Proteas make emphatic T20 statement


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THE Oxigen Proteas made an emphatic statement ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 when they thrashed England by 9 wickets with all of 32 balls to spare in the second KFC T20 International match at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.It gave the Proteas a 2-0 series win with AB de Villiers being named KFC Man of the Match and Imran Tahir the KFC Man of the Series.England are the Proteas’ first opponents at the ICC event in India and this performance will give them extra confidence. Significantly, the Proteas won both matches batting second which is an area where they have run into problems in previous ICC events. De Villiers (71 off 29 balls, 6 fours and 6 sixes) and Hashim Amla (69 not out off 38 balls, 8 fours and 3 sixes) set up the successful runs chase with their partnership of 125 in just 8.2 overs. It revived memories of South Africa’s record first wicket partnership of 170 between Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman, also against England, at SuperSport Park in 2009. It must have revived unwanted memories of that match for the two England survivors, Eoin Morgan and Adil Rashid. De Villiers and Amla complement one another perfectly with their diverse styles. While De Villiers stood out for the ruthlessness of his brutality, Amla was a joy for the purists, stroking 3 fours off one over from Ben Stokes and 4 off another from Chris Jordan. De Villiers improved his SA record for the fastest 50 from 23 balls to 21 while Amla was no slouch either with 50 off 27 balls. Their power play of 88 runs in six overs was the third highest ever achieved but the highest in a match involving two full members of the ICC. Once they had finished with only 47 needed off the remaining 70 balls there was little left for Amla and Faf du Plessis to provide the finishing touches.

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