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Match Preview – South Africa vs England, England tour of South Africa 2020, 3rd T20I



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You know, it’s beginning to look like England have got the hang of this white-ball stuff. After successfully completing their 50-over World Cup quest last year, they are now honing their competitive edge in the shortest format, ahead of back-to-back tournaments in 2021 and 2022. Victory in Paarl gave them a 2-0 lead with one to play, and extended their unbeaten run in T20I series to eight.

Both wins over South Africa were hard-fought, and Quinton de Kock could rightfully point to “one or two small things” that cost his side at Boland Park. But England are increasingly battle-hardened, both through success on the pitch and competition within the squad. Dawid Malan, ranked the ICC’s No. 1 T20I batsman, came into the tour saying he couldn’t be certain of his place in the side – but after scores of 42, 21 and 19 (a relative trough in his 18-match career) he produced the sort of match-winning hand that has made him all but impossible to leave out.

Ignoring the vagaries of form and conditions, Eoin Morgan might already feel he is closer to knowing his best XI – although the difficulties being experienced by Jason Roy could represent a problem to chew on. The batting looks dangerous, and Morgan seems perfectly suited to the finisher’s role at No. 6; the bowling features two of England’s most-successful T20I bowlers, plus the effortless brilliance of Jofra Archer, and is bolstered by healthy competition among the rest of the seamers. Only the emergence of further spin options could fatten their goose.

For the hosts, times are tough for a variety of reasons. The burden on de Kock as the team’s leader, best batsman and wicketkeeper looks a heavy one, and they face a fraught 12 months of trying to settle on the right combinations to support a T20 World Cup challenge.

To have victory snatched from your grasp is arguably harder to take than to not be in the running in the first place – but as Morgan’s side would attest, reflecting on the experience of Kolkata 2016 or Cardiff 2017, you only learn by getting into those positions and then dealing with the consequences. South Africa went down 2-1 to England earlier in the year, knowing that the series could have gone the other way. It would be hard to find the same consolation in a 3-0 whitewash, so de Kock and Mark Boucher will be looking for a response back at Newlands and signs that lessons are being learned.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

South Africa LLLWL
England WWLWW

In the spotlight

He has barely been in the role a year, but already de Kock seems a captain under the pump. His T20I win percentage is well below any of his permanent predecessors in the role – which must be all the more galling given his record with the bat has improved – and the strain of captaining, opening and keeping seemed evident at the toss in Paarl, where he cut a distracted figure (broadcaster technical issues notwithstanding). The unique off-field pressures of the South African system mean he should get plenty of leeway but it remains to be seen whether he can inspire his players to produce better on the field.

The focus will doubtless remain on Roy and his attempts to fight his way out of the paper bag of poor form he finds himself in. But it’s also worth highlighting the success of Adil Rashid and what that means for England’s World Cup planning. Rashid’s 2 for 23 in the second T20I saw him pass 50 wickets in the format and draw level with Graeme Swann as England’s most-prolific spinner. The flight and snap have returned after shoulder problems in 2019, and probably helps justify his reticence over a potential Test return and increase in workloads. But with Moeen Ali currently out of the side, England’s reliance on Rashid serves to underscore a lack of depth in the position.

Team news

South Africa looked stronger overall in Paarl, particularly their bowling, but there remains scope for another rejig back in Cape Town. Jon-Jon Smuts would provide another spin option if drafted into the middle order, while Lungi Ngidi’s spot could come in for scrutiny after leaking 51 from his four overs. Andile Phehlukwayo and David Miller remain unavailable for selection.

South Africa (possible): 1 Quinton de Kock (capt, wk), 2 Temba Bavuma, 3 Reeza Hendricks, 4 Faf du Plessis, 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 Heinrich Klaasen/Jon-Jon Smuts, 7 George Linde, 8 Lungi Ngidi/Beuran Hendricks/Lutho Sipamla, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

Despite having sealed the series, Morgan has said England will resist the temptation to experiment. However, a used pitch at Newlands might mean Moeen gets a chance as second spinner, while Mark Wood’s extra pace is another option – with Tom Curran and Chris Jordan both expensive in the first T20I.

