T20 World Cup 2024 | Quinton de Kock's innings was the difference, admits England skipper Jos Buttler

De Kock slammed a 38-ball 65-run knock studded with four sixes and as many fours to help South Africa post 163 for six.
Last Updated : 22 June 2024, 08:36 IST

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Gros Islet: England batters couldn't match the big-hitting prowess of South African opener Quinton de Kock in the powerplay, and his innings was the "difference" between the two teams, said skipper Jos Butler after a narrow seven-run loss in their T20 World Cup Super Eight match.

De Kock slammed a 38-ball 65-run knock studded with four sixes and as many fours to help South Africa post 163 for six. In reply, England could manage just 156 for six.

"I think the way Quinny played at the top sort of really put us under a lot of pressure and (he) played some great shots and we weren't able to match that," Buttler said during the post-match press conference.

"I think that was the difference in the game." With de Kock going strong, South Africa made 63 for no loss in the powerplay.

"The tougher overs in the power play today were from the bottom end which de Kock really took on and took some risks and played well, so as I've mentioned, I felt like the power play was the difference in the game," he said.

"I think the way Quinny could bat at the rate that none of us could bat at for -- but like I say, yeah, we fought back brilliantly well with the ball and restricted a really strong line-up to what was about a par score probably."

England couldn't push the pace in the pwerplay, losing Phil Salt (11) in the second over. None of the top-order batters -- Jonny Bairstow (16), Buttler (17) and Moeen Ali (9) could capitalise on the starts.

It was a spirited fightback from Harry Brook (53) and Liam Livingstone (33) which gave England hope but South African bowlers executed their plans to perfection as the defending champions couldn't make 25 runs in the last three overs despite having six wickets in hand.

"The wicket was probably a little bit slower than everyone expected. So, yeah, 160 was about a par score. I thought we bowled really well in the back 10-15 overs there to restrict them.

"Brook and Livingston had a fantastic partnership, like I say on a slow wicket where other guys struggled and I thought their partnership was brilliant and they've got us to a position where, you're probably looking like your favourites at one point to go on and win the game.

"But yeah, I thought that was an awesome partnership and just couldn't quite finish it off."

De Kock attributes success to local knowledge gathered during CPL stint De Kock attributed the swashbuckling display to his knowledge of the local conditions which was possible due to his stint in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

"I've played a lot of day T20s in cricket in the West Indies and generally that is the most important time to score runs, it was the easiest time to score runs," said de Kock, who slammed 49 runs off 20 balls in the powerplay.

The match started at 10.30am local time, while the previous four T20 World Cup games at the venue had an 8.30pm start.

"I don't know if the rest of the guys knew, but I had a fair sense. I've played here quite a bit in the Caribbean League. Same thing, (the) wicket looks beautiful at night, plays most differently, but at the day 160-170 are winning scores here in the day.

"I think generally it goes by like that in the Caribbean. I think the lights and maybe a bit of dew at night help the ball skid on a bit better.

"The easier time to score runs is in the powerplay. When the ball is old and as the wicket deteriorates, it gets harder." De Kock said powerplay wasn't the only factor and there were other moments which helped them win.

"I think our bowlers also bowled really well, one or two key moments that could have also been a standout over I think KG's (Kagiso Rabada's) final over was also could be potential match winning.

"I think there was (some) other moments but obviously that's probably one of our better powerplays this whole World Cup so (it) could be, you never know."

Published 22 June 2024, 08:36 IST

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