Kieswetter and Buttler star in rain-curtailed match in Edgbaston
England defeated South Africa by 28 runs in a rain-shortened match at Edgbaston to draw the T20I series.
Play was delayed until 8.12pm, at which point there was time for an 11-overs-per-side match.Craig Kieswetter (50 off 32 balls) and Jos Buttler (32 off 10 balls) were the batting stars for England in their score of 118-5 after being put into bat.
The visitors were in with a shout for as long as the prolific Hashim Amla remained but when he fell in the seventh over for 36 the result was a foregone conclusion.
Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan picked up two wickets apiece in a tidy fielding effort by the hosts.
Morne Morkel had earlier struggled to control a wet ball at the start of the England innings when he conceded six wides – including one delivery that went to the boundary - and two further boundaries were hit by Kieswetter in a first over that cost 16.
Wayne Parnell struck in the next when he bowled Michael Lumb – making his first T20I appearance since June 2011 - through the gate.
South Africa’s trio of slow bowlers put a block on the scoring with only one boundary scored between overs three and seven.
Kieswetter tarnished Botha’s figures by straight-driving the off-spinner’s final delivery for six but his 2-19 was still commendable in the circumstances.
The penultimate over bowled by Parnell went for 32 as Buttler took the left-armer apart. Consecutive straight sixes were followed by two scoops over the wicketkeeper’s head for boundaries and another six over midwicket produced the coup de grace.
Kieswetter reached his 50 off the first ball of the last over – bowled by Morne Morkel – when he pulled a six over midwicket.
Morkel exacted a semblance of revenge when the right-hander made room to the off-stump and was bowled.
Danny Briggs opened the bowling in the reply on his T20I debut, troubling the batsmen in between Amla picking up two boundaries.
Bresnan picked up the first wicket in the second over when Richard Levi missed an attempted hoick to leg and was bowled for one.
Faf du Plessis (8) got a leading edge to extra cover to give Briggs his maiden T20I wicket.
In contrast to the bludgeoning efforts of the England batsman a more subtle – but no less effective – approach was taken by Amla who dominated the first part of the South Africa innings.
AB de Villiers (2) was the next to go when he picked out Jonny Bairstow at deep midwicket off Swann. Amla was dismissed off the same combination five balls later in what was a pivotal over.
South Africa’s innings tailed off from that point as the run-rate became increasingly unmanageable, ending on 90-5.
Both sides move on to Sri Lanka for the ICC World Twenty20 with positives to take from a T20I series affected by rain but not short on entertainment.