Collective effort from Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali as England triumphs over South Africa by 41 runs in the first T20I match of the three-match T20I series played on July 27 here at the Gloucestershire cricket ground, Bristol.
Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali smashed half-century as England puts on an enormous total of 234 runs. Bairstow scored 90 runs off 53 balls while Moeen Ali put on the score of 52 runs in only 18 balls. Lungi Ngidi scalped 5 of the 6 wickets for South Africa as the rest of the bowling lineup fell short.
South African batter and wicketkeeper Tristan Stubbs fought hard for the team scoring 72 runs off only 28 balls. Opener Reeza Hendricks also scored a half-century off 57 runs off 33 balls. English bowling attack was able to reduce the visitors to a total of 193 runs as England won the game by 41 runs. South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl first but the decision certainly didn’t go their way. Starting the innings for England, Jason Roy and Captain Jos Buttler stood on the pitch to give England a head start. Buttler scored 22 runs off 7 balls getting England off the mark but got dismissed by South African pacer Ngidi.
The score stood 28 for 1 for England. The second wicket came through soon as well in the form of Roy who seems to be going through a rough patch this year in T20I. Only one half-century came from his bat this year. He couldn’t perform this match either as he got dismissed at the hands of Ngidi who took his second wicket of the match only being able to score 8 runs off 15 balls. Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow took up the opportunity and stood strong for the English team. Runs were coming at a good pace for the hosts. In the 11th over, South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo finally struck giving the team the much-needed wicket to break the partnership between the Malan and Bairstow. Malan got dismissed at the score of 43 runs in 23 runs but he did the job for his team as the total of England stood 112 for 3 in around 11 overs.
Unfortunately, Malan’s dismissal wasn’t the end of might England’s batting. Up next was Moeen Ali who went on to score the fastest half-century for England in T20I format with the score of 52 runs in only 18 balls. Bairstow and Ali’s partnership was also the second fastest 100-run stand in T20I match. Bairstow also went on to put on his career high of 90 runs in T20I format. Their wickets only came through in the next spell of Ngidi who also achieved his career best with 5 wickets for 39 runs.
Putting on the massive score of 234 runs which was also the second highest for England, it was a tough job at hand for South African batsmen. The innings for South Africa couldn’t quite get off to mark with two wickets of Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw coming in only the second over of the match at the hands of Reece Topley.
Reeza Hendricks and Tristan Stubbs were the only ones who could put up a fight for South Africa with 57 and 72 runs respectively for both of them. The innings for the duo was not enough for the visitors to complete the chase as the English reduced them to a total of 193 runs only. Richard Gleeson was expensive for England but also scalped 3 wickets for the team. Reece Topley and Adil Rashid took two wickets each for England with a wicket coming in from spinner Moeen Ali as well.
A comfortable win for the English squad thanks to the massive total that the batting lineup put on the board for hosts to defend. Moeen Ali was awarded man of the match for his batting and bowling performance. The next T20I will be played between the teams on July 28. The match can also be a decider for both teams. The English team can clench the whole series if they win the next game but if they lose the last third decider game will be forced by the visitors.