AB, Hash annihilate England

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South Africa also clinched the series 2-0 in what was a perfect dress-rehearsal for the World T20 in India next month.

After England set a reasonably strong target of 172 for victory, despite a disastrous late innings collapse which saw them lose their last seven wickets for 14 runs, the visitors would’ve felt they had a good chance of squaring the series 1-1.

But not in the mood De Villiers and Amla were in. The former set the tone from the very first ball of the South African innings as he swished Reece Topley away off his hips for four.

Read: England implode at Wanderers

The record-breaking De Villiers dispatched the fifth delivery for a massive six over midwicket, and it was clear that the Proteas didn’t want a repeat of what happened at Newlands on Friday night, when they laboured to a lowly 135-run target off the last ball.

It was the third over of the innings from Chris Jordan that was the turning point, as De Villiers went into overdrive to smash 22 runs off the six balls, with two sixes and two fours.

The pitch had lacked some of the pace and bounce that was evident in the early part of the England innings, as the visitors garnered just 21/1 off the first four overs compared to South Africa’s 53/0.

Amla seemed to be inspired by De Villiers’ onslaught as he pierced the gap at cover and backward square leg to drill Jordan for four boundaries in the fifth over, which broke the back of the England challenge as the Proteas required just 100 more runs off 15 overs to win.

The elegant right-hander didn’t let up on the pressure, though, as he creamed Ben Stokes for six-four-four in successive deliveries.

The devastation carried on to the extent that De Villiers broke the South African record for the fastest half-century in T20 internationals as he reached the milestone off 21 balls.

He eventually succumbed to leg-spinner Adil Rashid when another big hit was miscued to wide long-on, where Joe Root was grateful to end the destruction.

But the 71 off 29 balls (6x4, 6x6) from Man-of-the-Match De Villiers was one of the finest innings witnessed at the Wanderers, and it was a real pity that he couldn’t reach a hundred, as Richard Levi’s world record of 45 balls for the fastest ton was under threat.

Amla (69 not out off 38 balls, 8x4, 3x6) finished off the game in fine style with skipper Faf du Plessis (22 not out off 21 balls, 2x4) with 5.2 overs to spare.

Read: Proteas batsmen must finish the job

Earlier, England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler bashed a 28-ball 54 (4x4, 4x6) to propel his team to the 170-mark, but it could’ve been so much more after Du Plessis won the toss and chose to bowl first.

The visitors were well-placed on 157/3, but lost their last seven wickets for just 14 runs to be dismissed for 171.

Kyle Abbott took 3/26 in his four overs, Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris claimed two wickets each, and Imran Tahir bowled well again without much reward for 1/25 in four overs.

But the Proteas leg-spinner was rewarded for his efforts with the Man-of-the-Series award, as he was a key figure in the first T20I at Newlands on Friday night with a career-best-equalling 4/21 in four overs.

The Proteas’ next assignment is on March 4 against Australia in Durban in the first of a three-match T20 international series ahead of the World T20 in India later next month.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport

Independent Media

What carnage! AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla led an astonishing assault on England to lead the Proteas to a nine-wicket T20 win at the Wanderers.

Original source: AB, Hash annihilate England

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