SA clinches last-ball win over England in 1st T20


Cape Town, South Africa— South Africa beat England by three wickets in the first Twenty20 on Friday, running two off the last ball and surviving after Reece Topley missed an easy run out that would have kept the scores tied and forced a one-over eliminator.
Instead, South Africa got the 15 runs it required off the last over against Topley.
Chris Morris hit a six and a four, and needed two off the last delivery for victory. He hit his shot straight to long-off, and Joe Root delivered a perfect throw for Topley at the bowler’s end to run out non-striker Kyle Abbott as he came back for the second. Topley dropped the ball to lose the game for England as Abbott dived full-length to make his ground.
Allrounder Chris Jordan took 3-23 as England came desperately close to successfully defending its mediocre 134-8 at Newlands after being put in to bat.
South Africa made 135-7 and won when it looked down and out to lead the two-match series. Morris again announced himself as an allrounder of note with his match-winning 17 from seven balls.
Both teams are putting together their final preparations for the World Twenty20 in India next month, where they will meet again in the group stage. The loss ended a run of six straight T20 victories for England.
After getting off to a rapid start through openers Alex Hales (27) and Jason Roy (15), England’s batting fell away with South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir equaling his career-best with 4-21.
England’s bowling and fielding was sharp, though, and nearly saved the game before Topley’s nightmare final over.
South Africa seemed to have made a mess of its chase when captain Faf du Plessis (25) was caught on the boundary by Ben Stokes off Moeen Ali (2-22). The home team was 98-4 after 16 overs. Rilee Rossouw, David Miller and David Wiese all fell leaving Morris and tailender Abbott to get 21 off the last two overs and 15 off the final over.
Morris clubbed a four over cover off the second ball from Topley, and then launched a six over wide long-on next ball.—AP

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