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Cricket news: England defeat South Africa, scores, video, reaction

The Advertiser 2020-02-15 06:05:00

England won the second Twenty20 against South Africa by two runs in another high-drama finish to level the series 1-1 and take it to a deciding final game.

In a thrilling end to rival the first game, England secured its victory in Durban on the last ball when Tom Curran dismissed Bjorn Fortuin for a first-ball duck for his second wicket in two balls.

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South Africa needed just three runs off that last ball to win and two to tie and force a Super Over.

Fortuin, who had just walked in and was tasked with winning the game for South Africa off his first delivery in international cricket, tried to flick it over fine leg but was caught by Adil Rashid.

England’s celebrations after the final ball however were put on hold as the umpires asked the third umpire to investigate if Rashid had stepped foot outside the circle before the ball had been bowled.

After a long-time and a close look, the third umpire decided Rashid had narrowly avoided leaving the inner circle just before the delivery.

England made 204-7 to set South Africa a challenging target. Captain Quinton de Kock lashed 65 off 22 balls for South Africa, which finished on 202-7.

South Africa needed 15 off the last five balls and its hopes had apparently disappeared. But Dwaine Pretorius hit a six way over wide mid-on and sent a four rocketing through the covers off successive balls and the home team had a chance.

The key moment came off the second-to-last ball of the game when Curran had Pretorius out lbw with South Africa needing three from two balls. Pretorius reviewed the decision, which was confirmed by very fine margins.

The game was decided in almost exactly the same way as the first T20, which South Africa won by one run off the last ball. Then, England needed three off the last two balls to win. And South Africa also took a wicket off the penultimate delivery.

The final T20, and the final match of England’s three-month tour, is on Sunday at 6pm (AEDT) and the tourists have a chance at rounding off yet another fightback.

England lost the first test but turned it around to win the test series 3-1. It also fought back to draw the ODI series after losing the opener.

A T20 series victory for either team would be well-timed with the T20 World Cup this year in Australia.

Originally published as Late drama rocks England thriller