Cricket : Morris leads Proteas to a win with the last ball
South Africa clinched a nail-biting, final ball, three-wicket victory in the first T20 international against England at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening thanks to guy know Chris Norris.
Chris Morris scored 14 runs off the final over and two off the last ball, as Reece Topley failed to gather a return at the stumps and complete a run out that would have forced a Super Over, to give South Africa a nail-biting victory at Newlands.
Morris rescued South Africa from a middle-order meltdown in which they tumbled from 98 for 3 in the 16th over to 119 for 7 in the 19th and made hard work of what was shaping as a more routine chase.
Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali shared five wickets, while Ben Stokes also produced an impressive four overs, to almost overshadowed Imran Tahir who had taken 4 for 21 to restrict England to 134 for 8. Tahir’s effort, which equalled his career-best, slammed the brakes on England after a brisk start. As it turned out, England did not need too many more runs and once again it was fielding errors which meant they finished on the losing side.
England may not have thought it would get that close after they stuttered through a significant part of their innings. Their run-rate was less than six an over for 17 overs after they plundered 36 runs off the first three and threatened to post a towering total.
Alex Hales and Jason Roy were severe on Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott upfront but their aggression did not last. Roy pulled a Rabada slower ball to Hashim Amla at midwicket and Hales top-edged a sweep in Tahir’s first over, which almost brought a nasty outfield collision, to start the slide.
England lost 5 for 29 in the next six overs and South Africa took control. While David Wiese and Chris Morris squeezed, Tahir attacked. He beat Stokes with a googly and had him stumped and had Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali caught off successive deliveries to stand on the cusp of a hat-trick. He almost got it with a googly to Jordan that missed the top of the stumps.
Even though he didn’t, the damage was done. England only had Jos Buttler but he and the lower order could not cut loose to leave South Africa fancying their chances at the halfway stage
SOUTH AFRICA: HM Amla, AB de Villiers (wk), F du Plessis (capt), JP Duminy, RR Rossouw, DA Miller, D Wiese, CH Morris, K Rabada, KJ Abbott, Imran Tahir
ENGLAND: AD Hales, JJ Roy, JE Root, EJG Morgan (capt), BA Stokes, JC Buttler (wk), MM Ali, CJ Jordan, AU Rashid, DJ Willey, RJW Topley