CARDIFF: Rilee Rossouw’s career-best 96 together with a vastly improved bowling performance powered the Proteas to a series-levelling victory after they overcame England by 58 runs in the second T20 International at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Thursday.
The left-hander, back in the South Africa fold after six years, plundered five sixes and 10 fours in his unbeaten 55-ball innings that lifted the tourists to 207 for three after they were asked to bat first by the hosts. Reeza Hendricks struck a second successive half century at the top of the order, clubbing 53 off 32 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes).
Tabraiz Shamsi then led a fine bowling display with three for 27, while Lungi Ngidi was excellent in collecting two for 11 in 2.4 overs. Andile Phehlukwayo also chipped away nicely with three for 39 leaving the English all out for 149 in 16.4 overs.
It means the series will now go down to a decider when the two teams lock horns in match three at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Sunday.
Just 24 hours earlier, the Proteas had lost by 41 runs to the same opponents in a match that saw them concede a massive 234 in a largely forgettable fielding display.
But they were markedly improved in Wales and looked much better from the get-go.
After losing the toss and batting, Quinton de Kock (15) and Hendricks put on 39 inside four overs, before the latter and Rossouw added 73 for the second wicket.
Right-hander Hendricks went on to notch up his eighth T20I 50, with Rossouw following him to his third 50+ score.
Although the South Africans were restricted towards the end of their innings – Heinrich Klaasen made 19 and Tristan Stubbs 15 not out – they still set an impressive 208 for victory.
England made a flying start thanks to captain Jos Buttler (29) and Jason Roy (20), before Phehlukwayo struck to dismiss the skipper in the fourth over after a stand of 37.
Keshav Maharaj (1/37) and fellow spinner Shamsi then took out Dawid Malan (5) and Roy respectively, with Moeen Ali (28) following not long after.
Sam Curran (2) also fell victim to Shamsi, while Kagiso Rabada (1/35) nabbed the big wicket of Jonny Bairstow after he had top-scored with 30.
Phehlukwayo and Ngidi then mopped up the tail handing the Proteas a confidence-boosting win ahead of the last game on Sunday.
Proteas T20I squad against England
David Miller (captain, Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Gerald Coetzee (ITEC Knights), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Gbets Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (North West Dragons), Kagiso Rabada (Imperial Lions), Rilee Rossouw (ITEC Knights), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Gbets Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Imperial Lions).
South Africa T20I Tour to England Itinerary
Wednesday, 27 July – 18:30
England beat South Africa by 41 runs – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol
Thursday, 28 July – 18:30
England lost to South Africa by 58 runs – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Sunday, 31 July – 14:30
England vs South Africa – Ageas Bowl, Hampshire