South Africa’s left-hand batter Rilee Rossouw cracked an unbeaten 96 as the visitors thrashed England by 58 runs in the second T20I at Sophia Gardens to level the three-match series 1-1 here.
Embellished with five maximums and 10 boundaries, the 32-year-old Rossouw simply bludgeoned the England attack as he fell just four runs short of his maiden T20I century as the visitors set an imposing 208-run target for the home team to win.
However, England were all out for 149 in 16.4 overs. The deciding match of the T20I series will be played in Southampton on July 31.
A day after the Proteas lost the opening T20I, Rossouw looked in sublime form as his 55-ball effort put the visitors in pole position early on. After a six-year gap in T20I cricket, mostly because of focusing on Kolpak deals in England, Rossouw didn’t have a great outing in the opening T20I. But the No.3 batter played the tall England left-arm pace bowler Reece Topley and off-spinner Moeen Ali with dexterity to emerge the highest run-getter from both sides.
He missed out on the century after failing to make contact on a wide Chris Jordan yorker off the final ball of the innings, though was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’.
England had a confident start but lost Jos Buttler and Jason Roy in their 20s before a middle over collapse saw them lose the way. Tabraiz Shamsi was the man responsible for the debacle, taking the wickets Jason Roy, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran in the space of 15 deliveries, finishing with 3/27 off his four overs.
After a wicket in his second over with the new ball, Andile Phehlukwayo claimed Liam Livingstone and Adil Rashid in a three-wicket performance of his own (3/39), with Lungi Ngidi (2/11) cleaning up the tail. Kagiso Rabada (1/35) and Keshav Maharaj (1/37) also tasted success.
Brief scores: South Africa 207/3 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 53, Rilee Rossouw 96 not out) beat England 149 in 16.4 overs (Jos Buttler 29, Jonny Bairstow 30; Tabraiz Shamsi 3/27, Andile Phehlukwayo 3/39) by 58 runs.