Proteas pipped by Morgan magic

2009-11-14 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s dilemma with Messrs Duckworth/Lewis popped up again last night, although this time even Graeme Smith could giggle after losing to England by the odd run in the Twenty20 international.

Though the Proteas will not lose sleep over the result, they may have a few nightmares about the diminutive Eoin Morgan, the Irishman with a penchant for all manner of fancy shots and footwork.

After Charl Langeveldt had kicked off the game with the wicket of Joe Denly, Jonathan Trott announced himself to his former countrymen in some style.

Dale Steyn’s facial fluff seemed to rub up the Poms the wrong way, as Trott spanked him for four consecutive fours, before Morgan really laid into him.

Morgan’s pulled six off the SA speedster didn’t just clear the ropes — it found its way to the adjoining block of flats! Captain Paul Collingwood meanwhile busied himself with a few lusty ones at the other end.

Their whirlwind stand of 98 took the breath away, and England looked set for a score well beyond 200.

But Ryan McLaren, on debut, bowled a miserly 17th over and got rid of Collingwood for a feisty 57. Morgan meanwhile simply flayed on with a sumptuous flicked six to fine leg, reducing bowler Langeveldt to a giggle.

It wasn’t so much the luck of the Irish as the sheer cheek of it, and Morgan’s 85 off just 44 balls was the highest score by an “Englishman” in this format.

The cosmopolitan clan that is England set South Africa an intimidating 203 to win.

Loots Bosman celebrated his return to the big time by lashing a 26 ball half-century while skipper Graeme Smith trudged along at the other end. When he eventually awakened he unleashed a few meaty blows himself.

The Wanderers track looked an absolute scorcher, and judging by the reckless riot presented by both sets of batsmen, bowlers may soon go on strike.

Coupled with a short boundary, this was always going to be carnage.

The South Africans were eight runs ahead of England at the same stage when the rain spoilt what looked like a great finish, and Duckworth/Lewis reckoned that the Proteas fell short by one run.

There will be more meaningful contests to come, but if last night is anything to go by, we are in for one heck of a tussle this summer.

SCOREBOARD

England Innings

J Denly lbw b Langeveldt0

A Cook lbw b McLaren11

J Trott run out Smith/vd Merwe33

P Collingwood c Botha b McLaren57

E Morgan not out85

L Wright c De Villiers b Steyn2

M Prior c Morkel b McLaren0

T Bresnan not out3

Extras (5lb, 6w)11

TOTAL (for 6 wkts in 20 overs)202

Fall of wickets: 1/0 (Denly, 0.1ov), 2-25 (Cook, 3.4), 3/61 (Trott, 6.6), 4/159 (Collingwood, 16.1), 5/167 (Wright 17.4), 6/169 (Prior, 18.2)

Bowling: Langeveldt 4-0-39-1 (2w), McLaren 4-0-33-3 (2w), Steyn 4-0-40-1, Morkel 2-0-32-0, Van der Merwe 2-0-17-0, Botha 4-0-36-0 (2w)

South Africa Innings

G Smith c Morgan b Wright41

L Bosman c Collingwood b Swann58

JP Duminy lbw b Mahmood6

AB de Villiers not out10

A Morkel not out9

Extras (3w)3

TOTAL (for 3 wkts in 13 overs)127

Fall of wickets: 1/97 (Smith, 8.3), 2/101 (Bosman 9.2), 112/3 (Duminy 10.2)

Bowling: Anderson 3-0-24-0 (1w), Bresnan 2-0-25-0, Mahmood 3-0-31-1 (1w), Wright 2-0-17-1 (1w), Swann 3-0-30-1

Result: England win by 1 run (D/L method)

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