ENG vs SA | Quinton special sets up Proteas bowling clinic to survive late England blitz in seven-run win

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South Africa inched home to a nail-biting victory at Gros Islet to get within touching distance of a semi-final spot in the Super Eights Group 2. Quinton de Kock's explosive half-century helped the Proteas tally 163/6 before a disciplined bowling effort restricted their rivals to seven runs short.

Brief score: SA 163/6 (20) [de Kock 65(38), Miller 43(28); Archer 3/40(4)] defeat ENG 156/6 (20) [Brook 53(37), Livingstone 33(17); Maharaj 2/25(4)] by seven runs

After being asked to bat first, Quinton de Kock came out all guns blazing to singlehandedly spear South Africa's powerplay efforts. Even though Reeza Hendricks struggled for momentum, managing just 11 in his first 16 deliveries, his opening partner's 22-ball half-century laced with three boundaries and four maximums had propelled the score to 63/0 when the fielding restrictions were lifted. A dropped sitter by Mark Wood to dismiss de Kock further add salt to England's wounds and it took a desperate heave by Hendricks at the halfway mark to finally hand them a breakthrough, with the score reading 87/1. However, all the good work quickly came undone for the Proteas as an excellent Jos Buttler catch and direct throw dismissed de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen respectively, while Adil Rashid accounted for Aiden Markram to leave them reeling at 115/4 with five overs to come. It took a David Miller blitzkrieg, worth 43 runs from 28 balls before being scalped by Jofra Archer in the final over, to dig South Africa out of the hole and take them to a competitive 163/6.

England, in response, were handed an early setback when a stunning Reeza Hendricsk grab sent the in-form Phil Salt packing in the second over. Tight lines and lengths by the Proteas seamers further restricted their rivals to a paltry 41/1 at the end of the powerplay. As is often the case, Keshav Maharaj capitalized with a brilliant four-over spell that went for just 25 runs included the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Buttler. Ottniel Baartman added a fourth to the wickets column by bumping out Moeen Ali to leave England a mountain to climb at 63/4 after 11 overs. Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone fared no better than their predeecessors initially but the duo turned a page in the 15th over, smacking seven boundaries and three boundaries across the next three overs. Rabada injected some hope by ending the rapid 78-run stand in his final over and Marco Jansen doubled down by conceding just seven in the penultimate over, leaving the equation reading 14 off the final six delvieries. A brilliant running-back catch from Markram disaptched Brook first-up and Anrich Nortje kept things under control for the remainder of the over to secure a hard-fought second Super 8s win.

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