Kieswetter and Buttler smash hosts to victory

England 118-5 South Africa 90-5 (England win by 28 runs)

Edgbaston

As fully fledged practice for England's defence of their World Twenty20 title, the NatWest Series has not gone quite according to plan. After they were beaten out of sight in the first match, the next two have been wrecked by rain.

The third last night was at least a joyous improvement on all that had gone before. It may not mean much in assessing England's chances in the next fortnight but they will leave today in better spirits – and as the world's No 1 ranked T20 side again.

They won a reduced match by 28 runs and did it in audacious style. In the 11 overs available to them, England followed the T20 manual (abbreviated version) to perfection. Jos Buttler, unheralded and underachieving so far in his international career, made a swashbuckling, unfettered 32 not out from 10 balls. It included three sixes, one of which went high up into the ground's new £32m stand, and two fours, both played with his outrageous scoop shot.

For once, England were not undone by the ubiquitous Hashim Amla, who was on the verge of taking the tourists to another victory, as he seems to have been doing throughout the summer. But he was caught (a rarity in itself, since England have dropped him seven times) having made 36 from 27 balls and there was simply too much left for his colleagues to do.

With Craig Kieswetter being top scorer for the second time in the series and hitting 50 from 32 balls, England made an irresistible 118 for 5. It was exactly the total it took them 20 overs to make in the first match five days earlier.

Buttler, renowned on the county circuit with Somerset as a spectacular operator, was a revelation as an international short-form batsman. Given licence to do more or less as he pleased, he was stunning. He came in burdened by a previous top score of 13 in 10 matches for England. Without further ado he launched a straight six into the gods off Wayne Parnell and repeated the shot for the upper circle next ball.

There were two audacious – although for Buttler perfectly routine – scoop shots for four and in all 32 came from the 10th over, which included two no-balls and their subsequent free hits. He and Kieswetter put on 48 from 14 balls, which even by the standards of the format is motoring.

It was Kieswetter's third T20 fifty and, although his style still has glaring limitations, he is among the cleanest strikers when he manages to make contact. He again found his favourite areas, straight and long-on last night, and England can only hope that he will not be muted by slower pitches in the subcontinent.

After such excitement, England must have realised that if they kept their nerve a series-equalling victory would be theirs. They opened the bowling on a turning pitch with another of their inexperienced players, the Hampshire left-arm spinner Danny Briggs.

He did not let them down and conceding nine runs could be considered a reasonable return. He returned later in the piece to take his first international T20 wicket, though there may be formidable batsmen than Faf du Plessis in his locker in the future.

South Africa knew they had to press the accelerator from the start, which always brings risk. They duly lost wickets in the second, fourth and seventh overs. When Graeme Swann had Amla well held on the boundary by Jonny Bairstow that was more or less that. There were a few more boundaries, struck out of desperation more than optimism.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Edgbaston scoreboard

England v South Africa, Edgbaston (One Day): England beat South Africa by 28 runs; South Africa won toss

England

†C Kieswetter b M Morkel 50, 32 balls 3 sixes 3 fours

M J Lumb b Parnell 5, 4 balls 1 four

L J Wright c Amla b Botha 6, 10 balls

E J G Morgan c Ontong b Botha 5, 9 balls

J C Buttler not out 32, 10 balls 3 sixes 2 fours

J M Bairstow b M Morke l4, 2 balls 1 four

T T Bresnan not out 1, 1 ball

Extras (lb2 w11 nb2) 15

Total (for 5, 11 overs) 118

Fall 1-20, 2-43, 3-64, 4-112, 5-116.

Did not bat G P Swann, *S C J Broad, D R Briggs, J W Dernbach.

Bowling M Morkel 2-0-28-2, W D Parnell 2-0-37-1, J A Morkel 1-0-5-0, R J Peterson 2-0-16-0, J Botha 3-0-19-2, J H Kallis 1-0-11-0.

South Africa

R E Levi b Bresnan 1, 4 balls

H M Amla c Bairstow b Swann 36, 27 balls 6 fours

F du Plessis c Morgan b Briggs 7, 6 balls 1 four

*†A B de Villiers c Bairstow b Swann 2, 3 balls

J A Morkel not out 17, 14 balls 1 six

J L Ontong c Morgan b Bresnan 10, 7 balls 1 six

J H Kallis not out 8, 5 balls

Extras (b1 lb4 w4) 9

Total (for 5, 11 overs) 90

Fall 1-9, 2-34, 3-51, 4-53, 5-69.

Did not bat: J Botha, R J Peterson, W D Parnell, M Morkel.

Bowling D R Briggs 2-0-16-1, T T Bresnan 2-0-14-2, S C J Broad 2-0-17-0, G P Swann 3-0-24-2, J W Dernbach 2-0-14-0.

Umpires R J Bailey and R K Illingworth.

Three-match series drawn 1-1

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable