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England fall agonisingly short against South Africa at T20 World Cup

Harry Brook on kneels down whilst batting
England could not get over the line despite the best efforts of Harry Brook - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

England lost a scrappy game in the last over to South Africa but can still qualify for the semi-finals if they beat the United States in Barbados on Sunday.

The seven-run defeat on a stodgy pitch ensured another sweaty-palmed Sunday night for England awaiting the outcome of the game between West Indies and South Africa that will determine the top two in Group One. It will feel like Scotland vs Australia all over again.

It was agonising for Harry Brook who nearly took England home with his first World Cup half-century, but at least this narrow loss did not dent their run rate to any great extent, and as long as they do not slip up against the United States they retain a good chance of a last-four spot.

“We know we’re still in it – we played well today, we just didn’t quite get over the line,” said Jos Buttler, the England captain. “At one stage we were favourites but it doesn’t work like that in T20 cricket, and South Africa closed out well.”

Buttler blamed England’s powerplays for the defeat. South Africa plundered 63 off the first six overs because England were slow to read the conditions, thinking it would be another quick pitch like the four night games played in St Lucia over the past week.

Most internationals are played under lights at the Daren Sammy Stadium when the pitches are juicer and games are high scorers. But a large number of day games are played here in the Caribbean Premier League when shot-making is harder and South Africa leant on their experienced franchise players to provide that knowledge.

Quinton de Kock is one of them. Sent in when Buttler won the toss, the left-hander knew he had to motor early and led the way with what turned out to be a match-winning 65 off 38 with four fours and four sixes, taking 21 off the fourth over bowled by Jofra Archer.

Archer returned later in the innings, took the pace off and bowled superbly, conceding only 19 from three overs and dismissing De Kock, but he had already put South Africa ahead of the game by then.

When England batted in the powerplay they could not match De Kock. South Africa bowled into the pitch with pace off and England struggled to 41 for one, losing the man of the match against West Indies the other night, Phil Salt. The opener was followed in the seventh over by Buttler, whose lean tournament continued.

“We’ve seen a couple of night games here [in the World Cup]. 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,” said De Kock.

England were happy to restrict South Africa to 163 and an asking rate of 8.2 an over was well within their wheelhouse considering their power.  But by the 12th over they had managed just five boundaries, lost their top order and the required run rate was over 11. They needed someone to see them home and be a hero. The closest was Brook with 53 off 37 balls including seven fours. He recovered from a slow start of 18 off 19 before unfurling his range of shots.

Along with Liam Livingstone he provided hope with a 78-run stand off 42 for the fifth wicket. South Africa wobbled, losing their composure under pressure but eventually closed out the innings clinically.

Brook and Livingstone scored 52 off three overs, rattling Ottneil Baartman, who bowled five full tosses in a 17th over that cost 21. England were back in it, with 25 needed off 18 but Livingstone clipped a full toss from Kagiso Rabada to fine leg as the game swung South Africa’s way again.

All hope was placed on Brook with 21 needed off 12. But Marco Jansen bowled a superb penultimate over, hitting the pitch with pace off, conceding only seven runs. England needed 14 off the last bowled by Anrich Nortje who struck a crucial blow first ball when Brook was caught superbly by a backpeddling Aiden Markram at mid-off. Even then England had a sniff when Sam Curran hit the third ball for four. Nine off three was doable but Nortje bowled full and Curran could not squeeze out the boundary needed.

England may well look back on the selection of Mark Wood, who bowled two overs for 22, and wonder if they should have gone with Chris Jordan’s slower ball repertoire. On such fine margins T20 can turn and that final place in their XI is causing them issues.

In Adil Rashid they have one of the bowlers of the tournament. His excellent four overs cost just 21 and he had a good week in St Lucia, going at five an over in two Super Eight games. The leg-spinner will be crucial if England qualify because of the slow pitches where the semi-finals will be played. Rashid, along with Moeen Ali and Archer, closed out the innings, South Africa hitting just 100, including just 10 boundaries after the powerplay.

Buttler produced a stunning run out taking a wide down the leg side and throwing down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to dismiss dangerman Heinrich Klaasen as England produced their best fielding performance. They look sharper generally but are now playing a waiting game. Again.


England lose narrowly to South Africa in Saint Lucia: As it happened


07:18 PM BST

The thoughts of Jos Buttler

I’d say it was lost in the powerplay. Quinton de Kock came out and played with really good intent and we couldn’t really match that. I think we were about 20 behind them at the end of our first six. The wicket did slow up, which allowed us to pull it back in the middle and we were happy to be chasing 160. But yeah, that innings was the difference.

It’s still a good pitch but a little slower than we probably expected. I’m proud of how we responded with the ball after their good powerplay, and Brook and Livingstone had an excellent partnership there to take us so close. At one stage we were favourites but T20 cricket is never that simple, and credit to South Africa for closing it out.

We restricted a really powerful line-up to what we thought was a par score so that was a great effort. It was important for those two to get that time in the middle, for Liam in particular, but he’s very understanding that it’s how T20 cricket goes sometimes if you’re batting at 5, 6, 7. He handles it well, but he’s hitting the ball brilliantly in the nets and took it into the middle today.

We know we’re still in it. We played well today, we just didn’t quite get over the line.


07:12 PM BST

Quotes from player of the match Quinton de Kock

We have seen a couple of night games here but the surface plays differently at night than it does during the day. They can be two very different surfaces.

My plan was to just bat as long as I can and score as many runs I can. That was pretty much it. I don’t really carry or lose confidence, I just get on with my game. So that is what I focused on.

I thought we bowled really well, especially in the powerplay. We controlled it really nicely. Overall we were pretty solid and to defend on 160 on a decent pitch is a good effort.


07:10 PM BST

Should Wood have played?

England lost partly because they got their selection wrong? Mark Wood was the bowler least suited to a pitch that had got slower by day … whereas Andrich Nortje had the variations to blend with his express pace, which Wood does not.


07:06 PM BST

Six out of six for Aiden Markram’s men


07:04 PM BST

Still talking about run rates

Disappointing loss for England but a 7-run defeat isn’t too bad: if they beat USA by a decent margin, will be unlikely that both South Africa and West Indies get above them on net run rate (even if WI beat SA and USA)


07:01 PM BST

Missed chance?

Brilliant game - but an opportunity missed for England, given where they were with three overs to go, and where they were at half time. It felt like they had some real momentum in this tournament, which takes a hit now. All eyes now on Barbados, where they need to beat the USA on Sunday. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain…


07:00 PM BST

Ramifications

South Africa stay unbeaten for the tournament and are almost certain to qualify for the semi-finals. England know a win on Sunday against the USA should see them into the semi-final


06:59 PM BST

South Africa win

It is a swing and a miss from Archer and South Africa win by seven runs.


06:59 PM BST

Eight off one

Curran can only get a single to mid-off which he takes and, unless there is a no-ball or wide, South Africa will win.


06:58 PM BST

Nine from two

Curran turns down a single and he will need to hit two boundaries to win or take it to a super over.


06:57 PM BST

Nine from three

Curran flicks off his pads past short fine-leg for four.


06:55 PM BST

13 from four

Archer is the new man and can only get a single


06:54 PM BST

Wicket

Brook c Markram b Nortje 53

Have England’s hopes just disappeared? Markram takes a fantastic diving catch running back from mid-off. Well batted Harry Brook but will it be enough? FOW 150/6

Aiden Markram takes a catch to dismiss Harry Brook
What a catch by Aiden Markram - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

06:52 PM BST

OVER 19: ENG 150/5 (Curran 5 Brook 53)

Jansen will bowl the penultimate over.

First ball dot.

Second ball is a two and that brings up Brook’s fifty. Well batted Harry!

Third ball is a leg-bye after Brook attempts a ramp shot.

Curran hits ball four to deep mid-wicket for a single.

Brook nearly is caught by deep cover as he comes running in but it lands safely.

Curran gets back for two off the last ball and England will need 14 from the last over.


06:47 PM BST

OVER 18: ENG 143/5 (Curran 2 Brook 49)

Curran joins Brook at the crease having not hit a single ball with the bat in this tournament up until this point. He gets off the mark first ball with a single.

That is a great over from Rabada, with just four runs coming off it.

England need 21 from 12.

What an over from Kagiso Rabada. And what a game, between two genuinely good sides. We are entering the sharp end of this World Cup.


06:44 PM BST

Wicket

Livingstone c Stubbs b Rabada 33

A sting in the tail? Rabada bowls a full toss and Livingstone will be so annoyed with himself. Hitting into the wind, he finds Stubbs on the boundary. FOW 139/5

The commentators have just referred to Kagiso Rabada screaming in the face of Joe Root in a Port Elizabeth Test. Rabada did not. He let off steam, completely, but not at the batsman.

Tristan Stubbs celebrates taking the catch to dismiss Liam Livingstone
England did not want to lose that wicket - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

06:41 PM BST

OVER 17: ENG 139/4 (Livingstone 33 Brook 47)

Livingstone swats Baartman over the offside and, despite the best efforts of a diving Stubbs, it goes for four.

Baartman goes full again and gets it wrong, bowling a full toss which Livingstone dispatches over cover for four more.

Baartman misses his length again and Livingstone flicks him over deep backward square-leg for six. Could this be the crucial over?

Off the last ball Brook hits a full toss over mid-on for four. 21 has come from that over.

England need 25 from 18 balls.


06:36 PM BST

OVER 16: ENG 118/4 (Livingstone 16 Brook 43)

With mid-off in the circle, Brook charges Nortje and swats a short ball over mid-off’s head for four off the first ball of the over. Giving himself space, he then drills it through wide mid-off for four more to bring up the 50 partnership off just 30 balls.

England need 46 from 24.

That was the most astonishing shot by Harry Brook. To run down the pitch at Andre Nortje and hit him for six over long off! The parameters of batting continue to expand.

Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone punch gloves
50 partnership brought up between Brook and Livingstone - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

06:30 PM BST

OVER 15: ENG 105/4 (Livingstone 14 Brook 33)

Rabada bowled two excellent overs in the powerplay and he is back on. Livingstone picks up his first ball back into the attack and hits it for six over deep square-leg.

A couple of balls later Brook pushes it through cover for two. The Yorkshireman then cuts away behind square for four to bring up the 100. Off the fifth ball Brook ramps Rabada over short fine-leg for four more.

England need 59 from 30 balls.

Finally, the over England needed. They’ve still got a chance here but it will take one hell of an effort.


06:25 PM BST

OVER 14: ENG 87/4 (Livingstone 7 Brook 22)

Jansen has been brought into the attack. Brook cuts behind square on the offside for four. England are going to need plenty more of those if they are going to have any chance of claiming victory.

England require 81 runs from 36 balls. Tall order.


06:22 PM BST

OVER 13: ENG 81/4 (Livingstone 6 Brook 17)

England have to go if they are going to chase down this target. Brook sweeps Maharaj behind square for four. A couple of twos in the over and nine in total.

Maharaj is bowled out and has done a great job for his side, finishing with figures of 2-25 off four overs.


06:18 PM BST

OVER 12: ENG 72/4 (Livingstone 6 Brook 8)

Livingstone whips Nortje away through mid-wicket for four. He did not time it brilliantly but it is four nonetheless.

Off the penultimate ball Livingstone takes a quick single to mid-on, where Rabada fires in his throw. It hits the stump but as the review shows Livingstone got home in time.

England require 92 more runs to win from 48 balls.

Liam Livingstone hits a shot
England need runs from Liam Livingstone - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

06:13 PM BST

OVER 11: ENG 63/4 (Livingstone 0 Brook 5)

Livingstone is the new man and misses a full toss first ball. It strikes him on the pads but it looked like it was sliding down leg.

England are in real strife, still needing 101 to win from just nine overs.


06:10 PM BST

Wicket

Moeen c Maharaj b Baartman 9

Another England wicket goes. Moeen picks Maharaj out at deep mid-wicket, quite far in from the boundary. Moeen was nowhere near getting it over Mahara. England are falling apart here. FOW 61/4

England are in strife now; without Jacks and Jordan in the team, their batting looks much lighter. It’s Harry Brook or bust now.

South Africa celebrate Moeen Ali's wicket
Another England wicket gone - Ramon Espinosa/AP

06:05 PM BST

OVER 10: ENG 60/3 (Moeen 9 Brook 3)

Captain Markram is bringing himself into the attack. South Africa only have one front-line spinner so Markram will turn his arm over.

Just four runs come from the over and the screw is tightening on England.

Time for drinks.


06:02 PM BST

OVER 9: ENG 56/3 (Moeen 7 Brook 1)

Brook is the new man in. We are approaching the halfway mark in the innings and England still need over 100 more to win.

Harry’s game? A lot of concern that Harry Brook doesn’t get enough chance to impact the innings because he bats too low. Against Australia, Brook walked out in Barbados with England needing another 78 runs from 35 balls. England are in a pickle again now, but with 11.2 overs left when he came out, Brook has the chance to play a match-defining knock. England certainly need him to.


06:01 PM BST

Wicket

Buttler c Klaasen b Maharaj 17

Buttler attempts to sweep Maharaj over deep midwicket against the spin but he only finds the hands of Klaasen, who makes up for his drop earlier. England in a spot of bother. FOW 54/3


05:57 PM BST

OVER 8: ENG 50/2 (Moeen 3 Buttler 16)

Nortje is into the attack for the first time today. Buttler pulls it away in front of square on the leg-side for a couple.

Moeen nearly chips it into the hands of cover but it goes just over his head.

This feels like it will be a nipper. South Africa’s attack is outstanding the rate is just rising a little more than England would like. No one has scored freely since de Kock.


05:53 PM BST

OVER 7: ENG 43/2 (Moeen 0 Buttler 11)

Moeen joins Buttler out in the middle. Just two runs and a wicket from that Maharaj over.


