South Africa edged England by one run in the first T20I in East London to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Lungi Ngidi picked 3/30 and triggered a collapse which saw England lose four wickets in the last seven balls, allowing South Africa to defend 177.
Batting first, South Africa’s top order clicked with the top three putting on 113. Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock put on 48 runs for the opening wicket before the South Africa captain was dismissed by Moeen Ali. Bavuma and Rassie Van der Dussen carried on the fine work forging a partnership of 63 runs with some crisp strokeplay. Chris Jordan out a brake on scoring as he finished with 2/20 but contributions from JJ Smuts and Andile Phehlukwayo got South Africa close to 180.
England began with aplomb with opener Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan’s half-centuries powering their chase. Roy scored a quickfire 70 off 38, striking struck seven fours and three sixes to lay the foundation, and after Jos Buttler had departed early, he stitched a 72-run stand with Jonny Bairstow to take England to 91 without loss inside nine overs.
Phehlukwayo provided the breakthrough for South Africa, trapping Bairstow LBW. Morgan and Roy seemed to be making steady progress before Hendricks got South Africa the big wicket of the England opener. He and Joe Denly fell in consecutive overs, triggering England’s slide. From 132/2 in 14.5 overs, England lost five wickets, but as long as the England skipper was around there was hope for the world champions.
Morgan was going to be key for England. The England skipper took 16 runs off five balls in the 19th over to bring the equation down to seven needed off seven, but his wicket off the last ball of the penultimate over of the match swung the match in South Africa’s corner. Ngidi, whose first two overs had gone for 20, bowled the 18th and 20th over of the innings and used his slower balls and yorkers to fox the batsmen.
First ball of the 20th, Ngidi took out Tom Curran and followed it with the wicket of Moeen off four balls later, With two needed off the final ball, Adil Rashid for was run out coming back for the second run, allowing South Africa to secure a thrilling win off the last ball.
Brief Scores: South Africa 177/8 in 20 overs (Temba Bavuma 43; Chris Jordan 2-28) beat England 176/9 in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 52; Lungi Ngidi 3/30) by 1 run