De Kock stars again as South Africa edge England in Super Eights thriller

Sports Friday 21/June/2024 22:29 PM
De Kock stars again as South Africa edge England in Super Eights thriller

Quinton de Kock fired South Africa to victory against England as the Super Eights continued in Gros Islet, where both sides look to prove themselves as real contenders for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 crown.

They racked up 163/6 in their 20 overs, setting England a target of 164 to win.

And England fell just short, despite a brilliant innings from Harry Brook, reaching 156/6 after the loss of three early wickets meant they got only as far as 60/3 in the first ten overs of their chase.

Jos Buttler's side staggered through the group stages but made a bright start to Super Eights action with a fine win over West Indies. What's more, their net run-rate is currently 1.343, putting them on top of Group 2 after the first round of matches.

South Africa have edged over the line in several matches they might have hoped to win more decisively, but Quinton de Kock's spectacular innings against USA in their first Super Eights match looked as if it may be an impetus towards better things.

England did not made any changes since their last outing, while South Africa brought back Ottneil Baartman in place of Tabraiz Shamsi.

De Kock picked up where he left off against the USA, taking on all the bowlers and coming out on top.

By the end of the tenth over, South Africa were 87/1, having lost only Reeza Hendricks, caught by Harry Brook off Moeen Ali.

However, there was certainly a shout for a De Kock dismissal as Mark Wood thought he had caught him at the start of the ninth - but TV umpire Joel Wilson judged that his fingers had been pointing downwards and not taken the catch cleanly.

Still, there was some stellar fielding to come, primarily from captain Buttler behind the stumps.

First he removed De Kock with a magnificent leaping one-handed catch off the bowling of Jofra Archer.

And then he ran out Heinrich Klaasen with an exceptional piece of work, picking up the ball and turning quickly to throw a direct hit at the stumps.

His opposite number Aiden Markram had a less successful time of it, dragging Adil Rashid on to the stumps for just a single run.

And at the start of the last over, Archer took two in two balls, with Brook's catch to dismiss David Miller for a creditable 43 before Marco Jansen chipped to Sam Curran at cover for a duck.

Heroics from Harry Brook were not enough to get England over the line.

The openers fell early, with Phil Salt making just 11 (caught Hendricks and bowled by Kagiso Rabada), Jonny Bairstow 16 (caught Anrich Nortje and bowled by Keshav Maharaj), and Buttler 17 (caught Klaasen and bowled by Maharaj).

It left them at 54/3, and when Moeen Ali went for 9, it left Brook at the crease with Liam Livingstone. The pair put on a sensational partnership of 78 runs off 42 balls, with Brook making a classy half-century.

After their departures, though - Livingstone caught by Tristan Stubbs off the bowling of Rabada, and Brook caught by Markram off Nortje - there was too much for Sam Curran and Jofra Archer to do.