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England must chase down 190 to maintain their 100 per cent record at the T20 World Cup as South Africa gave themselves hope of reaching the semi-finals thanks to Rassie van der Dussen’s career-best 94 not out.
While England’s progress to the knockout stages is all but secure after four wins from four and a supreme net run-rate, nothing less than a big win will suffice for South Africa after Australia hammered the West Indies earlier.
Van der Dussen creamed five fours in his 60-ball knock and six sixes while Aiden Markram recorded a sparkling 52 not out from 25 deliveries in an unbroken 103-run stand that helped South Africa to a formidable 189 for two.
In order for South Africa to keep their hopes of qualification alive, they must restrict England to 131 or less to pip Australia to second spot while Eoin Morgan’s side need to make just 87 to secure their place in the last four.
It was an, at times, poor display from England in the field after they opted to bowl first with the returning Mark Wood and Chris Woakes conceding 90 runs between them in a combined eight overs.
Wood was back in for the injured Tymal Mills for an otherwise unchanged England as they wore black armbands in memory of former bowler Alan Igglesden, who died aged 57 earlier this week.
Moeen Ali was once more entrusted to open the bowling and he was responsible for the breakthrough in his second over, castling Reeza Hendricks, who used eight balls in making two before missing a sweep to one that kept low.
Moeen and Woakes conceded a combined 26 in the first five overs but Van der Dussen cast off the shackles with an inside edge for four then a towering six off Woakes to the shorter 57-metre boundary on one side.
Quinton de Kock was finding some success with the reverse sweep against Moeen and fellow spinner Adil Rashid and while Van der Dussen was a touch fortunate to survive a leg before appeal – a not out decision staying with the on-field umpire because of impact – the South Africa batters led their side to 73 for one after 10 overs.
Wood was then introduced but his extra pace was used against him following a Van der Dussen scoop for six and while the England bowler found the splice of the bat, the ball dropped just short of the advancing cover fielder.
Rashid was able to prise open the stand in the next over as De Kock slapped to long-on to depart for 34 off 27 balls, ending a 71-run stand between him and Van der Dussen.
Van der Dussen brought up his 37-ball fifty with a scampered single after bunting into the offside, new partner Markram just getting home and celebrated the landmark with a mighty six to the longer boundary off Wood.
Woakes had a messy final over that yielded 21, hammered for back-to-back sixes by Van der Dussen then cleared over deep midwicket by Markram, who had settled into his stride, to finish with unflattering figures of 4-0-43-0.
He and Wood conceded 90 runs between them in eight overs as Van der Dussen and Markram kept finding the boundary rope with regularity, helped along the way by some ragged fielding that allowed the pair to claim a few overthrows.
Markram got to a special 24-ball fifty by flaying Chris Jordan straight for six as South Africa finished with a flourish, adding 71 in the last five overs.