Shropshire Star

Jos Buttler impresses behind stumps as England keep South Africa to 163 for six

Adil Rashid continued his impressive form with a miserly stint of one for 20, with Jofra Archer closing out with three 40.

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England captain Jos Buttler produced a pair of brilliant wicketkeeping dismissals as England restricted South Africa to 163 for six in their T20 World Cup clash in St Lucia.

Buttler pulled off a sensational diving catch to see off top-scorer Quinton de Kock for 65 and then ran out powerhouse Heinrich Klaasen cheaply with a pinpoint throw to the non-striker’s end.

Spurred on by the skipper’s excellent work, England dragged their opponents back from a strong powerplay of 63 without loss to take control of the innings.

Adil Rashid continued his impressive form with a miserly stint of one for 20, with Jofra Archer closing out with three 40.

England named an unchanged XI from their morale-boosting win over the West Indies but saw De Kock seize the early initiative. Reece Topley held up his part of the bargain with the new ball, giving up just 18 runs and one boundary from his three overs, but there were 45 in the same period from the Pavilion End.

Moeen Ali, Archer and Sam Curran all tried to shut down De Kock and failed. The left-hander lifted Moeen straight back over his head, flicked and drove consecutive sixes off Archer and pulled Curran furiously into the stands at mid-wicket.

He took just 22 balls over his fifty, the joint fastest in the tournament, weighed down only by a dull grind of an effort from his partner Reeza Hendricks.

De Kock was handed a reprieve on 58 when a slog sweep off Rashid carried to Mark Wood at deep square, only for the fielder to misread the flight and take the ball too close to the ground. De Kock stood his ground and, while England were visibly aggrieved, the not out verdict looked fair.

Quinton de Kock plays a shot en route to making 65
Quinton de Kock top scored with 65 for the Proteas (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

England barely celebrated when Hendricks bowed out with 19 off 25 but could not contain their joy when De Kock nicked Archer’s well-disguised cutter and Buttler leapt to take a one-handed stunner.

Klaasen was promoted to number three to lift a stalling run-rate but also fell foul of Buttler’s alertness. Called through for a single as Wood slotted one down the leg side, Klaasen had no chance as Buttler gathered at the second attempt and flung a low, flat throw into the base of the stumps with laser-like precision.

David Miller added late impetus with a knock of 43 but he and Marco Jansen fell to another pair of first-rate catches by Harry Brook and Curran as Archer struck with successive deliveries at the death.

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