World T20: De Villiers blitz powers South Africa to semis
On Saturday, AB de Villiers produced the fastest T20I fifty for his country, propelling his team in the semi-finals of the 2014 ICC World T20 with a narrow 3-run win over England at Chittagong.
South Africa posted the highest total in the tournament so far, after England won the toss and elected to chase. Hashim Amla looked in ominous form with his first T20I fifty in 25 innings, a 37-ball 56 that included six fours and two sixes. His partner, Quinton de Kock (29 off 33) was strutting along at the other end, but the duo managed to add 90 for the 1st wicket despite being interrupted by floodlight failures on two occasions.
In walked stand-in skipper AB de Villiers, who promoted himself to No.3 and the move paid off immensely. AB got to his half-century in just 23 balls, the quickest by any South African batsman in this format. In all, he finished unbeaten on 69 off 28 deliveries, even as the rest of the middle-order crumbled around him. England's woeful bowling added more runs to the South African total as they finished with 196/5 in 20 overs.
England would have loved a repeat of the Alex Hales show, but Wayne Parnell shattered all dreams with his fierce spell, claiming all three top-order wickets, including that of Hales (38). England were reduced to 73/3, desperately in need of a stable partnership. But Imran Tahir's masterful legspin hardly allowed the Englishmen to settle as he dismissed Eoin Morgan (14) way too early in his innings, followed by Jos Buttler (34) who was beginning to look comfortable.
England were still ahead of the Proteas in terms of run-rate, but they missed a match-winning cameo towards the end. Ravi Bopara (31) entered the final over with 22 needed, but a mishit off Steyn landed straight into David Miller's hand and that was the end of England's journey in the World T20.
South Africa 196 for 5 (De Villiers 69, Amla 56) beat England (Hales 38, Parnell 3-31) by three runs