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Joe Root takes England home in record-shattering run chase

Joe Root walks off after a 44-ball 83.
Joe Root walks off after a 44-ball 83.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 230-8 (Root 83) beat
South Africa 229-4 (Amla 58) by two wickets
18th Match, Super 10 Group 1, ICC World Twenty20, Mumbai

Joe Root notched his second highest Twenty20 International score as he belted four sixes and six fours in his 44-ball knock of 83 runs as England overhauled South Africa’s target of 230 runs in 19.4 overs to complete a thrilling two-wicket victory in the Super 10 Group 1 encounter of the ICC World T20 in Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, belligerent fifties from Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy helped South Africa post 229 for four in their quota of 20 overs.

England won the toss and opted to bowl first on a batting wicket. David Willey (1-40) began by conceding just two runs in his first over but South Africa’s innings took off when de Kock (52) smashed a six and two boundaries in the second over.

De Kock followed it up with two sixes and as many fours in the third over while he and Amla (58) plundered 13 runs from the fourth.

It was Amla’s turn to take on the bowlers as he smacked five boundaries and a six in the next two overs as South Africa amassed 83 for naught in the powerplay.

De Kock completed a 21-ball fifty but fell in the eighth over, caught by Alex Hales at midwicket off Moeen Ali (2-34). AB de Villiers (16) smashed two sixes and fell in the ninth over.

Amla completed a 25-ball half-century with a six over square leg and pushed South Africa to 125 for two at the halfway mark.

England pulled things back with the wicket of Amla, who was trapped lbw by Ali. Duminy (54 not out) struck three boundaries but Faf du Plessis (17) fell after a run-a-ball knock.

Duminy hit three boundaries and as many sixes as he brought up his 26-ball fifty and along with a timely cameo from David Miller (28 not out), South Africa finished quite strongly to post 229 for four in 20 overs.

Facing a mammoth target, England started briskly as Jason Roy (43) struck five boundaries in the very first over, which fetched England 21 runs.

The start went from good to better as Alex Hales (17) and Roy plundered 23 more runs from the second over. Hales fell in the third over after a seven ball cameo while Roy was dismissed in the fifth, seven runs short of his fifty.

England lost Ben Stokes (15) in the sixth over but finished the powerplay strongly after scoring 89 for three.

South Africa conceded just one six in the next four overs while accounting for the wicket of Eoin Morgan (12). England were pulled back to 118 for four at the halfway mark.

Root (83) and Jos Buttler (21) combined to score 42 runs in the next three overs bringing the equation down to 70 runs needed from 42 balls.

Root completed a 29-ball fifty and went on to add 75 runs with Buttler in just six overs. Imran Tahir (1-28) conceded just five runs in his final over and dismissed Buttler by getting him stumped.

With 42 runs needed from 24 balls and South Africa struggling with the dew, Root upped the ante with four boundaries and a six as England made a dash for the finish line.

The game was not yet over as Miller took a good catch at deep midwicket to dismiss Root, giving Kagiso Rabada (2-50) a second wicket in what was an expensive outing.

Ali (8 not out) and Jordan (5) struck a boundary each in the 19th over as the scores were drawn level.

England lost Jordan and Willey (0) in the final over but Ali took a calm single to complete a record breaking chase and secure a thrilling two-wicket win.

This was the second highest chase in the history of T20Is and the highest in a World T20 game. The Proteas also conceded 26 extras, the third highest in the history of the format.

Root took home the man of the match award for his match-winning knock. England now move to third in the Group 1 points table behind West Indies and Sri Lanka.

© Cricket World 2016