DURBAN. South Africa (AP) — England won the second Twenty20 against South Africa by two runs in another high-drama finish on Friday to level the series 1-1 and take it to a deciding final game.
In a thrilling end to rival the first game, England secured its victory in Durban on the last ball when Tom Curran dismissed Bjorn Fortuin for a first-ball duck for his second wicket in two balls. South Africa needed three off that last ball to win and two to tie and force a Super Over.
Fortuin, who had just walked in and was tasked with winning the game for South Africa off his first delivery in international cricket, tried to flick it over fine leg but was caught by Adil Rashid.
England made 204-7 to set South Africa a challenging target. Captain Quinton de Kock lashed 65 off 22 balls for South Africa, which finished on 202-7.
South Africa needed 15 off the last five balls and its hopes had apparently disappeared. But Dwaine Pretorius hit a six way over wide mid-on and sent a four rocketing through the covers off successive balls and the home team had a chance.
The key moment came off the second-to-last ball of the game when Curran had Pretorius out lbw with South Africa needing three from two balls.
Pretorius reviewed the decision, which was confirmed by very fine margins.
The game was decided in almost exactly the same way as the first T20, which South Africa won by one run off the last ball. Then, England needed three off the last two balls to win. And South Africa also took a wicket off the penultimate delivery.
Rashid was the luckless England batsman who came in for the last ball in the series opener in East London. He was run out pushing for a second but his last-ball involvement in Durban was a winning one as he coolly took the match-clinching catch on the edge of the circle.
The final T20, and the final match of England’s three-month tour, is on Sunday and the tourists have a chance at rounding off yet another fightback. England lost the first test but turned it around to win the test series 3-1. It also fought back to draw the ODI series after losing the opener.
A T20 series victory for either team would be well-timed with the T20 World Cup this year in Australia.
In Durban, England had contributions from Jason Roy (40 off 29 balls) and Ben Stokes (47 off 30 balls) but was heading for only a reasonable score until Moeen Ali’s injection of boundaries.
Ali blasted 39 off 11 balls with three fours and four sixes to take England to its big total.
De Kock’s 50 came off 17 balls — five balls off the world record — and he launched eight sixes in his innings.
Rassie van der Dussen’s 43 not out off 26 kept South Africa in the hunt.
Chris Jordan once more bowled brilliantly for England at the end. He delivered the 17th and 19th overs and took two wickets in two balls in the 17th with yorkers that smashed into the stumps and rattled South Africa’s nerves.
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