3rd over: South Africa 17-1 (Hendricks 10, Rossouw 7) Wow, a beauty from Willey to start fresh, giving Hendricks a treat – deserved an edge. Rossouw finds three from cover when he gets his chance before Hendricks is saved by his inside edge for the second time in two overs with another consequent limit. Live dangerously. Another excellent over from Willey that moves both ways.
2nd over: South Africa 9-1 (Hendricks 5, Rossouw 4) Two left arms to start with Reece Topley sharing the new ball. And he finds Hendrick’s inside edge with his second ball – a nice move in the air but he spits past the left stump to the rope for South Africa’s opening runs of the game. Oh, confusing later in the over with Rossouw charging without Hendrick’s consent – he comes back, fair. Rossouw plays a short-arm jab to the midwicket to finish; far from convincing but sufficient for a limit with the field inside the first period of power play.
1st over: South Africa 0-1 (Hendricks 0, Rossouw 0) Confirmed as NOT OUTSIDE! Go to the middle and turn off. Nonetheless, a brilliant Willey premiere with off-track movement throughout, a girl at the counter for the left arm back.
ENGLAND REVIEW! Willey is convinced he has Rossouw’s leg before the wicket with the last ball of that eventful first and they head upstairs. Height seems to be the main issue.
What a start for England! After two full and consecutive deliveries, Willey pulls his length back from a touch and de Kock brings the ball back to his central stump.
The players are on the field. de Kock and Hendricks open to visitors. The match ball was delivered in the back of one of those little cars they use for football games these days and Mark Butcher has the remote – fun and games. David Willey, back in the England XI today, takes the top spot. TO PLAY!
Before entering, so much sport to follow this afternoon with live blogs on the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix (Russell leads after 14 laps), the Comm Games and the build-up to the big one at Wembley. A day to keep lots of tabs open!
More Morgan. He believes they need to face a frontline spinner at the World Cup in Australia, namely Adil Rashid, rather than pairing him with versatile players. He points to the data on larger Australian pitches where spinners have, on average, better save rates than seamers in this form of play. If that’s not Adil Rashid (for some reason), he’s talking of Liam Dawson’s chances as an experienced operator in franchise cricket bowling at all stages of an innings.
Eoin Morgan has integrated directly into Sky. Sitting with Ian Ward, Mike Atherton and Mark Butcher, it’s like he’s been doing this for a decade. Athers asks the former captain when he dropped Jason Roy for the 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final, essentially asking what the right time could be in this crisis. “Keeping players around longer creates an element of trust,” he begins before taking us back to the 2015 reset. “We wanted players to feel comfortable taking more risks. To do that, you have to allow them to fail and fail and fail again and keep supporting them.
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller (c), Tristan Stubbs, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Jos Buttler believes the pitch will remain “pretty much the same” throughout. He confirms Willey for Gleeson as the only change. “We’ve been looking for a full performance all summer and there’s no better time to do it in a series decider.”
David Miller, playing his 100th T20i, says the Proteas have two changes, Markram and Nortje in place of Klaasen and Rabada, the latter out with an ankle problem.
David Willey instead of Richard Gleeson? We’ll find out in the draw in five minutes.
Looks like South Africa have been in the country playing white ball internationals for a month or more now. Maybe it was because their stretch started just two days after a series of games against India, or the Proteas women were here on tour at the same time. Perhaps it’s the fact that Jos Buttler’s side are playing their 12th game in 24 days. Or maybe it’s just me. In any case… once again brilliantly! Welcome to Southampton’s third and final T20 international on a busy afternoon of sport in this UK.
The streak is square, with the English side noting in the build-up to this decider that it would be fitting for them to win the trophy here after failing in their aforementioned summer streak. They bowed easily in the opener boshing 234-6 at Bristol thanks to YJ Bairstow’s 90 and Moeen Ali’s 16-ball half-century. The tables were turned in Cardiff when the visitors topped 200 with an unbeaten 96 from Brexit returning man (long story), Rilee Roussouw.
It’s also worth noting that this is England’s last limited time game of the summer and a T20 World Cup is fast approaching in October and November. So there’s a lot of stuff in there. Especially for Jason Roy, who had a bad time throughout. I will be back with the draw and teams shortly. And of course, you can leave me a message throughout the afternoon at the usual place, or Tweet me if that’s more your thing.