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South Africa beat England in thriller to level T20 series

24 June 2017

England were dominant in the first T20 against South Africa and the home side will look for another complete performance when these two sides meet for the second match of the series, in Taunton on Friday.

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers was the mainstay of the visitors' batting with 46 from 20 balls - an innings which included four fours and three sixes.

In reply, it looked like England were coasting to victory but brilliant death bowling from Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo saw the Proteas get over the line despite Jason Roy making 67 from 45 balls. South Africa's pace and England's errors, however, meant the sides meet in Cardiff on Sunday with the series all to play for.

Speaking after the match, Eoin Morgan said: "We were going really well, but we lost a well set batsman and no-one could carry it on".

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Choosing to bowl first, England got an early breakthrough as debutant Tom Curran clean bowled Reeza Hendricks for seven runs. Cue wild celebrations from the 22-year-old. The decision was sent to the third umpire, who adjudged that he had made a move to prevent the ball hitting the stumps and Roy had to go. Jordan, normally so reliable, dropped Berhardien on 11 at mid-off - the ferocity of the drive forcing the ball through his hands and on to his jaw - while Livingstone on the deep midwicket boundary dropped a more straightforward chance offered by Morris on 11.

In what can be called as one of the finest final overs bowled in T20 cricket, Andile Phehlukwayo delivered a superb final over as South Africa beat England by three runs in a thrilling Twenty20 worldwide at Taunton on Friday.

Jordan was also wayward with ball, conceding 12 runs in his first over, but England were soon celebrating when Curran stepped up as an worldwide bowler for the first time. The England opener, who was struggling for form coming into the series, was leading the hosts' chase. Left-hander David Miller fell for nine when caught behind off Wood.

Roy and Bairstow took the attack to the South African bowlers, racking up a 110-run partnership full of show-stopping shots.

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England, who had been 133 for two at the start of the 16th over, lost four wickets for 34 runs before finishing on 171 for six. After taking his time, the third umpire ruled it out, which was a fairly right call according to the laws of cricket.

Stokes was dismissed for obstruction in a one-day worldwide defeat to Australia at Lord's in 2015, blocking a Mitchell Starc throw at his stumps with his hand, and the all-rounder - who is being rested for the three-match Proteas series - felt Roy should not have been given out. He had made 67 off 45 balls and England were in a strong position when he was in the middle.

England, who won the first encounter in Southampton by nine wickets, won the toss on Friday at Taunton and made a decision to have a bowl against a South African side that had recalled Chris Morris, Morne Morkel and Dane Paterson to the starting line-up.

That left debutant Livingstone alongside Dawson at the crease of the final over, which was brilliantly bowled by Phehlukwayo.

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