South Africa rout England to level series
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Centurion Park, Centurion
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:GC Smith, LE Bosman, KP Pietersen, IJL Trott
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 15th November 2009


South Africa managed to level the two match T20 series with an emphatic win over England. South Africa riding on belligerent knocks from Smith and Bosman managed to post a mammoth total of 241 in their 20 overs while England in turn made just 157 in 20 overs.


With Paul Collingwood missing out due to back spasms, Alastair Cook took over the captaincy. Smith called correctly and decided to bat first on bald Centurion track that promised the batsmen loads of runs. James Anderson bowled a tidy first over while Bresnan after the first ball four came back strongly to keep the openers quiet and Cook must have thought that captaincy was an easy job. Those thoughts were soon dispelled as Sajid Mahmood was ripped apart by a savage Smith and a bellicose Bosman. A good length ball was dismissed towards midwicket boundary, a fuller length flayed through covers and a short one crossed the deep mid-wicket boundary line and to the boot it was a no-ball. Mahmood managed to clean up Smith with a superb yorker but as it was a free-hit it did not count and the look on Mahmood’s face asked a question, “Is life fair?” Bosman completed the nightmarish over as he walloped a stunned Mahmood over midwicket for a massive six.


The carnage continued and to make the matters worse Wright put down return catch from Smith. The powerplay brought 69 runs for the South African side with a run-rate of more than 11. With the field restrictions out of his way Cook spread out his field with the hope that it would prevent the batsmen from going aerial but how wrong he was. Mahmood continued to leak runs while Rashid could only stand and wish that he was somewhere else as his one over went for 25 mind-boggling runs. Smith and Bosman completed their respective half-centuries and still continued to cause mayhem in the English ranks.


Nothing went right for the English bowlers and finally Cook out of desperation turned to the off-spinners of Pietersen and leg-spinners of Denly. Smith who was on the threshold of being the second batsman to score a century in this format finally holed out in the deep of the bowling of Denly. Morkel’s innings was terminated when Bresnan took a blinder at long-on while Bosman with just six runs short of his century could not resist his urge to go for the glory shot and in the end holed out for 94 off 45 balls which had some breath-taking shots. The English bowlers did well to restrict the South Africans from posting a 250 plus score.


With a daunting target to get Cook and Denly did not waste much time as they threw their bat at anything that had width. Unlike a tortoise like approach that Cook has, the left-hander adopted a much more aggressive attitude as he made room to create scoring opportunities as with every dot ball the required run rate crept up. Denly was cleaned up by Abdulla but Cook employed short arm pulls thrice in an over to put off the left-armer. Once the Powerplays were done with the English score dwarfed in comparison with South Africa.


Left-arm spinner van der Merwe and Morkel put up some pressure on the two batsmen and Cook trying to break free tried to lift Morkel over midwicket but could only find van der Merwe. Pietersen joined Trott in the middle and the two displayed some impressive aggressive hittings but the required run-rate touched nearly 19. Both the South African born batsmen collected couple of sixes for themselves with Trott making a steady fifty. The pair put on 52 in 5.3 overs but were well short of the required run rate. Pietersen was cleaned up by a quicker one from van der Merwe as he tried his patented switch hit, Morgan and Wright played some lusty shots but in the end the target proved too much for the English side.


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