Morgan's record equalling 50 secures series for England
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Morgan's record equalling 50 secures series for England

Agency News

Centurion, Feb 16: An incredible 22-ball 57 not out from Eoin Morgan, which included seven sixes, closed out what had seemed a tight chase in England's favour.

Having been set 223 to win, the early wicket of Jason Roy for 7, brilliantly caught by Tabraiz Shamsi running in from third man, was a major blow to England's chances. But Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow combined for a 91-run partnership in 8.1 overs to put the visitors on top as they approached the halfway stage of the innings.

Buttler brought up his fifty from just 23 balls, but was soon dismissed for 57 as he attempted to scoop a slower ball by Dwaine Pretorious.

After Buttler's dismissal Bairstow upped the ante and played the main role in a brief but productive 34-run partnership with Dawid Malan, who was playing in place of the ill Joe Denly. But both men soon fell in a space of seven balls though, with their team requiring 78 runs from38 balls.

Morgan began slowly, but after Bairstow was dismissed he took on the opposition bowlers. The English skipper hit the first two of his seven sixes in Dwaine Pretorious's final over, adding another from the final ball of Dale Steyn's next over.

Despite the big-hitting, the required run rate rose to more than 13 an over, but another pair of sixes – and a four from Ben Stokes who had been striking at less than a run a ball from his first seven deliveries - brought the run rate down to 11 an over.

Stokes hit back-to-back deliveries from Phehlukwayo over the rope, before holing out from the first ball of the penultimate over with 17 runs still required. But any concerns of a repeat of the first T20I, where England had required seven runs from seven balls and went on to lose by one run, were quickly put to rest as Morgan lifted a pair of low full tosses from Ngidi over the boundary to bring up his fifty.

The second of those sixes took him past fifty which came from just 21 balls thus equaling his own record for the fastest T20I fifty for England.

A boundary from Moeen Ali sealed the victory from the first ball of the final over, giving them victory for the first time batting second in five T20Is at Centurion.

Having won the toss and choosing to bat first South Africa's openers, got them to a flying start. Temba Bavuma took the early lead before skipper Quinton de Kock hit three consecutive balls from Chris Jordan for boundaries to bring up the fifty partnership from only 22 balls.

England's bowlers struck back though, taking the wickets of both the openers in quick succession – de Kock caught in the deep off Ben Stokes for 35, and Bavuma bowled by a quicker ball from Adil Rashid for 49.

But after a relatively sedate period, Heinrich Klaasen launched his own blitz, bringing up his fifty from 25 balls, ending up with a 33-ball 66 before he was dismissed by a fantastic catch by Stokes above the England all-rounder's head at long-off.

His dismissal prompted David Miller to kick off, and he finished the innings off by scoring 26 runs from his last 11 balls, ending with 35*. But it proved too little to prevent England's destructive batting line-up from easing home to take the three-match series 2-1.

Brief score;

South Africa - 222/6

England - 226/5 (UNI)

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