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England beat S Africa in record WC run chase

29Joe Root scored 83 as England sensationally chased down a target of 230 to stun South Africa by two wickets in the World Twenty20 in Mumbai yesterday, reports AFP. The classy batsman hit six fours and four sixes in his 44-ball knock as England finished on 230-8 with two balls to spare after South Africa made 229-4. It was England’s highest ever total in 20-over cricket and the second highest successful run chase by any team in the history of the shortest format of the game.
Moeen Ali dramatically hit the winning run after England went into the last over needing just one run to clinch victory.
Opener Jason Roy had earlier scored 43 while Jos Buttler made 21.
Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy made half centuries as South Africa posted 229-4 after England won the toss and elected to field first.
Left-handed de Kock reached his 50 off 21 balls thanks to seven fours and three sixes that included a beautiful array of shot-making in the Super 10 Group one game.
England skipper Eoin Morgan experimented with six different bowlers in the first seven overs as de Kock and Amla made easy work of David Willey and Reece Topley, among others, to reach 96-0.
England finally made a breakthrough in the eighth over when de Kock, on 52, was caught deep by Alex Hales off spinner Moeen Ali, providing them a rare moment of joy.
AB de Villiers came in and made a quick 16 as South Africa reached 100 in only eight overs before he was caught by Morgan off Adil Rashid in the ninth.
The two quick wickets helped to stem the South African tide momentarily and gave England a brief moment of hope, however South Africa’s strength in depth shone through.
England were left to rue a simple dropped catch by Topley in the fourth over that would have seen Amla walk as the batsman went on to notch his half-century in the tenth.
He was eventually out leg before wicket by Ali in the 12th over on 58.
Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis came in at number four and made 17 while Duminy expertly took over where de Kock and Amla had left off.
The left-hander, batting at number five, scored 54 not out that included three sixes and three fours.
In the day’s other match, New Zealand beat Australia by eight runs Friday in a thrilling match at cricket’s World Twenty20, with recalled paceman Mitchell McClenaghan taking three wickets for 17, reports AFP from Dharmasala.
After New Zealand had made 142 for eight in their 20 overs at Dharamsala, Australia had appeared well set to chase down a modest total.
But they lost four wickets in their last two overs with McClenaghan and Corey Anderson holding their nerve at the death, giving the Black Caps revenge after losing last year’s final of the 50 over World Cup to Australia.
McClenaghan was a surprise replacement for Nathan McCullum, one of the heroes of New Zealand’s dramatic victory over the hosts India on Tuesday.
But skipper Kane Williamson’s switch was vindicated in spectacular style while Australia were left to rue their decision to pick two rookie spinners, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.
Agar had a game to forget, carted for three sixes in what was his one and only over. His first two balls were full tosses, gratefully dispatched over the ropes by Martin Guptill, who top-scored with a brisk 39 off 27 balls. Guptill and Williamson put on 61 in the first seven overs but the Black Caps’ hopes of putting on a score close to 200 soon subsided.
But poor shot selection and tight bowling from the veteran Shane Watson and allrounders Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner put the brakes on one of T20 cricket’s biggest-hitting teams.
Guptill was the first to go after racing to 39 off 27 balls, caught on the boundary by Maxwell off the bowling of Faulkner as he tried to go for another six at the beginning of the eighth over.
Williamson and Corey Anderson were then out in quick succession, both taken after they miscued expansive strokes.
New Zealand never recovered their momentum and no batsman ever really looked settled on what proved to be a slow pitch. Watson’s first three overs yielded just 11 runs and he took the key wicket of Ross Taylor in his final over, one ball after being hit for six by the former Kiwi captain.
Usman Khawaja and Watson got the Australian innings off to brisk start, putting on 44 before Watson fell. Khawaja stroked six fours in an attractive innings of 38 off just 27 balls before he was run out just as he looked poised to post a big score.
Australia seemed comfortably placed at the mid-way point in their innings, having put 66 on the board.
But David Warner perished in the first ball of the 11th over, holing out at deep mid-wicket after mistiming a pull shot off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.
Spinners Santner and Ish Sodhi, the heroes of the win over India, again bowled tidy spells.
Sodhi conceded just 14 runs in his four overs while Santner took two for 30, his figures slightly tarnished at the end when he conceded two sixes off his last three balls.
McClenaghan was handed the ball for the penultimate over and did his captain proud by taking the wickets of both Marsh and Agar, conceding just three runs in the process.
New Zealand’s second win in two games makes them firm favourites to reach the semi-finals of the tournament but is a big blow to Australia’s hopes of winning a trophy that has so far proven elusive. Agency