Wednesday, 27 July 2022 21:48

Jonny Bairstow continues to sparkle as England pile up 234 against Proteas.

By Neil Manthorp.

Jonny Bairstow’s 90 from 53 balls and some shoddy bowling and fielding from South Africa saw England post an intimidating total of 234-6 in the first of three T20 Internationals at the County Ground in Bristol on Wednesday evening.

South Africa won the toss and asked England to bat first.

The Proteas dropped five catches and were clearly rattled as the innings reached its closing overs with no-balls and wides adding to England’s total.

Captain Jos Buttler (22) made a brutal start hitting both Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi for sixes in his seven-ball innings which also included two fours before a Ngidi slower ball induced a mistimed drive to David Miller at long off.

Jason Roy’s indifferent recent form continued with a scratchy eight from 15 balls before another Ngidi slower ball produced another sliced drive to Heinrich Klaasen at cover.

Dawid Malan belted four sixes and a four during his 43 from only 23 balls before edging a straight delivery from Andile Phehlukwayo to Quinton de Kock but the runs continued to flow with Jonny Bairstow …

Tabraiz Shamsi endured a torrid evening conceding an eye-watering 35 runs from his first two overs and another 14 from his third to finish with the unflattering analysis of 3-0-49-0. In the absence of a sixth bowling option with neither Aiden Markram nor Dwaine Pretorius selected, Tristan Stubbs was tasked with bowling an over of his part-time off-spin and conceded 20 runs, including a no-ball resulting in a free-hit which Bairstow hit for six.

Moeen Ali (52) thrashed the fastest 50 for England in T20 Internationals from just 16 balls with a pair of fours and half a dozen sixes taking a particular liking to Phehlukwayo’s final over which cost him a staggering 33 runs, the most ever scored by England against any opponents in any format, in a single over. Phehlukwayo’s four overs cost a chastening 63 runs.

Bairstow’s innings came to an end in the final over when Rilee Rossouw held a catch in the deep off Ngidi’s bowling leaving Ngidi with the remarkable figures of 5-39 from his four overs, an obscure consolation for the carnage suffered by the whole attack.

South Africa included hard-hitting batsman Rossouw for his first international appearance since October 2016. Rabada returned to the starting XI after being rested for the ODI series and Phelukwayo was fit again after being concussed in the first ODI.

ENGLAND: Jos Buttler (capt & wk), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Richard Gleeson, Reece Topley

SOUTH AFRICA: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller (capt), Tristan Stubbs, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.