Batsman Heinrich Klaasen marked a return to the Proteas XI with a superb half-century in Sunday’s third and final T20I against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Klaasen struck a brisk 66 from 33 deliveries, reminding the national selectors of some big-hitting ability ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. The score was the second-highest of his punctuated T20I career, falling narrowly short of the 69 gathered against India at the same venue two years ago.
Klaasen’s cameo was preceded by openers Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma’s dominance. De Kock struck 35 to Bavuma’s 49. The former was particularly severe on seamer Chris Jordan, whose opening over conceded three successive sixes. Bavuma ensured England’s decision to open the bowling with spinner Moeen Ali didn’t reap early reward.
Seamer Ben Stokes dismissed De Kock and batsman Rassie van der Dussen with slower deliveries, cleverly varying pace in relatively flat conditions.
The left-handed David Miller was ultimately at hand to cap a final total of 222-6, despite the quick losses of all-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius.
De Kock had won the toss and opted to bat first. Fast bowler Dale Steyn returned to the Proteas XI at the expense of left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks. Klaasen replaced all-rounder Jon-Jon Smuts. England retained opener Jos Buttler – and replaced the ill Joe Denly with batsman Dawid Malan.
South Africa won the first T20I at Buffalo Park in East London by one run. England won the second at Kingsmead in Durban by two runs.
The Proteas and English last contested a T20I at this venue over 10 years ago. The hosts that 2009 fixture comfortably on the back of a 170-run partnership between openers Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman.
South Africa will host Australia for three T20Is and as many ODIs later this month.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Dale Steyn, Bjorn Fortuin, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi.
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
Photo: Gallo Images