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Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

5 talking points ahead of England v South Africa

5 talking points ahead of England v South Africa

South Africa defeated England by just three runs to win the second twenty worldwide at Taunton on Friday and level the three-match series at 1-1. Andile Phehlukwayo held his nerve to ensure that the hosts fell three runs short of the target, losing the match to South Africa.

JJ Smuts responded well to his golden duck in Wednesday's series opener to strike some lusty early blows, and it took the introduction of Curran to make the breakthrough as he struck with his second delivery in worldwide cricket to dismiss Reeza Hendricks for seven. And so while not by design, Friday's collapse in Taunton has at least given them a winner-takes-all Twenty20 finale against South Africa on Sunday and on the ground where it all went wrong less than a fortnight ago.

This happened while Roy was rushing back after his partner Liam Livingston refused a run, as he turned and ran across the pitch and the ball struck his boot as he made his way back.

Meanwhile England captain Eoin Morgan was confident there would be no lingering bitterness between the teams at Cardiff as a result of Roy's unusual dismissal. "I could see both sides. I thought it was a 50-50 call", Morgan said.

But Morgan insisted England had only themselves to blame, saying: "We didn't deserve to win because we didn't capitalise on the start we had".

"We showed a lot of fight and proved it's still an honour to play for South Africa". Cheered on by 12,420, (the Somerset chairman reckoned the club could have sold out this game, only England men's second worldwide here and their first since the 1983 World Cup, four times over) the only thing an excellent venue lacked was floodlights.

England needed 12 from the final over but Phehlukwayo, bowling yorker length outside the off stump, restricted England to singles off the first three balls and debutant Livingstone was run out after confusion over a second run. On 7, he also survived a caught behind appeal from Morris' final delivery - an attempted pull that saw the ball flick the bat and his shoulder - that replays suggested should have been given out.

Choosing to bowl first, England got an early breakthrough as debutant Tom Curran clean bowled Reeza Hendricks for seven runs. They were also greatly aided by the England fielders, who put down a couple of chances in the death overs.

South Africa made 174 for eight with JJ Smuts contributing 45 and skipper AB de Villiers striking 46 from 30 balls. But he ended up scoring 67 runs off 45 balls and later, England lost the game by 3 runs.

But the match swung South Africa's way when durban-born Roy became the first player in a Twenty20 worldwide to be given out obstructing the field.

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