South Africa played some brilliant cricket to win the first T20 Friday against England in Cape Town. The Proteas will be eager for another clinical performance to defeat Eoin Morgan's side and clinch the two-match T20 series Sunday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
The first match of the T20 series produced a close contest despite being a low-scoring affair. The game went down to the wire and South Africa just about managed to chase down England's score of 134 runs in the last ball of 20th over.
South Africa, who have a solid batting line-up, were expected to win the match, but the England bowlers were determined to register a win and gave it their all. Chris Jordan was the pick of the bowlers for England with three wickets. They bowled with discipline, but were not able to cross the finishing line.
Most of the South Africa batsmen got decent starts, but failed to convert them into meaningful scores. England should have won the match as the visitors were in the driver's seat with 15 runs required from the last six balls. Chris Morris hit an incredible four and six to inch closer to victory.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes England were on top of the game in the first T20 and should have won it as well. "It becomes a habit when you can win games when the other team looks like they can win it. We take a lot of confidence from that," ESPN Cricinfo quoted du Plessis as saying.
"For England, it's been a long tour and something like that can knock the wind out of you because they should have won that game. For us, it's mentally a step in the right direction. We want to try and put some scars mentally into England because we are going to see them in the first game of the World Cup."
England needs to forget their last-ball loss against South Africa and come up with some quality cricket to win the second T20 and draw the series level. Though the wicket in Cape Town might have assisted bowlers, the second T20 pitch in Johannesburg is expected to help the batsmen, and one can expect a run feast with the number of quality batsmen in both camps.
With the World T20 scheduled for next month, both teams will be keen for a victory in the second match of the series, but they may try to experiment with their team combinations. It remains to be seen if the home team will try out spinner Aaron Phangiso, who could play an important role in assisting Imran Tahir in the spin department.
England, who have a relatively inexperienced bowling line-up, will depend on their batsmen such as Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in the second T20 to emerge triumphant. England are expected to play with the same 11 that featured in the first T20.
Where to watch live
South Africa vs England 2nd T20 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. local time (6 p.m. IST, 12:30 p.m. GMT) with Live TV coverage in India on Ten Cricket while all the South Africa vs England 2nd T20 action can also be watched via live-streaming online on Ten Sports live.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the South Africa vs England 2nd T20 on SuperSport; live-streaming on SuperSport Live Video.
Viewers in the US can watch the match live on Willow TV, with live-streaming on Willow TV Online.