South Africa beat England by 3 runs to qualify for semis

South Africa beat England by 3 runs to qualify for semis

Stand-in skipper AB de Villiers knocked the stuffing out of England attack with a blistering 28-ball 69 before the bowlers chipped in with useful contributions to propel South Africa to a three-run win and a semifinal berth at the ICC World T20, here on Saturday.

Asked to bat, South Africa rode on De Villiers’ unbeaten knock and Hashim Amla’s 37-ball 56 to post a commanding 196 for five, before Wayne Parnell (3/31) and Imran Tahir (2/27) restricted England to 193 for seven in a last-over finish at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

Chasing a daunting total, England started as well as they could could, racing away to 46 before Michael Lumb (18) was taken care of by Parnell, playing in his first match of the tournament, in the fifth over.

Last match’s centurion hero, Alex Hales looked in the mood as he hit his way to a 22-ball 38 before Parnell struck again. Aiding the left-arm pacer on both occasions was David Miller, who pulled off two fine catches. The first one was a low catch diving to his left at extra cover while the second was also a solid effort as Miller came running in from deep cover.

Moeen Ali, who had dropped De Villiers in the last over of South Africa innings, capped off a rather disappointing outing when Parnell trapped in front of the wicket for 10, giving the bowler his third wicket.

After Jos Buttler (34) got out, England needed 66 runs off 32 balls, and it became increasingly difficult as the innings progressed.

Ravi Bopara made 31 runs off 18 balls, but the asking rate proved a bit too much. He hit three quick boundaries before launching into Beuran Hendricks for a six over the long-off fence. Needing 22 off the final over, Dale Steyn came back to dismiss Bopara with the second ball of the final over.  Tim Bresnan (17 n.o.) briefly raised visions of a miracle but it was little too late.

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