About the Match
The Taunton win could well be the moment the Proteas were after. The South African team has looked mere a shadow of themselves, but a win in the second T20I will do a lot of good to their confidence. They now meet England at Cardiff which isn't going to be as easy-scoring ground as Taunton as seen in Champions Trophy. The match will be played on Sunday, 25th June. South Africa's aggression was clearly visible after their thumping defeat in the first T20I at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Regardless of what has happened so far in the competition, the South African victory leaves the series nice poised at 1-1 making the decider at Cardiff ever more important.
The memories of the semifinal of the Champions Trophy will still be fresh in English players' mind when they take the field on the same ground they were defeated at. They'd, however, want to shrug it off and start afresh given the new format and new side. They've been brilliant so far in the series with all the top-order batsmen getting some runs. In the second T20I, the English side was cruising comfortably before collapsing as they lost five wickets for their last 45 runs.
Jonny Bairstow is set to miss out this fixture as he's already off to join Yorkshire's squad for Pink ball county fixture. His absence automatically opens up a place for Dawid Malan to play his first international game. While Liam Livingstone was sluggish in his debut match, he is most likely to retain his place. Their batting, other than that, was pretty fluent and looks strong particularly with the likes of Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes in the middle-order.
Tom Curran was the pick of the bowlers as he bowled with aggression and accuracy. He got rid of three Protean batsmen which helped in restricting them to a mediocre score on a fruity Taunton pitch. Liam Dawson has been fantastic so far in the series and is likely to retain his place. Craig Overton is certain to play with Chris Jordan as the most likely candidate to make way for him.
AB de Villiers emphasized on fighting it out after their loss in the first match and they did exactly that in the consequent fixture. Despite putting up a relatively modest total of 174 on a smallish Taunton ground, the bowlers fought it out and kept English away from the victory by 3 runs.
Skipper AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien were once again key stalwarts of their batting as they propelled South Africa to 174 runs. JJ Smuts too scored a well-made 45 and strung together an important partnership with AB de Villiers. David Miller is now a well-known name in Cricket when it comes to hitting ability, and he is due for some fireworks in the limited overs fixtures.
Chris Morris showed his potential in the shortest format of the game in Indian Premier League and replicated that with the ball in the concluded T20I. He picked up two wickets for 18 runs in his four overs which rightfully earned him the Man of the Match award. While there wasn't much wrong in the Shamsi's spell at Taunton, we might well see numero uno bowler back in the team for the Cardiff game. Other than that, South Africa is expected to make as little changes as possible and with the recently gained confidence, they will be a tough side to beat.
A win for South Africa has certainly sparked new life into the series. With England now playing their full-strength lineup and the Proteas too missing the services of Quniton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, it will be an interesting battle. South Africa have now gained the much-needed confidence and with AB de Villiers in superb touch, South Africa go in as favorites to win this decider and take the series