South Africa produced a compelling all-round display as they paced their batting perfectly and then fried England’s batsmen in the hot oil of unrelenting pressure from the bowlers and fielders, beating the hosts by a massive 90 runs to win their T20 series in Southampton on Sunday evening.
The Proteas had been sent in to bat and conditions were tough early on for the batsmen as Quinton de Kock was bowled for a duck by David Willey (4-1-25-3) in the first over and there was early movement with the new ball.
But Reeza Hendricks dug in and Rilee Rossouw then blazed 31 off 18 balls to provide some impetus in the powerplay, which South Africa finished on 53/1.
Hendricks, in red-hot form, accelerated to his third successive half-century and went on to score a fine 70 off 50 balls as he and Aiden Markram (51* off 36) built towards the death overs with a fantastically-judged partnership of 87 for the third wicket in 10 overs.
An impressive Markram, David Miller (22 off 9), in his 100th T20, and Tristan Stubbs, who hit his first two balls for four, then provided the big finish with 50 runs in the last four overs taking the Proteas to an above-par 191/5.
South Africa were outstanding in the field, their bowlers giving nothing away and being backed by superb fielding, led by a magnificent catch by Stubbs to remove Moeen Ali for just 3.
England missed fast start
England missed their usual rollicking start as Jos Buttler (14) was outfoxed by the Proteas’ plans and excellent bowling by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, and Jason Roy struggled to 17 off 18 balls before Anrich Nortje had him caught behind.
Tabraiz Shamsi then continued his spectacular comeback from the mauling he took in the first game, ripping through England with career-best figures of 5/24.
Fellow spinners Keshav Maharaj (2/21) and Markram, who dismissed Moeen courtesy of an extraordinary catch by Stubbs, running from a widish midwicket towards mid-on and diving full-length to take a one-handed catch as the ball went past him, also contributed.
Their success showed that England erred in only giving off-spinner Moeen one over, getting too carried away with match-ups when conditions and a big field favoured the spinners.