A closely contested T20I match on the trot was witnessed on Friday as England and South Africa battled right till the end for ascendency. It was a tale of two evenly matched sides engaging in a tug of war to overpower each other and in the end, England managed to defeat the hosts by the faintest of margins.
Quinton de Kock smashed the quickest half-century for South Africa in its entire international T20I cricket history but even that record-breaking effort went in vain for Proteas as England held their nerve when it mattered the most and managed to win by two runs in the nailbiting clash at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead.
De Kock used his bat like a swinging door and got to his fifty in just 17 balls that set the platform for other batsmen to maintain a swift strike rate as they pursued 205. After de Kock got out on 65, David Miller was promoted up the order in a bid to stay on course while chasing the massive target.
Proteas were going smoothly in their mission until the last five overs where things started to get out of control. Despite stupendous power-hitting from Rassie van der Dussen, who scored 43 off 26 balls which included three monstrous sixes, and Dwaine Pretorius quickfire innings of 25, South Africa got outsmarted by some brilliant display of death bowling.
Pretorius, though, brought the equation down to three from two but then got LBW on the penultimate delivery and the new batsman Bjorn Fortuin couldn't handle pitch-perfect bowling display from Curran as he miscued a shot to Adil Rashid at fine leg.
Jordan in the consecutive match was on a hat-trick as he yorked out JJ Smuts and Andile Phehlukwayo in the 16th over and the crucial blows for the home side made the equation tougher.
Van der Dussen showed the virtue of courage and bravery and gave another resounding proof of his immaculate temperament. He kept Proteas in the hunt but England clawed their way back as the perfectionists - Tom Curran and Jordan - in the death overs delivered outstanding slow deliveries and full-length teasers that made the difference. That being said, the complexion of the game could have been different had van der Dussen got the strike back in the last over.
Moeen Ali was declared man of the match for his match-turning 39 off just 11 balls, comprising three fours and four sixes, that allowed England to pile up 89 runs in the last six overs. Also, the flying start from Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, who knitted a 52 run stand, helped Morgan-led-side get past 200.
The series is tied at 1-1 and perfectly set-up for the final T20I at SuperSport Park on Sunday.