De Villiers takes South Africa to 142-3 against England


Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – South Africa captain AB de Villiers top-scored for the Proteas as they were held to 142 for three by England in the first Twenty20 international at Southampton on Wednesday.

De Villiers made 65 not out and Farhaan Behardien 64 not out after the Proteas had collapsed to seven for two and 32 for three following the skipper’s decision to bat first.

England new-ball duo David Willey and Mark Wood both struck with their opening deliveries.

Left-arm paceman’s Willey’s very first ball of the match saw Jon-Jon Smuts out for a golden duck when he pushed forward tentatively and played on.

Wood then followed suit when Reeza Hendricks pulled his first ball to a leaping Willey at mid-wicket.

Left-hander David Miller advanced down the pitch to drive Willey for six and De Villiers lofted Chris Jordan over long-off for four after spotting the bowler’s slower ball.

But South Africa were 32 for three when, off the first ball of the fifth over, Miller was late on a delivery from Wood and edged to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

Spinners Liam Dawson and debutant Mason Crane both bowled tidily on their Hampshire home ground. 

Left-armer Dawson’s four overs cost 17 runs while leg-spinner Crane conceded 24, with his lone really bad ball his last delivery, a full toss which De Villiers pulled for four.

That was South Africa’s first boundary for five-and-a-half overs.

Behardien, however, pulled fast bowler Wood (two for 36) for six and De Villiers, stepping well outside off stump, slog-swept Willey to complete a 49-ball fifty.

Behardien pulled Wood for four for his fifty and next ball hit him straight back over his head for six.

    <figure><figcaption>South Africa's AB de Villiers plays a shot during the T20 international cricket match between England and South Africa at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, on the south coast of England, on June 21, 2017
        <span>Copyright AFP Glyn KIRK</span>