De Kock stars as South Africa edge out England in Super 8s match

New York   -   Quinton de Kock’s blazing half-century and a cohesive bowling effort led South Africa to a thrilling victory over defending champions England in a gripping Super Eights match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Chasing a challenging target of 164, England fell short by 7 runs, managing 156/6 in their 20 overs despite a valiant half-century from Harry Brook. Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj were instrumental in curtailing England’s chase. England’s pursuit began poorly with Kagiso Rabada dismissing the in-form Phil Salt (11) early. Captain Jos Buttler (17) and Jonny Bairstow (16) tried to stabilize the innings but both were removed by Keshav Maharaj, leaving England at 53/3. Moeen Ali’s dismissal for 9 further dented their chances.

Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone then forged a crucial 78-run partnership, giving England a glimmer of hope. Livingstone’s quickfire 33 off 17 balls was cut short by Rabada in the 18th over. Brook top-scored with 53 off 37 balls, but his dismissal by Anrich Nortje in the final over dashed England’s hopes. Sam Curran’s unbeaten 10 wasn’t enough to steer England to victory.

Earlier, South Africa posted a competitive 163/6, powered by Quinton de Kock’s explosive 65 off 38 balls and David Miller’s 43 off 28. De Kock dominated from the start, decimating England’s bowlers, particularly Jofra Archer, whom he took for 21 runs in an over. Despite losing wickets at crucial junctures, South Africa managed to set a formidable target. Jofra Archer was the standout bowler for England with figures of 3-40. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali also contributed with a wicket each.

Reflecting on the game, player of the match Quinton de Kock said: “We’ve seen a couple of night games here. Some people have made that mistake [assuming it would be similar] - I’ve played a few CPL games here and it certainly doesn’t play the same during the day as it does during the night.”

Scores in Brief

SOUTH AFRICA 163-6 (Quinton de Kock 65, David Miller 43; Jofra Archer 3-40) beat ENGLAND 156-6 (Harry Brook 53, Liam Livingstone 33; Keshav Maharaj 2-25, Kagiso Rabada 2-32) by 7 runs.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786