South Africa won the first match of the T20 series in East London on Wednesday – by one run, after a magnificent last over by Lungi Ngidi.
South Africa goes up in the three-match T20 series. In what has become a pattern in this current English tour, South Africa has won the first match of each series in the different formats, winning the first match of the Test and ODI series. However, South Africa lost the Test and drew the ODI series – it remains to be seen whether the pattern holds in the T20 series.
South Africa got off to a flyer after losing the toss at Buffalo Park, with Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma putting on 48 for the first wicket in four overs. South Africa rattled along well, with Bavuma being ably supported by Rassie van der Dussen, until the two batsmen lost their wickets within two runs of each other, with Bavuma going at 113/3 in the twelfth over. South Africa managed to score only 64 runs in the rest of their innings with the Englishmen pulling the South African innings back well.
England, like South Africa, also got off to fast start, scoring 100 off less than ten overs, thanks mainly to South African-born Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow. The English seemed set for an easy victory before tight bowling from Andile Phehlukwayo and Tabraiz Shamsi in the middle part of the innings.
England needed only seven off the final over but a tight over from Lungi Ngidi, where three wickets fell (one to a run out), saw him concede only five runs, giving South Africa the win.
Dale Steyn also returned to South African colours for the first time in almost a year. He had a satisfactory first outing back, conceding 33 runs in his four overs, and taking one wicket.