Chittagong, March 29: South Africa marched into the ICC World Twenty20 semifinals by beating England by three runs in a Group 1 clash at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here Saturday.
After being put in to bat, South Africa were powered by skipper AB de Villiers’ 28-ball unbeaten 69 to reach a strong total of 196/5 in their 20 overs. In reply, England fought well but were contained to 193/7 by the South African bowlers.
England have been knocked out of the competition, losing two of their three matches so far, and will not be able to reach the last four in any possibility.
South Africa started in superb fashion with openers Hashim Amla (56) and Quinton de Kock (29) striking a 90-run opening wicket partnership to give the Proteas the perfect start they needed.
Amla played a superb hand, hitting six boundaries and two sixes, with de Kock’s good supporting role. The duo, however, got out in quick succession just before the team reach hundred.
Then de Villiers stepped into the picture and it was his story from thereon.
The South African skipper did not need a support player as he took the mantle upon himself and hammered nine boundaries and three sixes all over the park in his knock which read a staggering strike rate of 246.42. De Villiers thwacked the English bowlers all over to take his team to an intimidating total.
In reply, England maintained a strong run-rate throughout their innings but kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Also importantly, no batsman took the responsibility of playing the anchor’s innings.
Opener Alex Hales, who slammed a superb century in England’s last match against Sri Lanka, was the top scorer again with 38. Wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler contributed 34 while Ravi Bopara scored 31.
In the last over bowled by express pacer Dale Steyn, England required 22. Though Tim Bresnan hit two sixes and a boundary of the last three deliveries it was too late for the European team.
Wayne Parnell was the pick of the bowlers clinching 3/31 while spinner Imran Tahir scalped 2/27.
Brief scores: South Africa 196/5 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 69 not out, Hashim Amla 56, Quinton de Kock 29; James Tredwell 1/25, Tim Bresnan 1/28, Chris Jordan 1/30) beat England 193/7 in 20 overs (Alex Hales 38, Jos Buttler 34, Ravi Bopara 31; Wayne Parnel 3/31, Imran Tahir 2/27, Dale Steyn 1/44).