After a brilliant and dramatic opening T20 match on Wednesday, South Africa and England head to Durban to do battle in the second game of the slated three on Friday with plenty on the line for both sides it must be said.
South Africa somehow won the opening match of the series and will be looking to go two up with just the one to play with a win at Kingsmead. England will be scratching their heads as to how they lost that opening match and have an immediate chance to put things right.
Half of the South Africa performance in the opening match of the series was very good, although it wasn’t actually in the same half of the contest surprisingly! Their first 10 overs or so with the bat was brilliant while their second 10 overs with the ball was equally as impressive. There will be a concern with how poor they were in the other 20 overs of the match but winning breeds confidence so they should take plenty from the fact that their indifferent spells didn’t cost them.
If the first match of the series was the start of the preparation and build up towards the World T20 later in the year, then we can expect South Africa to get better in this discipline as the campaign goes on. It will be interesting to see if they can continue their progress over the remainder of this series or not. The real big positive was that their held their nerve under the utmost pressure, something they have often been criticised for in the past.
Eoin Morgan was rightly disappointed that his side didn’t get over the line in East London and I’m sure he will have reminded his team for the need to be ruthless heading up towards the start of the World T20. That tournament is very much the focus for the limited overs team now and they will look to make up for where they went wrong in that first game, and not just get over the line on this second one, but also be more convincing.
England were very ordinary with the ball at the start of their bowling innings. To some extent that can be accepted given that this was their first T20 match of 2020 but when you think we have already had the ODIs there really wasn’t any excuse for it. The one thing which won’t have been accepted was the batting collapse from a brilliant position. England will now want those sort of things setting in.
It was a surprise to many that Reeza Hendricks was left out of the opening match of the series. He could get a recall to lengthen the batting line up while Sisanda Magala will have a fitness test to see if he can feature.
Mark Wood was initially pretty expensive with the ball for England and although he came back well at the end, Sam Curran could come in for him as that would lengthen a batting order that just fell apart in East London.
The boundaries line looks a little low to me here. This isn’t a low scoring ground as Stuart Broad famously once found out when Yuvraj Singh blasted him for six sixes in one over here in the inaugural World T20. We saw more than 40 boundaries at East London and the ground there is no smaller than this one here. In fact it is probably a bit bigger in truth. The two Mzansi Super League matches that were played on this ground this season weren’t exactly high scoring but they contained a number of boundaries.
They saw 36 and 45 boundaries with the former being just after the end of a rainy spell which had seen two matches completely washed out here. The boundary line is 37.5 for this match but it just doesn’t look big enough to me. Both batting line ups collapsed in a heap in the first game but they still yielded 44 boundaries. The likes of David Miller, Ben Stokes and David Miller are all big boundary hitters but they hit one in the 26 balls they faced between them in East London. That tells me there is more to come so I’ll take the over here.
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