Ben Stokes in the middle overs but skipper Morgan was determined to bat till the end and win the game for England.
Although he departed in the penultimate over, England needed just 7 runs needed off the last one. Yet Ngidi managed to concede just five runs, while picking up two wickets, and South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
Earlier, Temba Bavuma and skipper Quinton de Kock got South Africa off to a fantastic start. The highest score in the innings was 43 from Bavuma and yet the total team score was 177, which shows that each top-order batsman had a decent start and contributed a fair share to the total.
Andile Phehlukwayo provided the late impetus to the South African innings.
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Jason Roy's blazing 70
178 was a competitive target and England needed a good start from their openers in order to make their job easier. Roy has been England's enforcer at the top of the order for a while now and he showed exactly what he is capable of by hitting the South African bowlers all around the park.
England lost Jos Buttler early but Roy did not let the momentum slip away. He scored 70 off just 38 balls which included 7 fours and 3 sixes.
Roy's partnerships with Bairstow (23 off 19 balls) and Morgan (52 off 34 balls) put England in the driver's seat despite the fact that they lost a bunch of wickets towards the end of their innings.
Eoin Morgan's 52 took England to the cusp of victory
After losing Bairstow, skipper Morgan played second fiddle to Roy who was hitting the ball really well, and focused on consolidating the England innings. Once Roy was dismissed and Joe Denly and Ben Stokes soon followed, Morgan knew that he needed to be there till the very end to help England win the game.
He began to take the game by the scruff of its neck and attacked the South African bowlers. He scored 52 off just 34 balls, and though he was dismissed in the penultimate over, he had made sure that England were firm favourites to win the game with just 7 runs required off the last over.
Lungi Ngidi bowls South Africa to victory
Ngidi had already picked up the wicket of the dangerous Ben Stokes and yet South Africa looked second favourites to win the game with just seven runs required off the last over. After conceding two runs off the first ball, Ngidi picked up the wicket of Tom Curran who was caught by David Miller, giving South Africa hope.
The next two balls yielded two runs and the equation was now down to three required off the last two balls. With Moeen Ali on strike, England would've still backed themselves to score these runs.
ever, Ngdi cleaned Ali up which brought all the pressure back on the new batsman Adil Rashid - who had to score three runs off the last ball. On the last ball only one run could be completed as Rashid was run out while trying to complete the second run.
The South African dressing room went into absolute delirium as they pulled off a miraculous win, while the England camp was in disbelief.
Ngidi ended up with figures of 3/30 and turned the game on its head with that brilliant final over. Thus, he was rightly adjudged as the player of the match.
He showed composure under pressure and executed his plans to perfection. Here were his thoughts after the game -
Wasn't a great day and as a cricketer you'd have bad days and the last ball I told myself: run in as hard as you can and hit the length and the wickets were falling and they were on the back foot. The Pink day wasn't great, but that's how you bounce back. Not panicking under pressure is the key and I was told my job is to get wickets and that's what I want to do.Published 13 Feb 2020, 02:40 IST