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De Villiers hails South African never-say-die attitude

25 June 2017

Get the report and match scores.

England opener Jason Roy became the first cricketer to be given out obstructing the field in T20 worldwide history on Friday.

Eoin Morgan's men had to chase down South Africa's 174 for eight after Surrey seamer Tom Curran had become the fifth England player to take three wickets on his worldwide T20 debut.

Liam Dawson hit a four off the penultimate ball but failed to make contact with the last delivery as England lost a T20 thriller by three runs against South Africa at Taunton.

Roy, who endured a disappointing Champions Trophy, played himself back into form with some well-timed drives and became the first player on either side to reach a half-century when he launched Tabraiz Shamsi into the Sir Ian Botham Stand for six.

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In keeping with a contest between two sides that are a blend of first-teamers and fringe players - cricket's contractual obligations have long since trumped the out-dated notion that worldwide sport must always be best versus the best - England are likely to give debuts to Dawid Malan and Craig Overton, making it five new caps in the space of three matches.

But even Botham might have struggled to match the mighty striking of Roy who endangered many in the capacity 12,500-crowd with his clean hitting.

Liam Plunkett also came in for Mark Wood, the Durham fast bowler rested ahead of the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Luckily for him and cricket fans, he stayed back in England to lead his South African side against the mighty lions. It is evident that Roy is a match-winner on his day and England will hope that he comes off again, especially with Jonny Bairstow missing the decider to prepare for the forthcoming Test series.

Roy has blocked a throw from deep mid wicket while taking a single.

In pursuit of South Africa's 174-8, England lost five wickets for 46 runs in the last 6.3 overs to fall three runs short in a game they really should have won. In total, eight players have been dismissed in this fashion on the global arena.

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JJ Smuts responded well to his golden duck in Wednesday's series opener to strike some lusty early blows, and it took the introduction of Curran to make the breakthrough as he struck with his second delivery in worldwide cricket to dismiss Reeza Hendricks for seven.

Hendricks was not so fortunate from Curran's second delivery as he did not get into position quick enough and dragged on to his leg stump. He departed for 67 off 45 balls. Curran then bowled Andile Phehlukwayo to cap a memorable debut as South Africa were pegged back to 174 for eight by the end of their 20 overs. One of those sixes sailed over the stadium and into the river.

"I asked the boys to take it one ball at a time", he told Sky Sports. I did think we were a touch short. You can see why the umpires gave him out. We have to treat it like any other game, it is batter versus bowler, one ball at a time."Smuts recovered from a first-ball duck in the opening match to set up the platform upfront with 45 off 35 balls, an innings that gave a glimpse of his potential at global level after dominating on the domestic scene last season". AB de Villiers (captain), 5.

"You get stronger, you get to know your action a bit more and you're just developing".

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