05:52 PM BST

Wicket

Bairstow c Nortje b Maharaj 16

Bairstow tries to cut Maharaj away through point but he is caught by a diving Nortje. That is a good catch but poor batting from Bairstow, who was just getting a little stuck. FOW 43/2

Jonny Bairstow walks off after being dismissed
Jonny Bairstow gone - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

05:48 PM BST

OVER 6: ENG 41/1 (Bairstow 15 Buttler 11)

Baartman is coming into the attack for the first time today for the final over of the powerplay and Bairstow nearly chops on first ball but instead scampers through for a single.

Bairstow manages to get it over the offside for a couple. Not perfectly timed but they come back for two.

That is the end of the powerplay. In comparison, South Africa were 63/0 after the powerplay.


05:44 PM BST

OVER 5: ENG 36/1 (Bairstow 11 Buttler 11)

Maharaj is brought into the attack and you would imagine England are going to try and target him. Buttler hits the first ball through wide long-off for two.

He then switch-hits for four over wide third-man. Eight come from that Maharaj over.

Jos Buttler hits away for four
Buttler getting going - Ramon Espinosa/AP

05:41 PM BST

OVER 4: ENG 28/1 (Bairstow 10 Buttler 4)

Bairstow is dropped. He opens his body up to hit into the offside. It flies into the air and Klaasen comes racing off the point boundary but he spills it. He should have taken that. How costly could that be?

Only two runs though come from Rabada’s second over. He currently has figures of 1-10 from two overs.


05:37 PM BST

OVER 3: ENG 26/1 (Bairstow 9 Buttler 3)

Quick running between the wickets gets Bairstow two behind square on the offside.

Jansen bowls a no-ball on the fifth ball of the over, which gives Bairstow the chance to punish him for overstepping. Jansen goes for the yorker and Bairstow gets a thick inside edge. It runs past short fine-leg and away for four.


05:32 PM BST

OVER 2: ENG 16/1 (Bairstow 1 Buttler 2)

Bairstow is the new man at the crease. He gets of the mark first ball with a single into the leg-side. Crucial early wicket that for South Africa.


05:30 PM BST

Wicket

Salt c Hendricks b Rabada 11

We have just seen another terrific catch in this match. Salt drills Rabada through the offside but Hendricks takes a sublime diving catch. FOW 15/1


05:25 PM BST

OVER 1: ENG 8/0 (Salt 7 Buttler 1)

Jansen opens up to Salt. South Africa appeal for a catch first ball by a diving Rabada at short fine-leg but it came flying off the pad.

Jansen bangs it into the pitch and Salt, who was superb against the West Indies the other night on this ground, belts him over the leg-side for six; England’s first boundary of the reply.

Eight from the first over.


05:20 PM BST

Reply

Here come Salt and Buttler for England’s innings. They require 164 to win to make it two victories from two. A win today will almost guarantee a spot in the semi-finals.


05:20 PM BST

England the happier side?

Looks a good fight back from England, but let’s see. I feel like Harry Brook is a much-improved fielder, he’s been safe as houses this tournament. Looking lithe after his unfortunate break from the game around the death of his grandmother.


05:18 PM BST

David Miller speaking after his innings of 43

It was nice to get some runs and some time in the middle. We went into a bit of a hole in the middle there but I think that’s down to the conditions. The guys played really well up top to get us off to a good start and I think 160 is a good total out there.

I thought I hit it pretty well but didn’t quite get the trajectory and it was a great catch from him. That’s how cricket goes! It started off pretty nicely, the ball coming on to the bat but then it just got slower and slower as the innings went on.


05:15 PM BST

Trivia

The origin of that ploy of the wicketkeeper taking off his glove to throw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end: I wasn’t there at Canterbury before the Great War, but I recall an account of it happening there when the Australians were playing. Can an historian among our readers remind us who the innovative keeper was please?


05:11 PM BST

England brilliant in the field

I take back what I said about the fielding today. It has been superb since that Wood miscalculation on the fence. Great catches from Brook and Curran in Archer’s final over to snuff out any threat of a late burst of runs and Buttler pulled off one of the best keeper run outs you will ever see. England clicking at the right time.


05:10 PM BST

End of innings

Archer has a hat-trick ball but he cannot do what Pat Cummins did yesterday. Maharaj upper-cuts down to third man and Wood tries to stop it but his body is in contact with the boundary when he flicks it back.

Only four more runs come from the over and that is the end of the innings. South Africa finish on 163/6. Who will be the happier side? Maybe just England.