England (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Eoin Morgan (capt), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Sam Curran, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood

Pitch and conditions

There was some spin on offer for the first game of the series, and that ought to increase with the same surface being used again. England felt the ball started to come on better under lights, which may influence the thinking for another day-night game. The forecast is for a cool day in Cape Town, with the chance of some rain earlier in the day.

Stats and trivia

  • Victory in the third T20I would see England draw level with Australia at the top of the ICC rankings.

  • Newlands has not been a happy hunting ground for South Africa in recent years, with five defeats in seven T20Is going back to 2016.

  • Jonny Bairstow needs 62 runs to become the fifth Englishman to reach 1000 in T20Is.


“Patience is key at the moment. The team haven’t played cricket together for five or six months, this is our first series back together, but over time, when we spend more time together, the results will start showing.”
De Kock eyes long-term improvements

“We will focus on trying to get our best XI out, given what type of pitch we might be playing on. I think we are on the same pitch as we played on at Newlands in the first game so we will have a look at that over the next couple of days and see potentially a change in the bowling line-up but I’d imagine the batting would stay the same.”
Morgan on England selection

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Australia Women lock in New Zealand tour with eye on new world record | Cricket



Meg Lanning scored an unbeaten century against New Zealand in October © AFP

Australia’s women’s team will return to action in late March on a tour of New Zealand which includes three T20Is and three ODIs.

The T20I series will be held in Hamilton on March 28, 30 and April 1 followed by the ODIs in Mount Maunganui on April 4, 7 and 10.

The first ODI will be a chance for Meg Lanning‘s team to surpass the record for consecutive victories in the format having equaled the mark of 21 set by Ricky Ponting’s side in 2003 when the two sides met last year in Brisbane.

On that occasion Australia won the T20I series 2-1 and the ODIs 3-0.

The tour, along with the preceding visit by England, help fill the gap created by the postponement of the ODI World Cup until next year. There had been talk of the three teams being involved in a triangular series but they will be two separate tours.

“We’re very grateful to the New Zealand government for supporting and enabling these women’s tours and for creating an environment in which they can proceed,” David White, the NZC CEO said.

“And with the ICC Women’s World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand next summer, it’s particularly important that teams are able to play and compete and develop their games ahead of such a significant tournament.”

Australia had been due to host India in mid-January but that series has been pushed back to next season.

The squad in New Zealand will undergo two weeks managed isolation on arrival.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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England Women in New Zealand 2021 – Tash Farrant to tour New Zealand, Anya Shrubsole out injured | Cricket



Tash Farrant impressed during the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy © Getty Images

Anya Shrubsole will miss England’s upcoming tour of New Zealand because of a knee injury, with Tash Farrant earning a recall to the national women’s squad.

The vastly experienced Shrubsole was ruled out of a 16-strong England squad named on Thursday to play three ODIs and three T20Is in February and March, as was fellow seamer Katie George, who has suffered another stress fracture in her back. George, the 21-year-old left-armer, has been troubled by back injuries during her career and has played just two ODIs and three T20Is since making her international debut in 2018.

Sophia Dunkley retains her place in the squad, having scored 0 and 3* upon breaking back into the England T20 team after 18 months during the five-match T20 series against West Indies in September.

While there was room for another left-arm seamer, Farrant, who impressed during last year’s inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Georgia Adams missed out on selection despite being the domestic 50-over competition’s leading runscorer with 500 runs at an average of 83.33 and including a highest score of 154 not out. Farrant made her solitary ODI appearance back in 2013 and played the last of her 14 T20Is against New Zealand in England in 2018.

