England restrict South Africa to 177 in opening T20

South Africa win thrilling T20 opener by one run as England suffer late collapse

South Africa captain Quinton de Kock identified each groups struggled to attain freely in the direction of the tip of their innings because the ball obtained softer and the bounce decrease.

However, after Moeen Ali had taken one for 22, fellow spinner Adil Rashid (one for 23) and Ben Stokes (one for 24) checked the home side's progress and they eventually settled for 177 for eight in a three-match series where England are ramping up preparations for this year's T20 World Cup.

Morgan criticised Malan after that Napier game for not taking a bye off the final ball, implying that the 32-year-old was protecting his average as he finished unbeaten on 103.

England have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to top-order ball strikers, but Buttler has opened in 29 of his last 30 T20 innings and has the backing of captain Eoin Morgan, who made it clear before this week's series in South Africa that his vice-captain should continue going in first.

South Africa won the first of three T20Is on Wednesday evening by one run in a tightly contested battle at Buffalo Park in East London, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.

New batsman Tom Curran got two off the first ball but then went for a big hit out to midwicket and was caught on the boundary by David Miller.

England needed seven from their final seven balls with five wickets remaining, but collapsed in the face of Ngidi's off-cutters on a slow wicket to add five runs for the loss of four wickets.

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England were still expected to pull it off and get seven off the last over. "I didn't panic under pressure, they seemed to be cruising but my job was to get wickets". "For us it is a matter of that because the way we played wasn't up to our normal standard, it's nearly like it's gone back a bit and I don't know why".

Veteran South Africa pacer Dale Steyn on Wednesday became the country's leading wicket-taker in the shortest format during the first Twenty-20 worldwide against England at the Buffalo Park in Eastern Cape.

Bairstow, now coming at No 3, shared a rollicking 72-run partnership with Roy that set England on the path to victory.

This was South Africa's ninth T20I win against England in 16 matches. Joe Denly (3) and Stokes couldn't make much of an impact.

But Morgan and his team live by the sword and, occasionally, die by it too - part of the reason why they are so exciting to watch and also such a formidable outfit in the game's shortest formats.

Morgan holed out to long-on off left-arm pace bowler Beuran Hendricks one delivery after reaching a fine 33-ball half-century. Moeen played and missed before replicating Curran with a quick two before being sent back to the dressing room on the second-last ball of the innings.

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