AB de Villiers scored 46 off 20 balls, as he got the Proteas to 174-8 in their second T20 against England in Taunton.
It was a batting performance that showed a lot more purpose and impetus than the one in Southampton on Wednesday. De Villiers was criticised for the way in which he went about his record fourth-wicket stand with Farhaan Behardien, as they laboured to 142-3 in England’s nine-wicket victory.
De Villiers wanted 20-30 more runs in that match, and he’s got what he wanted here and more, and it was in large part down to him. He showed some serious intent in this match, hitting three sixes and four fours for his 20-ball 46.
What was lacking from that match at the Rose Bowl was some big striking up front, and JJ Smuts, after four failed attempts to start off his international career, finally came right.
The Proteas were put in to bat and Reeza Hendricks fell cheaply again, as debutant Tom Curran (3-33) struck with his second ball, Hendricks chopping one on for seven to go with his three on Wednesday.
Mangaliso Mosehle was promoted to No 3 and he didn’t take long to get going, as he cleared the ropes a couple of balls in. He eventually fell for 15 off 12, but at least there was some intent there. Smuts and De Villiers then put on 39 off just 3.2 overs. Smuts was heading towards a half-century before skying a full Liam Dawson delivery for 45.
De Villiers holed out for 46, but Behardien moved things along towards the end with 32 off 21, as the side posted 174-8.
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