Jonny Bairstow Leads England To Victory Over South Africa In 1st T20I

Jonny Bairstow’s outstanding season continued as he made 90 in England’s 41-run win over South Africa in the 1st T20 international in Bristol on Wednesday. Moeen Ali amassed England’s fastest T20-fifty, from just 16 balls, in the hosts’ 234-6 – their second highest total at this level behind the 241-3 they set against New Zealand at Napier in 2019 . “It was a great performance, what we were looking for, a brilliant total, we were threatened for a while but were delighted with the win,” England T20 captain Jos Buttler told Sky Sports.

Moeen, the player of the match, added: “Generally I support myself, try to see it and touch it. Jonny is so powerful, I try to remind him of the good things he does.”

But amid 20 sixes in England’s innings, the speedy Proteas Lungi Ngidi took an outstanding 5-39, his best international T20 figures of his career.

England’s Reece Topley then struck twice in the second skip to bring South Africa down to 7-2, the in-form left arm quickly removing danger man Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw.

South Africa were 86-4 in the 10th over, with Reeza Hendricks making 57 from 33 balls, as Tristan Stubbs dragged them back into the game with a brilliant first T20 international fifty from just 19 balls, including six rising sixes.

Even taking into account a good field and a relatively small area, it was a beautiful display of ball attacks by 21-year-old Stubbs. But with South Africa needing 54 from 18 balls, paceman Chris Jordan conceded just three runs, with Andile Phehluwayo beating several Yorkers.

It was a deciding over, with South Africa also paying a heavy price for several errors in the game earlier in the game. “CJ (Jordan) changed the momentum of the game, a brilliant one,” said Buttler.

Stubbs launched Richard Gleeson to a long time when a brilliant inning of 72 off just 28 balls came to a close, leaving South Africa at 193-8. “They’ve wrecked us in the last 10 (overs), but we dropped four or five catches, which cost us enormously in the field,” said South African T20 captain David Miller.

“It was a phenomenal knock from Stubbsy, an extremely disappointing result, but there are two (games) left to get it right.”

The last thing South Africa had to do was help Bairstow get started. But in his first short appearance in eight months, he was missed at 12, 57 and 72 as Heinrich Klaasen, Rossouw and Hendricks fumbled with catches in the deep end.

Bairstow got his first reprieve when Klaasen misjudged a chance at Tabraiz Shamsi and lost sight of the ball when he got six points.

Left arm wrist spinner Shamsi gave up 19 runs in the 10th over with both Dawid Malan (43) and Bairstow beating him for six. The wheels came loose for South Africa on a 17th over where Phehluwayo gave up 33 runs.

Bairstow hit the first two balls for six, saw two go wide, was dropped on the third legal pitch before Moeen hit three more sixes to the delight of the crowd. But once Moeen made fifty, he was caught behind Ngidi to end a fourth wicket stand of 106 in 37 balls.


Bairstow was 10 runs shy of three figures with two balls left from the innings when he shot Ngidi in the leg, only for Rossouw to hold onto the catch on this occasion. He was dealt 53 balls, including three fours and eight sixes.

This series continues on Thursday in Cardiff.

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