05:06 PM BST

Wicket

Jansen c Curran b Archer 0

Another terrific bit of fielding from England. Jansen skies his first ball into the offside and Curran takes a great catch over his shoulder on the run. FOW 155/6

Sam Curran takes a diving catch
Terrific catch from Sam Curran - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

05:04 PM BST

Wicket

Miller c Brook b Archer 43

Miller drills it down the ground but Brook takes a great catch round to his left to dismiss Miller, who has been batting well. FOW 155/5


05:03 PM BST

OVER 19: RSA 155/4 (Stubbs 9 Miller 43)

Curran will bowl the penultimate over. Miller pushes the first ball into the offside for a couple.

Curran then bowls a full toss which Livingstone does brilliantly to prevent going for four on the leg-side boundary. Miller wants a no-ball for height but Curran was just about ok.

Miller then moves his front leg out of the way and drills Curran over wide long-off for six. Terrific shot from Miller but that was right in the slot from Curran.

14 runs in total from the over.


04:57 PM BST

OVER 18: RSA 141/4 (Stubbs 8 Miller 31)

Archer is on in the 18th over. Miller picks him up over the leg-side and just over the boundary rope for six. Miller is playing a key role for South Africa here. Off the final ball Stubbs tries to ramp an Archer bounce and nearly gets hit in the face.

Eight runs in total from the over.


04:53 PM BST

OVER 17: RSA 133/4 (Stubbs 7 Miller 24)

Topley, having bowled three overs up front, is coming back into the attack.

He goes for just five runs and that is him bowled out. He goes for just 23 runs from his four overs, and three of those came in the powerplay.

Reece Topley has not taken a wicket in four games but has definitely done his job. He is going at less than a run a ball since his recall for the Oman game.


04:48 PM BST

OVER 16: RSA 128/4 (Stubbs 5 Miller 22)

Wood drops too short to Miller and he pulls him away through wide long-on for four.

A few balls later Wood is too short and straight and Miller pulls him behind square for another boundary.

Poor bowling from Wood as Stubbs flicks off his legs down to fine-leg.

David Miller strikes the ball away for four
South Africa need some runs from David Miller - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

04:43 PM BST

OVER 15: RSA 115/4 (Stubbs 1 Miller 8)

Stubbs is the new man at the crease and he gets going with a single first ball. Rashid finishes with figure of 1-20 from his four overs. Fantastic.


04:41 PM BST

Wicket

Markam b Rashid 1

Another wicket for England and South Africa are stalling. Markram tries to flash Rashid through the off-side but Rashid’s flighted delivery is too good for him. FOW 113/4

Aiden Markram walks off after being dismissed
Another South Africa wicket falls - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

04:38 PM BST

OVER 14: RSA 107/3 (Markram 0 Miller 7)

Wood finds the outside edge of Miller’s bat but Topley at short third-man cannot stop it and it runs away for four. Fortunate for South Africa


04:36 PM BST

Wicket

Klaasen run out Buttler 8

WOW! More sensational stuff from captain Jos! Wood bowls a wide down the leg-side and Klaasen is called through for a single. Buttler sprints to the ball, turns and throws. He smashes down the stumps at the non-striker’s end and Klaasen is comfortably out. Big, big wicket for England. FOW 103/3

Jos Buttler and Phil Salt celebrate the run-out of Heinrich Klaasen
Superb from captain Buttler again! - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

04:31 PM BST

OVER 13: RSA 98/2 (Klaasen 7 Miller 1)

Curran keeps it down to just six runs and England have definitely stunted South Africa’s momentum here.


04:29 PM BST

Not out, just

That was very, very close. The ball was clipping the top of the stumps and England will be so frustrated by that. Klaasen remains but England retain their review.


04:28 PM BST

Too high?

Looking at the replays it is in line but looks like it is going over...


04:28 PM BST

England review

Curran is into the attack. Off the first ball, Klaasen picks a slower ball and drills it down the ground for four. Despite long-off being in place, Brook had no chance of stopping that.

A couple of balls later Curran appeals for LBW as Klaasen comes across his stumps. The umpire decides not out but England are going to review this...


04:25 PM BST

OVER 12: RSA 92/2 (Klaasen 3 Miller 0)

Miller is the new man and Archer’s second over includes that wicket of de Kock and just three runs.

That catching of Quinton de Kock off Jofra Archer, at full stretch and high to his left, was a masterful statement by Jos Buttler. Jonny Bairstow and Phil Salt would have been less likely to catch it, surely, than the captain on song.


