Root leads England to stunning victory
JOE ROOT refused to get carried away despite guiding England to one of the most memorable run chases in Twenty20 history.
A stunning knock of 83 took England to a remarkable two-wicket win over South Africa as they chased down 230 to record the highest run chase of all time in World T20 matches.
On a manic night in which bowlers were lambs to the slaughter, Root kept his cool with a stunning example of short-form batsmanship, hitting four sixes and six fours in a decisive 44-ball stay.
England survived a last-over wobble to claim a remarkable victory with two balls remaining, Moeen Ali punching the winning single.
Only the West Indies, who made 236 against the same opponents last year, have ever scored more to win an international and England’s mark has never been bettered in domestic T20s.
After losing their opening game against West Indies, England risked another early exit from a world tournament until Root’s masterclass capitalised on good work from openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales before Ali hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.
The Yorkshire batsman was quick to pay tribute to his teammates after they set the platform for him, telling Sky Sports 2: “After the start we got – the guys up front were outstanding – it made mine and the other guys’ job a lot easier.
“It put them (South Africa) straight under pressure and put us ahead of the game. It sets us up nicely now for the rest of the group stages.”
He added on his innings: “It was about not getting greedy and trying to get 20 an over, just being sensible and playing some smart cricket, build some partnerships and take it really deep.”
Captain Eoin Morgan said: “I felt we’d have had to play out of our skin to chase it down and we did just that.
“We have a lot of talent within our group and the best way for us to play is the way we did tonight.”
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis said: “We’ve all played this game long enough to know no game is unchaseable.”
ROOT: In imperious form for England