Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Spirited De Villiers Spurs Fire in Proteas

Spirited De Villiers Spurs Fire in Proteas

Andile Phehlukwayo delivered a superb final over to help his side South Africa beat England by three runs in a thrilling second Twenty20 worldwide at Taunton on Friday, keeping the series level pegging with one match to go.

Malan, coming in at No.3, let his first ball go and monstered his second over mid-wicket for six.

Malan and Alex Hales - returning to the England team in place of Jonny Bairstow - shared in a century stand for the second wicket, though Hales struggled for his usual fluency after being painfully struck on the knee by a ball from Dane Paterson.

The Middlesex left-hander had pressed his case for inclusion with scores of 125 not out and 84 for the England Lions against South Africa A earlier this month.

Du Plessis, the Proteas' Test skipper, is awaiting the birth of his first child, who is expected in the first week of July.

But he also showed touch as well as power in flipping leg-spinner Imran Tahir over shirt fine leg for a four that saw him to fifty.

Their attempts since a 1992 debut - after years of isolation due to apartheid - have been dogged by bad luck and reverses snatched from the jaws of all-but-certain victory, leaving South Africa with the unwanted tag of "chokers".

Since then, South Africa have won twice and drawn once in three Test series and De Villiers insists that trend can continue.

"It's tough, but it's a call you have to make looking to the long-term". It was a fantastic knock because having played here before we knew the wicket was a little bit two-paced.

Malan revealed a chat with another late-bloomer in Middlesex team-mate Adam Voges - who made his Test debut for Australia aged 35 - helped him get through the Ireland disappointment helped him retain faith his time would come.

"Absolutely not, not at all", Morgan said when asked if there would be any leftovers from Taunton.

Born in the London suburb of Roehampton, Malan's debut was all the more special for being made against the country where he grew up. "It was as though he was playing his 50th game as opposed to his first". "But Mason showed great heart and character to get his wicket".

Speaking in Cardiff after the third T20 match against England, de Villiers said: 'We will see what works for both parties. De Villiers says that he will be gearing up for the tour and hopes to be ready when the Mashrafe Mortaza-led team arrives in September.

"We lost by 19 runs and I can think of 20-plus runs we threw away in the field with silly mistakes".

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