England captain Eoin Morgan powered his side to series victory in the third T20I against South Africa.

Jos Buttler and Johnny Bairstow set the platform with 57 and 64 respectively, before Morgan, assisted by Ben Stokes, blasted the visitors to victory.

The Lions were set 222 runs by the hosts at Centurion, who won the toss and elected to bat first.

South Africa made a rapid start after a typically classy innings from Quinton de Kock (35) and fellow opener Temba Bavuma, who scored 49 runs from 24 balls.

Their momentum stuttered after de Kock holed out at deep midwicket and the increasingly dangerous Bavuma was bowled was Adil Rashid in consecutive overs.

However, Heinrich Klaasen took over in his first T20 of the series, scoring an impressive 66 off 33 balls while Miller also contributed 35 from 20.

It was a tough day for the bowlers, with stars Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan all going for more than 40 runs in their allotted overs. The latter, so impressive earlier in the series, was hit for three consecutive leg side sixes in the fourth over of the game as South Africa blasted their way to 222.

Buttler (57) and Bairstow (64) both scored half-centuries to get England on their way after Jason Roy (7) fell early on, before Dawid Malan (11) failed to make use of his chance to impress as Tabraiz Shamsi found his inside edge.

Eoin Morgan, with Ben Stokes (22) at the other end, hit seven maximums in a brutal 57-run knock that took his side over the line with five balls to spare.

The victory is invaluable as England look forward to the T20 World Cup, which starts in October, and captain Morgan was pleased with his side’s performance.

“It’s brilliant. When a series is so tight, to come out on top says a lot about the side.
“Probably where it’s a little bit disappointing from everyone, upon reflection, is how we started the series (losing in East London).

“We started pretty slow, we still managed to stay in the first game, the chase actually turned out pretty well and we should have won but we capitulated at the end.

“That is a big learning curve for us going forward – how we start a series and how we might start a World Cup.”

Photo from Ben Sutherland, under creative commons license.

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