March 19, 2016

Joe Root stuns South Africa in record T20 chase - England v South Africa, World T20 2016, Group 1, Mumbai

Joe Root

When Joe Root came to the crease in the fifth over against South Africa, on Friday, England were still 158-runs adrift from the monstrous target of 230 set by their opponents. When he was dismissed in the 19th over, for a 43-ball 83, he left his side just 11-runs away from a historic win, with still two overs in the bag at Wankhede Stadium.

England registered their first win of the competition with two-balls to spare. Root had smashed six fours and four sixes in his match-winning knock. The innings helped keep England's World T20 campaign alive, as they would have faced an early exit if they had failed to win.

England needed to score at more than 11 runs an over from the onset; and their openers - Alex Hales and Jason Roy - injected just the impetus needed to seize early advantage. They duo propelled their side to 44 runs from the first two overs, which is the highest ever in T20s.

South Africa's opening bowlers, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn, had no answer to the onslaught. Roy smashed four fours in the first over of the innings, from Rabada, and then a four and a six of Steyn's second over, while Hales struck three-consecutive fours in the same over.

Kyle Abbott accounted for Hales in the third over, but the boundaries continued to leak. Roy's dismissal in the fifth over to Abbott, brought Root to the crease. England had lost their way, in the middle overs, and failed to register a boundary in more than three overs, as Root, Ben Stokes and Captain Eoin Morgan struggled against Imran Tahir and JP Duminy.

Stokes and Morgan's departure by the 10th over, brought Jos Buttler to the crease. Buttler and Root's 75-run stand proved decisive, as they scored at 12.50 runs in the six overs they batted together.

Root's 30-ball 50 was slowest half-century of the match, after Quinton de Kock scored his from 21 balls, Hashim Amla off 25 and Duminy from 26. But Root's innings mattered the most, as a failure on his part, would put England out of the competition.

Root finally fell to a Rabada full toss, which he dispatched to David Miller at the deep midwicket boundary. Moeen Ali then scored the winning runs. The chase is the second highest ever in T20I history. The highest was also against South Africa, by West Indies in Johannesburg in 2015, when they overhauled a target of 232. The match aggregate of 459 is the second highest in T20Is.

"It's just nice to contribute to a game of cricket," Joe Root, the player-of-the-match, said. "Be sensible, play smart cricket…and the guys were so calm under pressure. It's about staying cool and building partnerships."

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  • santosh raj mohanty on March 23, 2016, 7:06 GMT

    As all say the talented root,kholi and williamson can adapt any condition, here is the proof of one of them,well played root.

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