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

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week