ICC World T20 Rivalries: England v South Africa
These contests have been marked by high intensity as a matter of course, but with an ICC World Trophy on the line, it only gets bigger and better
06 March 2016 21:10
As it stands, South Africa is the one with its nose ahead because out of the four times the teams have met in the ICC World T20, they have won three times. England has come close on a couple of occasions but South Africa has handled the pressure better. Recent form too is with the South Africans, who beat England 2-0 in a T20I series that was part of both sides’ preparations for the world event. It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself or if England manages to eat into the deficit.
Match 1: Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town, 2007 ICC World T20
Result: South Africa won by 19 runs
Having thoroughly outplayed West Indies and Bangladesh in two prior games, South Africa was expected to steamroll England. England had come up with a good display in its tournament opener against Zimbabwe but subsided against Australia. The odds were stacked against England, but its bowling unit ensured renewed energy when they bowled South Africa out for 154. England would have had a smaller total to chase had it put a cap on Albie Morkel’s 20-ball 43. Still, 154 was an achievable target for a side with some of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket. But all thoughts of a straightforward chase were quickly out the window as South Africa’s on-dot pacers kept a tight enough line for long enough to have England’s batsmen make all the mistakes. In the end, Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel finished with two wickets apiece, and Owais Shah was England’s top-scorer with 36. The game, however, was in South Africa’s hand from the time Kevin Pietersen collided with Pollock and was caught short of the crease by Makhaya Ntini. With England’s most aggressive batsman back in the pavilion, South Africa held it together, even when Shah threatened to take it close.
Match 2: Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 2009 ICC World T20
Result: South Africa won by 7 wickets
Once again Owais Shah came up with a crucial 38 and again England was undone by a powerful South African unit which seemed to possess the necessary artillery to claim the crown. Paul Collingwood opted to bat after winning the toss but England soon found itself 25 for 3 at the time of Kevin Pietersen’s dismissal. After that, only Shah and Collingwood showed some fight in the face of Wayne Parnell (3/14), Jacques Kallis (2/20) and Roelof van der Merwe (2/32) doing the damage. South Africa faced a meagre target of 113 and though Graeme Smith, the skipper, fell early and AB de Villiers wasn’t able to hang around for long enough to do any serious damage, Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs took it nice and easy to carry South Africa past the finish line in the first Super Eights tie.
Match 3: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, 2010 ICC World T20
Result: England won by 39 runs
For the third consecutive time in an ICC World T20 match, Paul Collingwood won the toss against South Africa and elected to bat. That decision hadn’t born fruit on the last two occasions, but this time there was a change in the England side as well as in the eventual result. England had lost to the West Indies but bounced back with a win over Pakistan, and this was a match it needed to win. The start for England wasn’t ideal, losing Michael Lumb to Johan Botha, but there on it was a procession with Kevin Pietersen heading the parade. The talismanic batsman smashed 53 from 33 balls with eight fours and a six. He was aided by Craig Kieswetter’s 41, and Eoin Morgan came up with 21 from 14 late in the innings to carry England to a solid 168.
The bowling unit held its ground and staved off South Africa’s chase. JP Duminy made a 25-ball 39 and was the highest contributor to South Africa’s innings, which finished on 129. Ryan Sidebottom and Graeme Swann picked up three wickets each, while Stuart Broad and Michael Yardy had two apiece. It was sweet revenge, and to make matters better, little over a week after this game, England went on to claim the World T20 crown.
Match 4: Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, Chittagong, 2014 ICC World T20
Result: South Africa won by 3 runs
Big runs hadn’t been the cornerstone of the England-South Africa rivalry in World T20s until the teams arrived armed to the teeth for their latest assignment. Opting to field, England was under the tap from the get-go as Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock ate into their bowlers with scores of 56 and 29. The 90-run opening stand was not only crucial in the overall scheme of things but it was also important in being the base for the attack which was to follow. The blitz came in the form of AB de Villiers’s unbeaten 28-ball 69. Add to that David Miller’s 19, and South Africa had 196 for 5. It was a massive score but England had the resources to scale it down. Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara scored upwards of 30 to provide the base to build on but unfortunately they were unable to get a kick on and England’s tail wasn’t equipped for the task. England fell three agonizing runs short of what could have been a memorable victory.
What to expect in World T20 2016
The two will meet in a Group 1 match on March 18 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in what will be South Africa’s opening match and England’s second outing. If the pitch is true, the batting firepower both sides have can result in a high-scoring contest. Both possess decent bowling attacks, but by and large it’s their batting that will have the crowds going. The ability of these sides to pull off some stunning catches is also something to look forward to.