T20 World Cup: Rashid, Archer lead England's fightback after de Kock fifty

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 21 (IANS): Led by a miserly Adil Rashid and Jofra Archer’s three-fer, England staged a good fightback after Quinton de Kock smashed a fifty to restrict South Africa to 163/6 in their Super Eight stage game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Under glorious sunshine, South Africa cruised to 69/0 off seven overs but England fought back by switching to pace-off deliveries to keep the Proteas to a below-par total, which is also the lowest score batting first at this venue in the ongoing competition.

After conceding 21 runs in his first over, Archer gave away 19 runs and took three crucial wickets while Rashid kept things tight with his spell of 1-20, while Moeen Ali had figures of 1-25 in England putting the brakes on South Africa’s run-scoring, who didn’t have anyone to step up barring de Kock’s 65 and David Miller’s 43.

Pushed into batting first, Reeza Hendricks struggled to get going. But de Kock had other ideas -– dancing down the pitch twice to cart Moeen for six and four in the second over. He proceeded to whip and smack Archer for consecutive sixes, followed by ramping him over short third man to take 17 runs off him.

Hendricks nailed his pull to take a four off Archer as the pacer leaked 21 runs in the fourth over. De Kock hit two more boundaries to make it a glowing Power-play for South Africa, as they ended the phase at 63 runs, without losing a wicket for the first time in the competition.

After bringing up his fifty in 22 balls, de Kock earned a reprieve when his slog-sweep off Rashid was caught by deep backward square leg. But third umpire Joel Wilson turned the decision to not out – as replays showed the ball touched the ground before Mark Wood got his fingers under the ball.

England finally struck in the tenth over when a struggling Hendricks miscued the slog to long-on off Moeen, as the 86-run opening stand ended. From there, England staged a comeback as Jos Buttler took a stunning one-handed leaping catch to send de Kock back for a 38-ball 65 off Archer.

Buttler produced another moment of magic when his sharp direct hit caught an out-of-sorts Heinrich Klaasen short of the crease at the non-strikers’ end. Miller took two quick boundaries off Wood and Rashid to stage a fightback but lost Aiden Markram from the other end after the South Africa captain chopped onto his stumps off a loopy slower ball from the latter.

Miller made full use of Wood’s short balls by pulling him twice for fours, followed by Tristan Stubbs glancing him for another boundary as the duo took 13 runs off the 16th over. Miller smacked Archer and Curran for a six each, to set the stage for a flourishing finish.

But Miller fell for 43 in the final over off Archer, as long-off timed his jump well to take an excellent low catch. Archer was on a hat-trick when he had Marco Jansen slicing to cover and fall for a golden duck. Though he didn’t get the hat-trick, Archer gave away eight runs in the last over to keep South Africa below 165.

Brief scores:

South Africa 163/6 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 65, David Miller 43; Jofra Archer 3-40) against England


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Title: T20 World Cup: Rashid, Archer lead England's fightback after de Kock fifty

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