Rilee Rossouw blasts South Africa to win over England and sets up T20 series decider

Batsman cracks 96 off 55 balls as Proteas win by 58 runs in Cardiff

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An unbeaten 96 from Rilee Rossouw helped South Africa beat England by 58 runs in the second T20 international in Cardiff on Thursday.

Rossouw's 55-ball innings was the cornerstone of their total of 207-3, with opener Reeza Hendricks making 53, as the Proteas levelled the series at 1-1.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi then took 3-27 and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo 3-39 as England, chasing 208 to win, were dismissed for 149.

Jonny Bairstow top scored with 30 while the likes of Jason Roy, captain Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali all reached their 20s but failed to kick-on to a big score.

“A few guys got starts but didn't play that match-defining innings that Rilee did,” Buttler said. “We haven't quite performed to the level we are capable of … It's set-up for a great decider in Southampton [on Sunday].”

The teams have now traded heavy victories in the sprint format, England by 41 runs in Bristol and South Africa by 58 runs in Cardiff just 24 hours later, to set up the decider.

And Buttler knows it would be a big boost for the team to rediscover that winning feeling.

“You want to win every series that you play and we haven’t won a series yet this summer. That’s something we’re not accustomed to as a group,” he added.

“But this is a start of a new cycle of a team. There’s been a few changes – a new captain and a coach [Matthew Mott], and I feel like that’s showing a little bit.

“We’re still working ourselves out and gelling as a group and we need to do that quickly. Winning this series would be great for that.”

South Africa’s match-winning score was built around the innings of Rossouw, who put his international career on ice for six years with a Kolpak deal at English county side Hampshire before his return to the fray this week.

He helped bash England bowlers around the ground – along with Hendricks, whose 53 came off 32 balls – with Richard Gleeson and Adil Rashid both going for more than 12 off their three overs.

“That was special,” Rossouw said at the close. “Representing your country is the proudest thing anyone can do and today was emotional for me.

“I’m grateful for where I am right now, to put in a performance like that for my country is special for me. Hopefully there’s a few more to come.”

South Africa also held several fine catches in a vastly-improved fielding effort following a shoddy display during a 41-run defeat in Wednesday's series opener at Bristol where England posted an imposing 234-6.

“It's a great turn around from last night,” said South Africa captain David Miller. “We had a few meetings this morning to clear up a few things.

“It's so nice to see Rilee Rossouw back playing for the Proteas after so long. We know that he has an immense amount of experience and he adds so much to the team.

“Tabraiz Shamsi too had a tough game last night and bounced back beautifully.”

Updated: July 29, 2022, 6:33 AM
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