Moeen, Curran daz­zle as Eng­land edge SA in thriller to level series

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Dur­ban: Tom Curran took wick­ets with the last two balls of the match as Eng­land turned the ta­bles on South Africa in a thrilling se­cond Twenty20 in­ter­na­tional at Kingsmead yes­ter­day.

Eng­land’s win in a high-scor­ing match, punc­tu­ated by 30 sixes, lev­elled the three-match series, which will be de­cided in the third and fi­nal match in Centurion to­mor­row.

Eng­land made 204 for seven, with man of the match Moeen Ali hit­ting 39 off 11 balls as the tourists slammed 79 runs off the last five overs. South Africa made 202 for seven.

South African cap­tain Quin­ton de Kock blazed to 65 off 22 balls, hit­ting eight sixes, in an open­ing part­ner­ship of 92 with Temba Bavuma. Mark Wood, bowl­ing at high pace, dis­missed both open­ers and Eng­land seemed to have taken con­trol.

But Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out) and Dwaine Pre­to­rius (25) got South Africa ag­o­nis­ingly close. South Africa needed 15 off the last over and Pre­to­rius hit 12 of them be­fore be­ing trapped leg be­fore by a yorker.

“The per­for­mance and the level of in­ten­sity we op­er­ated at was a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment on (the first match in) East Lon­don, both with the bat and the ball,” said Eng­land cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan.

As in the first match, which South Africa won by one run, the re­sult hinged on the last few de­liv­er­ies.

Eng­land needed three off the last two balls in East Lon­don but lost a wicket and scored only one run. South Africa were in ex­actly the same sit­u­a­tion yes­ter­day but lost two wick­ets.

“Both teams are play­ing re­ally good cricket,” said De Kock. “They (Eng­land) bowled re­ally well at the death.”

Eng­land’s to­tal looked un­likely when Ali walked in with his side on 125 for five af­ter 15.1 overs.

The left-handed Ali hit his se­cond ball from Andile Phehluk­wayo for six and launched a stun­ning as­sault in which he hit three more sixes and three fours in his short in­nings be­fore be­ing caught at long-on.

Ali dom­i­nated a sixth wicket stand of 51 off 18 balls with Ben Stokes, who fin­ished on 47 not out.

“I went on my in­stincts to try and put pres­sure back on the bowlers,” said Ali.

Eng­land’s Moeen Ali belts the Eng­land bowl­ing in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

Eng­land’s Tom Curran cel­e­brates tak­ing the wicket of South Africa’s Dwaine Pre­to­rius.

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