South Africa clinched a last-over thriller versus England in Sharjah, but it wasn’t enough as they bowed out of the T20 World Cup 2021, with England and Australia qualifying for the semi-finals from Group 1 because of their superior net run rate.
Chasing 190, England got off to a brisk start with both Jos Buttler and Jason Roy stroking a flurry of boundaries of the South African bowlers. England raced to 37/0 off 4 overs before Roy walked off the field with a leg/hamstring injury and Moeen Ali came in to bat.
In the sixth over, Buttler thumped Anrich Nortje for a maximum but the speedster reverted with Buttler’s wicket, caught at mid-off. England, though, were still on top with 59/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Tabraiz Shamsi then brought the game in balance trapping Jonny Bairstow lbw in the 7th over. Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali put up a 51-run stand off 36 balls. Ali, after cracking three fours and two sixes, was dismissed by Shamsi, caught at long-on.
The required rate was up near 12 but was brought down soon as Malan then flexed his arms, lofting Dwaine Pretorius straight down the ground. It was the first three balls of Kagiso Rabada’s third over, the 16th of England’s innings, that Liam Livingstone unleashed his power, thwacking three big sixes.
Malan, though, fell in the next over to Pretorius after scoring 33 off 26 balls and the required rate rose back to over 12. Eoin Morgan took three boundaries in seven balls but saw Livingstone get dismissed by Pretorius. Woakes hurled Pretorius for a huge six over long-off leaving England needing 14 runs from the last over.
Rabada, who had conceded 45 in his three overs, had his revenge as he claimed a hat-trick: he had Woakes on the first ball, Morgan on the second, and Chris Jordan on the third – all caught in the deep. Just three runs came off the last three balls as South Africa won by 10 runs.
Earlier, Eoin Morgan had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Moeen Ali struck once again with the new ball in the tournament as he castled Reeza Hendricks in the third over. After that Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen forged a partnership.
Van der Dussen attacked Chris Woakes for a four and a six as South Africa reached 40/1 at the end of the powerplay. One boundary each came in the next five overs, taking the scoreboard to 85/1 at the 11-over mark but de Kock holed out to long-on while looking to go big against Adil Rashid.
Van der Dussen raised his fifty off 37 balls and started to attack the bowlers: he launched Mark Wood for a maximum and smacked a couple of big ones to Chris Woakes before hitting a six in the last two overs each.
Aiden Markram, at the other end, got going from the onset of his innings, walloping one hit over the fence each of Rashid and Woakes. He’d take two fours and another six off Wood before slamming Chris Jordan for his fourth six of the night as he reached his half-century off 24 balls. The partnership between Markram and van der Dussen yielded South Africa 103 runs off 52 balls, taking the total to a gigantic 189.
Earlier in the day, Australia registered an 8-wicket win over West Indies in Abu Dhabi. In the process they went above South Africa’s NRR, which helped them make their way to the semi-finals.