Watch: Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow hit five sixes in an over as records tumble in England vs South Africa 1st T20I
Moeen and Bairstow ruled the roost against South Africa as England beat the visitors by 41 runs in the first T20I of the series. Explosive innings by proteas batsman Tristan Stubbs and a five-wicket haul by bowler Lungi Ngidi went in vain.
Moeen Ali time and again shows flashes of brilliance that forces the cricketing world to stand up and take a note. The England vs South Africa first T20I at the County Ground in Bristol on Wednesday was one of those days. Player of the match Moeen hit the fastest T20I fifty by an England cricketer,off just 16 balls in a breathtaking display of strokeplay. He also took one wicket as England romped to a 41-run win.
The left-hander ruthlessly smashed the Proteas bowlers all around the park in a knock that saw him hitting six gigantic sixes. In his 106-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow, the two came down heavily in the 17th over bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo, hitting the right-arm medium pacer for five massive sixes. Bairstow's (90 off 53 balls) and Moeen's (52 off 18 balls) onslaught helped England put a big total of 234 on the scoreboard for the loss of just six wickets. Bairstow had the lady luck shining on him as the Proteas fielders dropped him an unbelievable four times during the innings.
Earlier, South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl against hosts England. The visitors got a quick breakthrough when Lungi Ngidi got rid of opener Jos Butler in the third over of the innings. In the 5th over, Ngidi took the wicket of Jason Roy as England lost both the openers. Malan and Bairstow steadied the innings and took England's total to 112 when the former was caught behind off Phehlukwayo's brilliant delivery.
After Malan got out, in came Moeen Ali who started off slow but then went into carnage mode alongside the explosive Bairstow. By the fifth delivery of the 18th over, when Moeen got out, the scoreboard read 218-4. Bairstow however stayed till the final over to ensure that England posted their second-highest T20I score.
With a required run rate of 11.7 in the start of the innings, the South Africans lost four top-order batters while trying to gain momentum. It was a gargantuan total that they were chasing. Young Tristan Stubbs put out a lion-hearted display of batting and hit 72 off just 28 balls at an explosive strike rate of 257. But it was too tall an ask for the lower order. South Africa could only manage 193 for 8 playing the full quota of 20 overs.
The next T20I match of the series between England and South Africa will be played in Cardiff on 28 July, Thursday.