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T20 World Cup: De kock's innings was the difference of the game, says Jos Buttler

22 Jun, 2024 09:10 IST|Sakshi Post

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 22 (IANS) In a thrilling encounter at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia, South Africa extended their winning streak at the T20 World Cup 2024 to six games with a narrow seven-run victory over England.

The match was defined by Quinton de Kock's explosive innings of 65 from 38 balls, which England captain Jos Buttler later described as "probably the difference" between the two sides.

De Kock's rapid-fire 22-ball half-century, punctuated by four sixes, set the tone for South Africa's innings. His aggressive play in the powerplay saw South Africa reach 63 without loss, a foundation that allowed them to post a competitive total of 163 for 6 on a pitch that played slower than anticipated.

Reflecting on the game, Buttler pinpointed the powerplay as the pivotal phase where England lost the match. "Quinton de Kock came out with a lot of intensity in that powerplay, and we couldn't quite match that," Buttler said after the game.

"I think we were probably 20 behind them after six overs. The wicket slowed up and we brought it back really well, we were quite happy chasing 160 [164]. But yeah, they bowled well in the powerplay and Quinton de Kock's innings was probably the difference."

England's chase started shakily, with Phil Salt falling early and Jonny Bairstow following soon after. When Buttler was dismissed for a laborious 17 off 20 balls, and Moeen Ali holed out two overs later, England found themselves at 61 for 4, needing 103 runs from the remaining 9.4 overs.

However, a spirited 78-run partnership off 42 balls between Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone reignited England's hopes. The duo's onslaught, including taking 21 runs off Ottneil Baartman's 17th over, brought the equation down to 25 runs needed from the last three overs.

Despite their efforts, South Africa's pace attack held their nerve. Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, and Anrich Nortje bowled brilliantly in the death overs to secure the win for South Africa.

"I think it's still a good wicket," Buttler remarked post-match. "A little bit slower than we probably expected, but as I said, we were quite happy chasing 160. We came back really well with the ball after how well Quinny played in the powerplay. I thought Brook and Livingstone had a fantastic partnership there to take us so close and at one stage [we were] looking like favourites but it's never quite as simple as that in T20 cricket and credit to South Africa for closing it out."

Buttler also praised his bowlers for their efforts in restricting South Africa. "The powerplay was the best time to bat, and I think Quinny recognized that and took some calculated risks. But yeah, the bowling performance, to come back and restrict a really powerful line-up to what I thought was a par score was a great effort."

With this defeat, England now faces a must-win situation against the USA in their final Group 2 game to keep their semi-final hopes alive and defend their trophy. The outcome could hinge on net run rate, adding further pressure to Buttler's side.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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