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
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