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Talented 18-year-old pace bowler Issy Wong will travel with the group to New Zealand as part of her on-going development, having spent time around the squad during the series against West Indies. Georgia Elwiss returns after missing that series with a back injury.

The England touring party will fly out on January 24 and spend 14 days in quarantine as required by the New Zealand Government. During that time, they will follow Covid-19 testing protocols which will allow them to train ahead of the first one-day match on February 23 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch with two fixtures at the Universtiy of Otago to follow. The T20Is will begin on March 3 at Wellington's Sky Stadium before moving to Eden Park and then Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Jonathan Finch, director of England Women's Cricket, said that despite the challenges posed by a shortened 2020 season and ongoing limitations due to the global coronavirus pandemic, players were already working towards major tournaments in 2022-23.

"We're hugely excited about getting over to New Zealand and maintaining our commitment to play international cricket despite these challenging times" Finch said. "We have a really important 24 months in front of us with two ICC global events, the Women's Ashes and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Our ambition is to be successful across all these events and this tour is the first step towards achieving that."

The T20 series against West Indies was the only international women's cricket played in England last year after travel restrictions prevented India and 2023 T20 World Cup hosts South Africa from touring as was planned before the pandemic hit. New Zealand will host the ICC Women's World Cup, where England will be defending champions, in early 2022 after the event was postponed for a year.

England squad: Heather Knight (capt.), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.

Match Schedule
ODI series:

Tuesday February 23: 1st ODI, New Zealand v England (Hagley Oval, 1am GMT)
Friday February 26: 2nd ODI, New Zealand v England (University of Otago Oval, 10pm GMT)
Sunday February 28: 3rd ODI, New Zealand v England (University of Otago Oval, 10pm GMT)

T20I series:

Wednesday March 3: 1st IT20, New Zealand v England (Sky Stadium, 2am GMT)
Friday March 5: 2nd IT20, New Zealand v England (Eden Park, 2am GMT)
Sunday March 7: 3rd IT20, New Zealand v England (Bay Oval, 11pm GMT)

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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England in Sri Lanka 2020-21




Former great lends expertise to England batsmen in Sri Lanka, and is open to further work

Jacques Kallis has admitted he is “sad” to be unable to use his experience to help the next generation of South African cricketers, but is enjoying his time working with England instead.

Kallis, arguably the greatest cricketer South Africa have produced, found himself surplus to requirements in their coaching set-up after Cricket South Africa (CSA) started to apply an affirmative action policy to the recruitment of consultants.

While this policy is not set in stone, it does encourage more usage of non-white coaches. And with South Africa already having a white director of cricket (Graeme Smith), head coach (Mark Boucher) and high performance batting coach (Neil McKenzie), Kallis has not been utilised by them since the end of England’s tour of the country at the start of 2020.

Despite “a few” South Africa players expressing a desire to work with him in recent weeks, Kallis says he “wasn’t allowed” to help them. As a result, he has accepted a short-term role as batting consultant with England. And while there are currently no plans to extend that role beyond the current tour of Sri Lanka, both sides are open to discussing it further in the coming weeks.

“It’s sad in a way that I can’t help out in South Africa,” Kallis said from Galle, “but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here and my time in the England set-up. I’m certainly going to give them as much of my knowledge and time as I can to move them forward.

“I wasn’t allowed to be involved with that South African side because Cricket South Africa said there would be no more white consultants. So unfortunately that fell away and this opportunity of helping England out came about and I took it with both hands.

“So no I haven’t been able to be involved with the SA guys over the last couple of months. There were a few [quite keen to do so], but unfortunately there was that rule so it was pretty much taken out of my hands.

“I suppose it’s the way of our country: a lot of players have fallen away because of needing players of colour involved. It’s tough but we understand where it comes from. It is sad, but it’s the times we are living in at the moment.”

It has appeared, in recent days, that CSA have softened their stance on the affirmative action to ensure they have more coaching talent available. But if that is the case, nobody appears to have told Kallis.

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