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Exuberant South African openers humiliate England

cricket Updated: Nov 16, 2009 03:10 IST

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South African openers Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman shared a world record partnership to set up a devastating 84-run victory over England in their Twenty20 international at Centurion on Sunday.

The pair scored at more than 12 runs an over in scoring 170 off 84 balls -- the biggest partnership for any wicket in international Twenty20.

The huge defeat for England, which came despite the return from injury of their leading batsman Kevin Pietersen, tied the two-match series at 1-1.

England bowled poorly and when they did eventually separate the South African openers it was down to part-time leg-spinner Joe Denly, who had Smith caught at long-on, mis-hitting a slog-sweep, with his first delivery in international cricket.

The South African captain had plundered 88 off 44 balls, his beefy hitting bringing him eight fours and six powerfully-struck sixes.

Bosman played some scintillating strokes as he made 94 from 45 deliveries, with five fours and nine sixes.

Bosman fell in the 17th over, hitting the ball off the toe of the bat as he tried to swing medium-pacer Luke Wright over cow corner only to be caught by Denly running in from the boundary.

There was some late respite for England as they claimed four further wickets, helping limit South Africa to 241 for six, which was merely the second highest total in international Twenty20 cricket.

South Africa then bowled and fielded with discipline and intensity as England stuttered to 157 for eight in reply.

Jonathan Trott top-scored with 51 before he was caught skying a hook off Albie Morkel, wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn, who was making his international debut, taking a good running catch.

Pietersen scored 29 off 19 balls in a decent showing on his return, but the visitors were always well-shy of the required run-rate of over 12 an over.

England won the rain-interrupted first match by one run on the Duckworth/Lewis method in Johannesburg, where the two teams begin a five-match one-day international series on Friday.