England on Friday inched past South Africa by 2 runs in the second T20I of the three-match series at Kingsmead in Durban, courtesy Moeen Ali.
Getting an invitation to bat first, England, powered by 39 off 11 balls from Ali, posted 204 for 7 on the board. The guests thrashed 79 off the last five overs of their innings.
It was a total which looked unlikely when Ali walked in with his side on 125 for five after 15.1 overs. But the southpaw hit his second ball from Andile Phehlukwayo for six and launched a stunning assault in which he hit three more sixes and three fours in his short innings before being caught at long-on off Lungi Ngidi.
Ali dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 51 off 18 balls with Ben Stokes, who finished on 47 not out. Apart from the two, Jason Roy’s 40 off 29 and Jonny Bairstow’s 35 off 17 helped England’s cause.
During the chase, 65 from Quinton de Kock off just 22 balls and Rassie van der Dussen’s unbeaten 43 off 26 disturbed the rhythm of English bowlers but the nail-biting match ended in England’s favour.
Though South Africa were in the game till the last ball of the innings, England’s Tom Curran stole the match away from the hosts in the final over by picking the wickets of Dwaine Pretorius (25 off 13) and Bjorn Fortuin (0) in the final two deliveries of the innings.
With the win, England, who had lost the first match by one run in East London on Wednesday, squared up the series with one match to go.
The third match will be played at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.