What a way to cap off a fantastic tour of South Africa!
A fantastic 57 from 22 balls from England captain Eoin Morgan helped his side chase a mammoth total to secure a 2-1 victory in the T20 series.
On a flat pitch at Supersport Park, the South Africans set the tourists 223 to win but the brute force of England’s batting line up meant they reached the total with five balls to spare.
Jos Buttler answered his critics with a spine-tingling 57 from 29 at the top of the order and the skipper showed his class to thrust his side over the line with some powerful late hitting.
As they have so many times during this tour, Tempa Bavuma and Quinton de Kock got the Proteas off to a lightning-quick start and put Morgan’s bowlers on the back foot.
The duo were motoring along with 84 from 7.4 overs before magic man Ben Stokes did for the South African captain, who picked out Jonny Bairstow in the deep.
Adil Rashid bowled Bavuma three balls later before Stokes dismissed Rassie van der Dussen, helping England regain some control.
Heinrich Klaasen was brought in for the final match of the series to provide South Africa with some extra weight in the middle of their order and he did just that at Supersport Park–making 66 from 33 balls to help push his side close to the 200 mark.
He was helped by David Miller, who’s 35 from 20 balls propelled the hosts to 222/6 from their 20 overs.
That left England facing an intimidating chase of 223 with the series on the line but as we’ve found out so often over the past 12 months, this group aren’t scared of anything and so they proved with the bat.
Questions have been asked of whether Buttler should be opening the batting in T20s but he answered many of those today.
There are, perhaps, none better in world cricket than the Lancashire man once he gets going and he did so alongside Bairstow, with the pair both smashing half-centuries and helping the tourists into a strong position.
England wobbled slightly in the middle overs but when Stokes and Morgan came together somehow you felt it was never in doubt.
Given some of the other players in the line-up, it is sometimes easy to overlook the skipper but he displayed his class once again today–equaling his own record for the quickest T20 50 by an English player (21 balls) and helping his side over the line with five balls to spare.
The Three Lions skipper talked of how “destructive” this side can be after the game and today was a prime example of just that.
In a shoot-out, it’s tough to see any side in the world beating them.
England have lost the first game of all three series they have played on this tour and bounced back on every single occasion, which just shows the character and ability of this group.
Today, the brute force of the Three Lions’ batting line up helped them pick up a fantastic series win against an impressive South African side–the perfect way to cap off a wonderful tour.
The focus now shifts to Sri Lanka!