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Cricket: England victory levels T20 series

Jonny Bairstow is bowled by Morne Morkel. Picture: Getty

Jonny Bairstow is bowled by Morne Morkel. Picture: Getty

  • by RORY DOLLARD
 

THRILLING knocks from Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler saw England end the summer on a high note, squaring the NatWest Twenty20 Series against South Africa with a 28-run victory at Edgbaston.

The familiar sight of rain reduced the match to an 11-over thrash, a format that suited the Somerset pair down to the ground as Kieswetter made 50 in 32 balls and Buttler blazed 32 not in just 10 deliveries. The fourth-wicket pair added 48 in 11 frenzied minutes to lead the hosts to 118 for five, Buttler launching a brutal attack on Wayne Parnell that saw him concede 32 in a single over – the second costliest over in international Twenty20 history.

As so often in recent times, Hashim Amla was South Africa’s lynchpin, top-scoring with 36 in an ill-fated reply that ended at 90 for five.

Afterwards, captain Stuart Broad hailed Buttler’s effort. He said: “Jos’s was a game-changing innings.

“We know how good he is, he’s shown on the county circuit that he does that, this is the first time he’s done it in international cricket and going into the World Cup he can be very special.”

“The batting showed a bit of adaptability tonight.

“We’ve got a squad that can do very well in Sri Lanka, but it’s important we don’t get too far ahead.”

 

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