Eng­land end tour of South Africa with a hor­ror show

Proteas take just 14.4 overs to trounce the tourists by nine wick­ets as de Vil­liers and Amla lead on­slaught

The Herald - Herald Sport - - CRICKET, FORMULA ONE - DAVID CLOUGH

ENG­LAND col­lapsed hap­lessly and then re­ceived no mercy from a ram­pant AB de Vil­liers at the Wan­der­ers as their tour of South Africa ended with a ninewicket trounc­ing and 2-0 Twenty20 se­ries de­feat on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

From 15-3 in the 17th over, Eng­land were bowled out for 171 with two balls of their sched­uled in­nings un­used — af­ter Jos But­tler (54) and Eoin Mor­gan (38) had set course for far bet­ter.

De Vil­liers (71) then wasted no time putting Eng­land’s ef­forts into bru­tal con­text, with South Africa’s fastest-ever Twenty20 half-cen­tury from 21 balls, as Mor­gan’s tourists lost a fifth suc­ces­sive in­ter­na­tional white-ball match in the space of 13 just days.

De Vil­liers’ open­ing stand of 125 with Hashim Amla (69no) took only 50 balls, be­fore he was caught in the deep off Adil Rashid, al­low­ing South Africa to coast the re­main­der of the chase and still achieve it with 5.2 overs to spare — re­mark­able in this shorter for­mat.

It is a god­send, in the cir­cum­stances, that Eng­land can fly home on Mon­day with­out any fur­ther bat­ter­ing of con­fi­dence be­fore their ICC World Twenty20 cam­paign in In­dia next month.

They lost their last seven wick­ets for 14 runs af­ter Mor­gan and But­tler’s fourth-wicket stand of 96, as a flurry of mist­imed shots and a fair slice of mis­for­tune un­der­mined pre­vi­ous ef­forts.

Kyle Ab­bott (3-26) was the prin­ci­pal ben­e­fi­ciary, and found him­self on a hat-trick as Eng­land flailed away in vain.

They did not get off to the best of starts, af­ter be­ing put in on a sunny af­ter­noon — and opener Ja­son Roy had a de­cid­edly un­com­fort­able 15-ball stay.

It brought him nine runs, a blow to the hel­met grille from Kag­iso Rabada and then the loss of his leg-stump when he ad­vanced to try to crack the next de­liv­ery over the top.

Tele­vi­sion cam­eras showed Roy smash­ing his bat into a post in the play­ers’ tun­nel be­tween the pitch and the dress­ing rooms.

Reece To­p­ley re­ceived an of­fi­cial In­ter na­tional Cr icket Coun­cil rep­ri­mand for re­ar­rang­ing the stumps in frus­tra­tion af­ter the run-out fum­ble which gave South Africa vic­tory in the first T20 match on Fri­day night in Cape Town — and Roy may well not have heard the last about his pub­lic dis­play of tem­per.

Eng­land had good rea­son to lose their col­lec­tive cool when, af­ter a promis­ing se­cond-wicket part­ner­ship of 50 in five overs, they lost both pro­tag­o­nists to suc­ces­sive de­liv­er­ies.

Joe Root, in his fi­nal in­nings of a tour on which he has shone, again bat­ted beau­ti­fully for 34 from only 17 balls — un­til he gave him­self room in Imran Tahir’s first over and did not have the req­ui­site power to clear deep ex­tra cover, once the leg-break turned.

Alex Hales (16) then im­me­di­ately went in a run out mix-up with Mor­gan, re­spond­ing for a se­cond run into the leg-side and then stranded by al­most half the pitch when he was sent back.

Mor­gan and But­tler had to start again with­out a run be­tween them.

But they re­sponded im­pres­sively, But­tler es­pe­cially filled his boots as they shared eight sixes off 51 balls. But­tler also hit four fours in his 27-ball 50, only for three wick­ets to fall for one run just when they were gear­ing up for the late on­slaught.

But­tler crunched a low full toss to ex­tra cover off Ab­bott; then, next ball, the South African bowler got a hand on Ben Stokes’ straight drive and de­flected a run out at the non-striker’s end, with Mor­gan out of his ground back­ing up.

Stokes (1) badly mist­imed an­other drive back to Chris Mor­ris, and Moeen Ali (1) speared a catch to deep cover.

Only worse was yet to come. Eng­land’s in­nings ended in a whim­per when Rashid (2) was last out, bowled by Rabada — but it was with the ball that true em­bar­rass­ment set in.

Per­haps mind­ful of the im­pact of a proper thump­ing for op­po­nents South Africa will meet again in the global tour­na­ment in Mum­bai, de Vil­liers got to work — and promptly served up a record half-cen­tury, with four sixes and five fours.

Amla was marginally more se­date on the way to his Twenty20 ca­reer-best, with just the eight fours and a soli­tary six in a 27-ball half-cen­tury which ar­rived af­ter Eng­land con­ceded their worst ever six-over pow­er­play to­tal of 88.

Among the suf­fer­ing, Chris Jor­dan’s was most ex­treme as seven fours and two sixes were crunched off him in 2.4 overs which cost 48 runs.

The best that could be said for shell­shocked Eng­land was that the whole mis­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence, in front of a rap­tur­ous crowd at this in­tim­i­dat­ing venue, did not last long.

IM­PE­RI­OUS: AB de Vil­liers sends an­other de­liv­ery on its way to the bound­ary en route to vic­tory for South Africa

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