England would want Alex Hales to play a match winning knock in the second T20I © Getty Images
England would want Alex Hales to play a match-winning knock in the second T20I © Getty Images

South Africa and England will square-off in the second and final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Sunday at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. The hosts won the first match played on Friday by three wickets. It was a nail-biting encounter, and South Africa pulled off the chase off the very last ball of the match. The Proteas cannot lose the series, whereas the English team can just hope to level it. The visitors will come out hard at the South Africans after the former’s loss in the one day international (ODI) series and the first T20I. South Africa would want to remain ruthless and continue their winning spree having won the last four international matches on a trot (three ODIs and the recently concluded first T20I). SCORECARD: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 2nd T20I at Johannesburg

No team is a clear favourite going into the second match. South African batsmen are in good touch and it is imperative for Adil Rashid, David Willey, and Reece Topley to bowl better this time around. Topley in particular was taken apart by Chris Morris in the final over of the previous match; South Africans scored 15 off him in that over. England have to refine their death bowling if they wish to force a comeback in the series. A lot is at stake for them; after their victory in the Test series and a good performance in the first two ODIs, they have looked out of sorts. Although two of their last four international matches were close, they buckled under pressure.

South Africa’s openers AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla will want to give their team a flying start. Amla got a start in the last match but failed to capitalise on it. England would want their star batsmen Alex Hales and Joe Root to deliver in this all-important match. After all they would not want to be dubbed as a team, which is only proficient in playing the longest version of the game. England have to remain wary of Imran Tahir, who was simply superb in the first clash. England had no answer to his resplendent leg-breaks and googlies. Tahir took a four-wicket-haul and was adjudged Player of the Match. Kagiso Rabada is another bowler, who can pose some serious threat. For England, they would want a lot more from Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali. They bowled well in the previous game but they can certainly better their performance. South Africa vs England 2015-16: Failure of key batsmen in the series hold good heading into ICC World T20 2016

Both teams will play in ICC World T20 2016 next month and would want to enter the tournament in a better frame of mind. South Africa’s morale will be certainly boosted if they win the second T20I and complete a clean sweep. They will then battle it out in a three-match T20I series against the Australians. On the other hand, England must be itching to put an end to their losing streak by winning the final match of their tour of South Africa. They started the tour on a high note winning the Test series but have lost track midway. If Hales or Ben Stokes click for them in this match, South Africa will have hard time. The hosts cannot take the English team lightly and will aim for a whitewash.


South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes.

TIME: 18.00 IST | 14.30 Local | 12.30 GMT

(Bhaskar Narayan is a reporter at CricketCountry and Criclife. He passionately follows the game and is a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar. His Twitter handle is @Cricopathy)