World T20: Joe, the Root cause for England win over South Africa: They are correctly branded as The Chokers, otherwise, how does one explain the loss of South Africa to England, inspite of having put up a record total of 229 runs in 20 overs.
Wankhede stadium witnessed one of the highest and the best run chase in the shortest format of the game.
Put into bat by England, the Proteas openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were ‘on the job’ right away. De Kock, particularly was on the rampage scoring at will. Power-play produced 83 runs without losing a wicket with Amla unbeaten on 37 off 16 deliveries (7*4, 1*6) and de Kock on 46* off 20 deliveries (6*4, 3*6).
English bowlers were finding it tough to contain these two batsmen. Quinton’s half-century came off just 21 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes in the seventh over of the innings.
He fell in the first delivery of the 8th over after scoring 52 runs in an innings of 32 minutes with 7 fours and 3 sixes.
Looking at the way the openers had gone through, it was expected that the danger man, AB de Villiers will ‘set the stadium on fire’. However it was not to be. Though he started off in a style, dispatching Adil Rashid for two consecutive sixes in the 9th over, the last delivery saw de Villiers lose his balance, trying to send one more into the orbit, ended up landing an easy catch to the England skipper, Eoin Morgan.
De Villiers scored 16 runs of 8 deliveries that contained two huge sixes.
Meanwhile Amla stayed put at one end and brought up his half-century by way of a six in the last delivery of the 10th over bowled by Moeen Ali. He took 25 deliveries to reach the landmark that included 7 fours and 3 sixes.
At half-way mark, the Proteas were 125 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. scoring at a rate of 12.5 runs over. A total of 200+ was very much in sight, unless the English bowlers ran amok and picked up wickets.
In the 12th over, Amla was removed by Ali, the ball wrapping him on the pads and declared Leg Before Wicket. Amla notched up 58 runs off 31 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes.
JP Duminy took over from where Amla left and put up two useful partnerships. First with skipper, Faf du Plessis (17), Duminy added 36 runs in 3.4 overs for the fourth wicket and another 60 runs in 4.3 overs alongwith David Miller (28*) for the unbroken fifth-wicket.
Duminy remained unbeaten on a well made 54* runs off 28 deliveries with 3 fours and 3 sixes.
It was a grand batting effort by the SA batsmen that helped them end their innings with 229 runs on the board losing four wickets.
Morgan used as many as seven bowlers and all of them suffered at the hands of the SA batsmen, going for 10+ an over, except the spinners, Moen Ali (4-0-34-2) and Adil Rashid (4-0-35-1).
This was a record target to chase for the Englishmen. Just a couple of days ago, at the same venue, ‘Gayle storm’ stuck and they were literally blown away.
However, regrouping themselves, the Englishmen showed a lot of bravery in chasing the huge target of 230 runs for a win, with 11.50 being the asking rate.
England were ‘bang on’ from the word GO and kept the run rate high. The first over produced 21 runs, the second one gave them another 23 runs.
The openers, Jason Roy and Alex Hales stuck to their task and more than matched the Proteas openers.
The first six overs produced 89 runs at 14.33 runs an over. But they had lost the wickets of Alex Hales (16), Jason Roy (43) and Ben Stokes (15).
Undeterred by the wicket loss. Joe Root was ‘stemming the rot’ from the other end and he was on a destructive mood. Alongwith the wicket keeper Jose Butler (21), Root put up a partnership of 75 runs in 6 overs for the fifth-wicket.
He raced to his half-century in 30 deliveries with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Infact he moved from 48 to 54 by way of a huge six off Chris Morris in the 15th over.
Scoring at the rate of 12.2-runs an over, England were 183 runs for the loss of 4 wickets at the end of the 15th over, requiring 47 runs from 30 deliveries.
Losing Butler at the team score of 186/5, Root continued his onslaught but had to depart in the 19 over, trying to dispatch a Rabada delivery to the stands. A good running catch taken at the ropes by David Miller saw the end of Root’s wonderful innings but not before he had taken the team to the doorstep of victory.
Scoring 83 runs off 44 deliveries with 6 fours and 4 sixes, Root left at the team score of 219/5.
Needing just 11 runs from 12 deliveries Moeen Ali safely took the team across the line.
This was the second highest run chase in this format of the game.
England won the game by 2 wickets with 2 deliveries to spare.
Root was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation party, England skipper Morgan said. “Honestly, I felt we would have felt to play out of our skin to chase them. But there”s a lot of talent in our team if we play with freedom. It”s been going for just under a year now, we”ve had some big chases. But to get a start like that, Roy and Hales were outstanding. We”ll take a lot of confidence. We came a little unstuck against Gayle, but tonight we finished well with the ball – it was just the first six overs. Batsmen are finding different ways of scoring.”
A disappointed SA skipper, Faf du Plessis said. “We”ve all played long enough to know that no score is unchasable. We said we needed to start with intensity and didn”t do that. There were way to make extras from our point of view. Batting was superb, the first six on this wicket was the best time to bat and both sides did that. The execution of our extras, it makes it very tough because you are always under the pump.”