Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock Star as South Africa Edge England in T20 World Cup

South Africa defeated reigning champions England by seven runs in a gripping second-round Super Eights match in St. Lucia on Friday, maintaining their unblemished record at the T20 World Cup.

England, chasing a relatively small 164 to win, fell to 61-4 owing to excellent South African bowling and fielding before a 78-run partnership between Harry Brook (53) and Liam Livingstone (33) propelled them to 139-5 in the 18th over.

With England needing 14 off the last over, Brook clipped a slower ball from fast bowler Nortje. South Africa skipper Aiden Markram made a stunning diving catch over his shoulder as he ran back from mid-off to end a 37-ball innings with seven fours.

Two balls later, Sam Curran hit a four but declined a single, which would have left lower-order batsman Jofra Archer on strike.

England now required nine runs off two balls, but Curran could only manage one, leaving Archer with an impossible assignment off the final ball as England concluded on 156-6.

It was a terrific performance under pressure from South Africa, which is frequently accused of ‘choking’ at key events.

Earlier, the Proteas were well-placed at 92-1 after losing the toss. Quinton de Kock smashed fast bowler Archer for 21 in the fourth over, including two consecutive sixes.

De Kock, on the other hand, was wonderfully caught by jumping England captain and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler off Archer for 65, capping a 38-ball innings that included four fours and four sixes.

England, on the other hand, felt they had removed De Kock for 58, only for the third umpire to rule that Mark Wood had grassed a low catch in the deep, a critical decision in a close game.

De Kock’s dismissal sparked a collapse in which South Africa lost three wickets for 21 runs, with the big-hitting Heinrich Klaasen beautifully bowled out by Buttler’s direct shot on the stumps at the non-striker end.

But David Miller’s quick 43 propelled South Africa to 163-6 — which was just enough.



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