About the Match
South Africa miserable run continued in the shortest version of the game as well as they were thrashed by England by 9 wickets in the first T20 International. The Proteas will now look to bounce back in the second T20 match of the series which is to be played at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. With even pace and carry, the men in green will be hoping for their stroke-makers to find the lost touch. England, on the other hand, played clinically in the first T20I and will be looking to put up a similar sort of performance.
Barring their loss in the match against Pakistan, this English side hasn't put a foot wrong in the recent time. They've been clinical in the shorter formats of the game which was triggered by their early exit from the World Cup. They'd be looking to keep the momentum going in the 2nd T20I as well alongside giving chances to youngsters they have in the squad. Mark Wood, who has been on of the most successful English bowler of late, is certain to be rested. Liam Plunkett is expected to take his place considering his performance in the Champions Trophy.
The two young spinners bowled beautifully at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton but considering Tanton's short boundaries, one of them might be rested for Somerset's Craig Overton. Considering the fact the Bairstow is pretty fresh, Hales might get a rest-day with one of the batters on the bench joining the playing eleven.
Skipper Eion Morgan appeared pretty happy with the team's performance in the first match and would be hoping for something similar in the upcoming match as well. Although Jos Buttler did not get a chance to bat, he is striking the ball wonderfully and can be dangerous in the late middle order. Both bowlers and batsmen have been doing their job pretty well and with England in red-hot form, we are definitely up for a run feast in Taunton on Friday.
The South Africa's tour of England hasn't been even remotely close to what one would expect from World's No. 1 team. The Proteas were first defeated 2-1 in the ODI series which preceded Champions Trophy and then crashed out of the ICC event following their shocking defeats against Pakistan and India. South Africa's results haven't been as astonishing as the way they've achieved them. Most of their defeats have rather been one-sided which isn't really expected from the team ranked one in ICC ODI rankings.
In the first T20I, they were reduced to 32-3 before AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien sparked some life into their innings. Although they strung together an 110-run partnership, they consumed too much of time in doing so and could score only 142 runs in the end. AB de Villiers looked jittery at the beginning and during the middle stages of his innings, but he appeared to have found his rhythm during the back-end of the innings. Farhaan Behardien, played a fluent knock to notch a half-century.
When AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien were at the crease, the pitch appeared to have the demons which suddenly vanished when English openers came out to bat. South African bowlers were able to pick only one wicket and that too was helped by Jason Roy's usual urge to play adventurous shots when the things look easy; this time he got out playing a reverse-sweep to a rather harmless delivery.
South Africa has a massive remove to improve from what we've seen in England so far. Despite their recent performances, they are one side which cannot be written off and with the likes of AB de Villiers, David Miller and Imran Tahir in the squad, they'll certainly come out all guns blazing at Taunton.
England was clinical in the first match and it will not be easy for South Africa to bounce back. South Africa isn't playing its full strength squad with Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis rested, it still appears to be a formidable lineup. As far as England is concerned, we will see a couple of changes in the batting order and Mark Wood being rested in the bowling department. The Taunton ground is small and a batting paradise which might just be the kick the Proteas are looking for. With the likes of AB de Villiers and David Miller, especially against England minus Mark Wood, we will place our money on South Africa