Sharjah, Nov 6 (IANS) Fantastic unbeaten fifties by Rassie van der Dussen (94* off 60) and Aiden Markram (52* off 25) powered South Africa to 189-2 against England in a Super 12 match of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, here on Saturday.
Along with Dussen and Markram, Quinton de Kock also played a vital knock (34 off 27) for South Africa while Moeen Ali (1/27) was the most economical bowler for England.
South Africa can finish in the top two and qualify for the semi-final if they keep England inside 131. England will qualify if they score at least 87.
Asked to bat first, South Africa lost the wicket of Reeza Hendricks (2) in the 3rd over of the innings. Hendricks went down on a knee and attempted to sweep the ball towards square but he completely missed the line and was cleaned bowled by Moeen Ali.
De Kock and Van der Dussen then joined hands and took South Africa to 40/1 after six overs. Both batters cleverly chose attacking strokes and kept on hitting occasional boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The solid 71-run stand for the second-wicket was finally broken by Adil Rashid in the 12th over as De Kock (34) looked to go big against the spinner but he didn’t get the timing right and was caught at long-off, leaving South Africa to 86/2 after 11.2 overs.
The wicket didn’t affect Proteas’ momentum as new batsman Markram and van der Dussen kept the run-counter ticking at an impressive rate. While Dussein brought South Africa’s 100 with a gigantic six against Wood in the 13th over, Markram joined the party by hitting a six against Rashid.
The pair went particularly hard after England’s seamers in the middle overs, targeting the returning Mark Wood, who was playing in the tournament for the first time after replacing the injured Tymal Mills. Wood finished with figures of 0/47 off his four overs, with Chris Woakes faring a little better with 0/43, as England’s seamers struggled in Sharjah.
Overall, Markram and van der Dussen had a brilliant 103-run unbeaten stand for the 3rd wicket and they took South Africa to a commanding 189/2 in 20 overs.
South Africa 189 for 2 in 20 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 94, Aiden Markram 52; Moeen Ali 1/27) against England