04:23 PM BST

Wicket

de Kock c Buttler b Archer 65

What a catch! Buttler, take a bow! de Kock tries to cut a slower ball from Archer away but gets a thick outside edge. Buttler dives to his left and plucks it out of the air. Sensational! de Kock gone this time. FOW 92/2


04:19 PM BST

OVER 11: RSA 89/1 (Klaasen 2 de Kock 64)

Just one run off the bat and a bye from Rashid’s third. Rashid has gone for just 12 runs in those three overs. Terrific stuff from England’s leg spinner.


04:14 PM BST

OVER 10: RSA 87/1 (Klaasen 1 de Kock 64)

Klaasen is the new man out there. He is off the mark first ball with a single.

Time for a drink.


04:11 PM BST

Wicket

Hendricks c Brook b Moeen 19

He found it tough out there and Hendricks’ miserable innings ends. He comes down the ground but skies it to long-on, where Brook takes the catch. England needed that. FOW 86/1

Was about to suggest that there’s a case for South African retiring out Reeza Hendricks. While Quinton de Kock is playing beautifully, Hendricks struggled for timing. You suspect that England will be glad he’s faced 25 balls, limiting the amount left for South Africa’s formidable middle order.

Moeen and Jos Buttler celebrate wicket
Breakthrough for England - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

04:10 PM BST

Our writers have a different view

Tough, but correct call that for England. The ball just dipped a bit more than Mark Wood was expecting and it hit the ground. A let off for South Africa because de Kock should have been taken.

That was a poor misjudgement from Wood, should have been a comfortable catch even though the ball held up in the wind. England are not happy but he should really have taken that cleanly. It was in the air a long time and straight to him at deep square leg. England’s fielding is poor for a team of their calibre and was always going to cost them in this World Cup. Will it be now after gifting De Kock a life?

Mark Wood attempts to take a catch
Out or not out? - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

04:08 PM BST

OVER 9: RSA 80/0 (Hendricks 18 de Kock 59)

Five runs from Rashid’s latest over but the talking point will be that decision to give de Kock not out. England can feel hard done by there.


04:06 PM BST

Big, big moment

England thought they had de Kock but the third umpire gives it not out. Wood took the catch at fine-leg off Rashid’s bowling but they adjudge that the fingers were not under the ball and the ball hit the ground. England are not happy and understandably so. It is as if they were trying to convince themselves that it hit the ground but that feels like the wrong call. de Kock survives.


04:01 PM BST

OVER 8: RSA 75/0 (Hendricks 14 de Kock 58)

Moeen is coming back into the attack and the spin twins are bowling in tandem. Just the six runs come from Moeen’s second over.


03:58 PM BST

OVER 7: RSA 69/0 (Hendricks 13 de Kock 53)

Powerplay over and Buttler has immediately turned to Rashid. England desperately need a wicket, when you consider the likes of Klaasen, Miller and Stubbs are waiting in the hutch.

de Kock nudges one into the leg-side and that brings up his half-century off just 22 balls. Bravo!

Quinton de Kock celebrates his 50
Bravo de Kock - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

03:55 PM BST

OVER 6: RSA 63/0 (Hendricks 11 de Kock 49)

Curran is coming on to replace Archer, who was hit for 21 in his first over. Curran immediately turns to the slower ball and de Kock cuts past the in-field for three. Livingstone just about keeps it in, despite nearly stepping onto the rope with the ball still in his hands.

Later in the over Curran goes back to the back-of-the-hand slower ball, but de Kock picks it and dispatches Curran over deep mid-wicket for six. This is quite the display from de Kock.

That is end of the powerplay and South Africa will be happy.

If you take out the Oman mismatch, England have taken just three wickets in the powerplay at the World Cup. There was one caught at long on off the final ball of the sixth over against Namibia and two Australians, although they hammered 76 off the powerplay in the meantime. It is a strange lack of potency given their attack and might cost them today.

Quinton de Kock hits a six
de Kock is flying! - Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

03:49 PM BST

OVER 5: RSA 51/0 (Hendricks 11 de Kock 39)

That is exquisite from de Kock. He just threads Topley, who is given a third straight over, through backward point for four. Not all about the power, sometimes there is finesse.

50 up for South Africa in the fifth over and they are going along nicely after a cautious first couple of overs.

We’ve seen some proper power from de Kock in his three sixes already, but that guided four behind squad on the offside was the shot of the day so far. Glorious arc of the bat.


03:45 PM BST

OVER 4: RSA 41/0 (Hendricks 9 de Kock 32)

Just one over from Moeen and Archer is on. What a blockbuster match-up; Jofra vs de Kock! First ball Archer strikes de Kock in a rather tender area.

Second ball de Kock picks it up over fine-leg for six. It only just got over Topley on the boundary line but de Kock had just enough on it.

That is a handsome stroke. He opens up his front leg and dispatches Archer over wide long-on for six. What a shot! This is classy batting from de Kock. He upper-cuts it over Rashid at short third-man for four. It was a slow start from South Africa but de Kock is now accelerating.

