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Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home - Cricket News
Match Reports,07 July 2015

Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home

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Shades of Viv in de Villiers' batting today

South Africa batsman showed the 360 degree range in his strokes

Shades of Viv in de Villiers' batting today - Cricket News
Jade Dernbach of England reacts as AB de Villiers of South Africa piles on the runs.
An astonishing assault by AB De Villiers gave South Africa a total that was always slightly beyond England despite its valiant efforts. 

De Villiers, the no.1 Test batsman in the world, had a terrible T20 record against England managing only 81 runs in eight innings previously. He got almost as many off 28 balls today in Chittagong. He has a true 360 degree range and proved it not only with huge hits down the ground on both sides and a swept six over deep square-leg, but also a daring reverse sweep off the 90mph pace of Chris Jordan and deft deflections too. His breathtaking batting smash-and-grabbed South Africa 55 runs off the last three overs and England was always slightly up against it and will bid goodbye to the tournament after its match with the Netherlands on Monday.   

It was another error-speckled bowling and fielding performance by England, with Jos Buttler missing a relatively simple stumping chance to give Hashim Amla a life on 19. He struck the next ball for six just to underline his relief and the bowler's dismay. And when the ball got wet in the dew England made the mistake of trying to bowl yorkers which need a precise grip. Jade Dernbach’s death over went for 26 with attempted yorkers becoming full tosses. Earlier England had been more effective bowling short of a length. Of South Africa’s 25 fours and sixes only two came from short balls. 
After the enterprising start provided by Amla, de Villiers began quietly with a few easy singles and one deft late cut. There were 33 dot balls in the first 16 overs and it looked as if perhaps South Africa was going to end at 170, it had only 141-3 after 17 overs. It was then that David Miller first attacked Dernbach's over-pitched deliveries and clubbed him for two sixes. Then after a beamer and a changed ball, de Villiers got outside off-stump and into a baseball hitter's position and manhandled him for six over long-on. 

Chris Jordan got the treatment too, and then Tim Bresnan, pressed into service for the last over because Dernbach hadn’t got it right, stood in amazement as de Villiers jumped outside off-stump and helped him over deep square-leg in memory of the geart Viv Richads doing the same thing to Mike Hendrick in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1979 final. 

To add insult to injury, he was then dropped at deep mid-wicket next ball by Ali and the ball trickled over the line for four. De Villiers strike rate in his innings was 246. 
England set in energetic pursuit. With both Hales and Lumb finding the boundary frequently. South Africa’s trumps cards were the leg-spin of Imran Tahir and the left-arm of Wayne Parnell. After Lumb miscued Parnell to cover, the left-armer's angle caused Hales to skew his lofted drive to be caught at deep-cover, and Tahir’s googly – spinning away from the left-handers – got the crucial wicket of Eoin Morgan and later Jos Buttler reverse sweeping. 

Parnell’s accurate yorkers and clever changes of pace frustrated England’s desperate victory pursuit and, having been slightly behind on the Duckworth-Lewis at the half-way stage it was always chasing the game. England needed 55 off the last four overs, a target attainable – and indeed exceeded in this match – by one man, but that man was unfortunately captain of the opposition. The margin of victory belied the fact that South Africa won relatively comfortably and deserved to. 

There is unfortunately for England no legislating for the genius of AB De Villiers.                     

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