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T20 World Cup: England v South Africa – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

The State of Play

Having scraped into the Super Eight, England looked a team transformed against the West Indies last night, thrashing the T20 World Cup hosts by eight wickets in a real statement of intent.

Led by Phil Salt’s brilliant 87 not out and Jonny Bairstow’s steadying unbeaten 48, England cruised to their victory target of 181 with 15 balls to spare.

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A win against South Africa tomorrow would – barring an unlikely set of results – put Jos Buttler’s side into the semi-finals.

The Proteas also come into this clash having won their opening Group Two fixture, against the United States.

But they will be wary of an England side that finally lived up to their billing on Wednesday night.


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The defending champions looked strong in every facet on a St Lucia pitch that aided the batters.

Adil Rashid was again the pick of the attack with Buttler admitting afterwards the Yorkshire spinner was the team’s most important player. Rashid took one for 21 from his four overs with Jofra Archer also impressive with one for 34.

Having missed so much cricket over the last two years due to injury, Archer appears fully fit and firing.

It looks like it is coming together for Buttler, who was a happy captain following the Windies win.

He said: ”That was a really good performance from us. 

“We planned really well, we’ve been practising well and executed both with the bat and ball and deserved to win. I thought we bowled really well to restrict such a powerful batting line-up, such great six-hitters especially. [It was a] decent score, and you had to play well to chase it down.

“A lot of people say you learn when you lose, but I truly believe you learn when you win as well. [It is] important to reflect on what we did well today. We had a good performance, put that to bed and focus on the next performance.”

South Africa, like England, haven’t always shone in this tournament but captain Aiden Markram would have been delighted to see two of his senior players come back into form against the USA.

Opener Quinton De Kock blasted 74 while paceman Kagiso Rabada took three for 18 to stunt the States’ run chase.

“Pretty happy with the performance as a whole,” said Markram. “A couple of overs here and there we need to tidy up. I think you always feel you need more runs. But the wicket definitely changes and gets a bit slower, and they were a lot less sloppy. 

“A couple of lessons to take, but nice for the batters to be in the middle and get some runs, especially for Quinny to really get his flow.”

Expected line-ups

England: Salt, Buttler (c, wk), Ali, Bairstow, Brook, Livingstone, Curran, Archer, Rashid, Wood, Topley

South Africa: De Kock (wk), Hendricks, Markram (c), Miller, Klaasen, Stubbs, Jansen, Maharaj, Rabada, Nortje, Shamsi

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the T20 World Cup to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Coverage gets underway on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket from 3pm UK time on Friday afternoon.

In India, the games can be streamed on Disney + Hotstar app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

Momentum is a major factor in international cricket tournaments and it appears to be with England after their stuttering start.

We’re going to go with an England win, although it may be as much with our hearts than our heads with the two teams looking fairly evenly matched.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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