Off the final ball Archer drops too short and Hendricks hits it over mid-wicket for four more. 21 from Archer’s first over and South Africa are now moving.


03:40 PM BST

OVER 3: RSA 20/0 (Hendricks 5 de Kock 15)

Good fielding from Salt on the backward point boundary denies de Kock a boundary but South Africa come back for two.

Topley has bowled a troubling length for Hendricks, who has struggled to get away so far. South Africa get just six runs from Topley’s second over.

A lot of empty seats for this game, not a surprise. Around 70 percent of the island’s population works in tourism, most of those will be on a  six day working week too. Day games are not well attended in the Caribbean for that reason, people have to work. But the evening games attract good crowds. Cricket is very much alive in the Caribbean, it is just different to the UK, which is really the only venue in the world where neutral World Cup games sell out. It was noticeable the other night for the England-West Indies game the only empty seats were the top dollar ones and those for the ICC sponsors (who never turn up).


03:37 PM BST

OVER 2: RSA 14/0 (Hendricks 3 de Kock 11)

With left-hander de Kock on strike, Buttler turns to Moeen, who has dismissed de Kock six times in just under 60 deliveries.

de Kock gets off the mark with a single behind point on the offside.

Off the penultimate ball of the second over de Kock decides it is time to go and drills Moeen past mid-on for four. Off the final ball he comes down the ground and just gets it over long-off for six. The decision to deploy Moeen to de Kock nearly pays off.


03:33 PM BST

OVER 1: RSA 2/0 (Hendricks 2 De Kock 0)

Nice, tidy start from Topley with a dot ball off the opening delivery of the match.

It takes South Africa until the fifth ball to get off the mark as Hendricks pushes into the offisde for a couple. Good start from Topley as only two come off the first over.

This ground has the highest run-rate of any in this tournament so far so it is a fairly safe assumption that runs will flow today.


03:28 PM BST

Here we go

Hendricks and de Kock are heading out to open for South Africa. Topley is going to open the bowling for England. It is time to go in Saint Lucia.

South Africa's openers come out to bat
South Africa bat first in Saint Lucia - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

03:27 PM BST

England right to go in unchanged?

Probably right that England go unchanged, but I wonder if they were tempted to swap Mark Wood for Chris Jordan. Wood has been most effective against associates at this tournament, not the big boys, and South Africa don’t tend to be cowed by pace. Then again, Wood did bowl one of the fastest spells in history on this ground five years ago. If England win today, they can definitely think about a bit of rotation for the USA game, because they will have a foot in the semis.


03:26 PM BST

Reminder of the teams

England: Salt, Buttler, Bairstow, Brook, Moeen, Livingstone, Curran, Archer, Rashid, Wood, Topley.

South Africa: de Kock, Hendricks, Markram, Klaasen, Miller, Stubbs, Jansen, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje, Baartman.


03:23 PM BST

Anthem time

Both sides are out there for the national anthems. ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’ followed by God Save The King’.

The players line up for the national anthems
Anthem time - Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

03:19 PM BST

Aiden Markram at the toss

We would have also bowled first on the basis of it being an early start and the moisture, but that being said, we’re happy to put a good start and squeeze them after.

The top order did well in the previous game and it’s a reminder of how we score runs in this part of the world.

Hopefully as a full team we can put a good performance on. We have one change with Ottneil Baartman coming back in for Tabraiz Shamsi.


03:16 PM BST

Ground fit for the occasion

There is a lot of pride in St Lucia about the Daren Sammy Stadium having the best pitch in the Caribbean (taxi driver last night spent most of the journey talking about it). Groundsman Kent Crafton has worked on the square since the stadium opened in 2002 and now oversees pitch preparation across the West Indies. It is not just the pitch though. He is handy with a mower on the outfield.  The outfield grass is cut in the shape of a hibiscus flower. Staff go out every night and paint the shape on the ground so Crafton can get it right when he mows in the morning. As for the strip, definitely the quickest in the Caribbean.


03:12 PM BST

Jos Buttler speaking at the toss

It’s a fresh wicket, looks good, so we fancy another chase. The start time could potentially make a difference in terms of the moisture, but it’s a good pitch and we back ourselves chasing after that win the other day.

It was a great performance in all facets of the game. But that’s behind us, we’ve got another test today against a strong South Africa team so we start again.

We are looking after Jofra as well as we can, but he’s in a great place. He’s enjoying himself, playing with a smile on his face and bowling really well so it is quite hard to hold him back when that’s happening! South Africa are unbeaten, we know how good they are with both bat and ball so let’s hope we’re in for a good game.


