South Africa fight back to level T20 series with England

Jason Roy's freaky dismissal turned the second Twenty20 worldwide South Africa's way as the Proteas won by three runs in Taunton on Friday.

Jonny Bairstow once again showed what good form he was in for the hosts and alongside Roy, the pair put on a fantastic partnership off 110 with Roy passing his half-century in the partnership.

His unbeaten 60 off 35 balls in Wednesday's comprehensive Twenty20 victory over South Africa provided yet more evidence of what he brings to the side as England took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

He struck nine fours and went to 50 with a six against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

South Africa's Chris Morris was named man of the match for his decisive four-over spell of two for 18.

And then came the turning point. The TV umpire found that Roy looked at the fielder before he changed his running direction and ran across the pitch. [Roy dismissal?] I think it's a 50-50 call, you can see both sides.

"Everyone in the changing room thought it could go either way so it's not massively controversial".

Curran said he hopes one day to take the field for England with his younger brothers Sam and Ben - the cricketing sons of the former Zimababwe all-rounder Kevin Curran - who are also plying their trade in county cricket.

"It was about the energy and showing the South African never-say-die, attitude. now we have a decider on Sunday" said De Villiers.

England still had batting to come after Roy's exit.

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De Villiers (46) and Smuts (45) took South Africa to 90 for two at the half-way mark - a solid base from which to launch to a good score on this tiny postage stamp on a ground.

Curran troubled the batsmen from his very first ball in worldwide cricket, forcing a top edge from Reeza Hendricks which only just evaded Dawson as he ran back from backward short leg.

De Villiers made a quick 46 runs from only 20 balls, despite not timing the ball particularly well, and after he holed out off David Willey (1-29), the innings lost momentum. Tom Curran starred with the ball for England with three wickets while Liam Plunkett got two wickets.

They included an extraordinary sweep off one knee against left-arm paceman David Willey that flew into the River Tone before he was dismissed next ball.

Bairstow looked likely to follow him to the landmark but, after some terrific shots including a bullet-like flat six over deep mid-wicket, he chipped Chris Morris to Behardien at long-on to fall for 47.

Fall: 1-15, 2-125, 3-133, 4-153, 5-162, 6-167. JJ Smuts, 2. Reeza Hendricks, 3.

  • Zachary Reyes