De Kock delivers again as Proteas edge out England in T20 thriller

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has hammered a second straight half-century while Anrich Nortje bowled a tight final over to help their side edge England by seven runs and move closer to a semi-final berth in the T20 World Cup in St Lucia.

Put in to bat first, South Africa started well in their Super 8 clash on Friday with an 86-run partnership between de Kock (65 off 38) and Reeza Hendricks (19).

They posted a competitive 6-163 despite some slow overs in the middle thanks to a late David Miller cameo (43 off 28).

Defending champions England then lost opener Phil Salt early during the chase while Jos Buttler (17) and Jonny Bairstow (16) fell soon after.

Cricket

Harry Brook (53) and Liam Livingstone (33) put on a 78-run partnership from 52 balls that got England close, with a second win in three days looming, but with 14 runs needed from the last over, they fell short.

“We know we’re still in it,” said England skipper Jos Buttler.

“We played well today. We just didn’t quite get over the line. At one stage we were favourites but it doesn’t work like that in T20 cricket. South Africa closed it out well.”

Champions England will kick themselves for a lack of timing and intent earlier in their pursuit, with a paltry return of three fours and one six in their first 11 overs at the crease.

South Africa are now top of their group with four points from two matches. England, second with two points, can still qualify for the semis when they play the United States in Barbados on Sunday, the same day the Proteas face hosts West Indies.

with AAP

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