03:10 PM BST

Teams

England: Salt, Buttler, Bairstow, Brook, Moeen, Livingstone, Curran, Archer, Rashid, Wood, Topley.

South Africa: de Kock, Hendricks, Markram, Klaasen, Miller, Stubbs, Jansen, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje, Baartman.


03:07 PM BST

England unchanged

Good to see the old Essex dressing room hardness is still there even though Nasser Hussain is Mr. Nice Guy these days. Asking Buttler at the toss whether three games in five days might be too much for Jofra Archer he ended the question with “or is it just 4 overs, get on with it?” Same team for England. How about bowling Mark Wood he took his five wickets from in the 2019 Test? He was a bit expensive the other night from the other end.


03:06 PM BST

Quick turnarounds

A major challenge for players in the T20 World Cup is dealing with the changes in start times - and its impact on sleeping patterns, food intake, etc.

England finished after midnight local time on Wednesday night; now playing again 34 hours later.


03:02 PM BST

England win the toss

Aiden Markram had the call but it falls in England’s favour. Jos Buttler has chosen to field first. England remain unchanged from the win over the West Indies on Wednesday. Markram says he would have also chosen to field first had the toss gone in his favour.


03:01 PM BST

Time for the toss

The two captains, Jos Buttler and Aiden Markram, are out in the middle and we are ready for the toss...

The toss takes place in Saint Lucia
Who will win the toss? - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

02:54 PM BST

Toss incoming

Just five minutes until the toss over in Saint Lucia.


02:50 PM BST

Archer back to his best

The last two years have been injury-ravaged for Jofra Archer, missing so much cricket, but during this tournament it has looked like he has never been away. Nick Hoult explains how the fast bowler, who was the most potent man in England’s attack in the win over the West Indies, is back to his world-class best, which bodes well for the future.

Jofra Archer bowling against the West Indies
Jofra back to his best - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

02:45 PM BST

Ace in the pack

England’s eight-wicket win over the West Indies was spearheaded by Phil Salt, who smashed 87 not out from 47 balls. Tim Wigmore has been looking at how Salt has gone from unreliable smasher to the ace in England’s pack.

Phil Salt walks off after his brilliant innings
Phil Salt is now a crucial cog in this England unit - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

02:38 PM BST

Clapping dot balls?

As this World Cup rises to the higher ground of big scores and sixes, an old custom should be revived. One of the regional differences in cricket in England, before everyone watched television, lay in crowd reaction. If a bowler in a northern Test match, say at Headingley in the 1970s, bowled a good ball, spectators would applaud it, especially those behind the arm or batsman; whereas a southern crowd would wait till the end of the over, or a spell, before applauding. The practice needs to be revived now. Anyone bowling a dot-ball during the powerplay, from this stage of the World Cup onwards, deserves a clap. West Indies, in losing to England, permitted 51 dots, an astonishing proportion, nearing half.


02:28 PM BST

Preview

Saint Lucia is the scene as England are looking to make it two wins from two this afternoon in the Super 8s against South Africa. Despite a rocky start to the T20 World Cup where England were at serious risk of being knocked out in the group stages, an emphatic eight-wicket win on Wednesday against the hosts West Indies certainly will have given them a huge confidence boost in a performance that we have come to expect from an England white-ball side since 2015.

Going into the game, the West Indies had won all four of their games in the group stages, requiring England to put in a top performance to come out on top. Set 181 to win, England chased the total down losing just two wickets with two and a half over to spare, with Phil Salt starring in the run-chase with a brutal 87 not out off 47 balls. Salt was delighted with his own performance and believes England can really kick on now.

“That was great fun. To come here against a very strong side, riding the wave of momentum with home conditions and crowd, and play an innings like that is a great feeling,” said Salt.

England's Phil Salt holds his player of the match award
Phil Salt was in destructive form against the West Indies on Wednesday - Alex Davidson/Getty Images

“It did have that feeling of things coming together. It has been very stop-start for us. We had hiccup against Australia, rained out against Scotland. It has been a real topsy-turvy start and did not feel like we had played much cricket but in tournament cricket you need to build momentum and winning against the hosts gives us that first push in that direction.”

South Africa won four from four in the group stages before securing a narrow 18-run win in their opening Super 8s game against the USA in Antigua on Wednesday. When these sides met in the 50-over World Cup in Mumbai last year, England were thrashed by 229 runs as they limped rather pathetically out of the tournament.

It had been a rocky road into the Super 8s but after arguably England’s best T20 performance since they lifted the trophy in 2022, it feels like they are back on track, although South Africa will provide a stern test of their credentials.

Can England make it two wins from two in the Super 8s and take one step closer to defending their T20 crown?