AB de Villiers scored his fifth T20I half-century © Getty Images
By Shrikant Shankar
Mar 29, 2014
Ab de Villier‘s late charge powered South Africa to 196 for five in their 20 overs against England in the ICC World T20 2014 at Chittagong on March 29. De Villiers top-scored for the Proteas with an unbeaten 28-ball 69 in a Group 1 Super 10s T20 World Cup match. Hashim Amla scored a fluent 56 as well.
This is the highest total of the T20 World Cup so far. De Villiers’s half-century was also the fastest by any South African batsman. England need a win to have any chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
England captain Stuart Broad won the toss and elected to bowl first. England are unchanged from their brilliant win over Sri Lanka. South Africa are led by AB de Villiers as Faf du Plessis is serving a one-match suspension. Farhaan Behardien comes in for du Plessis. Wayne Parnell replaces Lonwabo Tsotobe.
Moeen Ali began proceedings with his right-arm off-spin. He bowled one short and Amla drove one off the back-foot for a four through cover. Jade Dernbach shared the new ball with Ali. He bowled one slightly short and Amla pulled alike Gordon Greenidge and got a six over deep backward square-leg. Dernbach then erred in line with a straight delivery and Amla flicked it over the square-leg fielder for a four.
Then in the middle of the second over the floodlights at the ground lost power. The umpires had taken the players off the field till the lights got back on. After easily 10 minutes of break in play, the lights were back on. Play then resumed. Amla then guided a length delivery from Ali in-between backward-point and short third-man for a four.
Amla then came down the track and missed his shot. Jos Buttler also failed to collect the ball and a stumping chance went begging. Next ball, Amla again came down the track and hit one over wide long-on for a six. De Kock then played a delightful drive behind square on the off side and got his firs four.
Tim Bresnan came into the attack in the fifth over and Amla hit a lofted straight drive for a four. Chris Jordan bowled one slightly short and Amla hit it in the air towards wide long-on for a four. James Tredwell then came into the attack in the seventh over and de Kock cut a short and wide delivery behind point for a four.
Broad finally came into the attack in the eighth over. But again as in the second over, the floodlights at the ground lost power. This time it took more than 10 minutes for play to resume. Broad bowled a short and wide delivery to finish his first over. Amla slashed hard and got a four over backward-point.
Then on the last ball of the ninth over bowled by Tredwell, Amla took a single towards long-on and reached his half-century. This is Amla’s first half-century in T20Is. Ravi Bopara was also used to break the partnership, but his slower delivery was missed by Amla and Jos Buttler as it went for four byes.
Amla mishit a pull shot to a short delivery outside off-stump from Broad and Alex Hales took the catch at deep mid-wicket. Amla departed for 56 runs off 37 deliveries with six fours and two sixes. De Kock fell quickly as South Africa lost both their openers. He came down the track to Tredwell and closed the face of the bat while trying to work one away towards mid-wicket. He missed, but Buttler did not and stumped him for 29 runs off 33 deliveries.
Hashim Amla scored 56 runs off 37 deliveries with six fours and two sixes for South Africa at the top of the order © Getty Images
That didn’t stop de Villiers though as he guided a wide delivery from Tredwell behind point for a four. He then came down the track and hit one down the ground for consecutive fours. England’s fielding again was poor as Tredwell failed to stop a flat-batted shot from de Villiers at mid-off in Broad’s 14th over. The ball raced to the long-off boundary for a four.
Duminy pulled a short delivery from Jordan towards deep mid-wicket. Bopara collected it on the bounce and threw to the wicketkeeper. Duminy lost grip of his bat and dived with both his arms stretched to complete the second run. But he was inches short as Buttler knocked the stumps.
Bresnan loosened the pressure a bit with a full and wide delivery on the last ball of the 16th over. De Villiers sliced it over backward-point for a four. De Villiers continued his scoring in the next over from Broad with two fours. Both were short deliveries. De Villiers pulled one behind square on the leg side and the second was hooked towards deep square-leg.
Miller also got amongst the runs with two consecutive fours off Dernbach in the 18th over. One was driven over extra-cover and the next was flicked over wide mid-on. Things got worse for Dernbach as de Villiers got down on one knee and smashed a length delivery down the ground for a six. Dernbach then got a slower delivery horribly wrong as it was a beamer. The ball was changed but it didn’t make any difference to de Villiers as he slammed it high over wide long-on for another six. That got him to his fifth half-century in T20Is.
Miller then slammed a full-toss from Jordan over deep mid-wicket for a six. But it wasn’t all South Africa’s way as Miller was dismissed by Jordan. Miller hit a full length delivery straight to Ali at deep mid-wicket. Again it made no difference to de Villiers, who reverse-flicked a slower delivery from Jordan over backward-point for a four. He then drove another full delivery through cover for a four.
De Villiers struck a six and four in-a-row in the last over bowled by Bresnan. Albie Morkel inside-edged the last delivery, but South Africa had posted an imposing total.
South Africa 196 for 5 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 56, Quinton de Kock 29, AB de Villiers 69*; James Tredwell 1 for 25, Stuart Broad 1 for 33) vs England.
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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)