England suffered their first defeat in the ongoing IKR T20 World Cup, but still qualified for the semi-finals on the basis of a better net run rate, which knocked out winners South Africa in the tournament in Sharjah on Saturday. South African pacemaker Kagiso Rabada (3/48) delivered a sensational final to take the first of his country to pack a hat trick in T20Is and helped his team record a 10-run victory, denying England a record of all victories in the showpiece, though it came too late in the day. The Proteas, who scored 189 for 2 after being sent in to bat, had to limit England to 131 to overtake Australia in net run rate and qualify for the semi-finals, but that would not be their day.
England, Australia and South Africa each finished on eight points, but the top two teams advanced to the semi-finals as they had a better net run rate than South Africa (NRR +0.739) who were knocked out.
England (NRR +2,464) were at the top of Group 1 while Australia (NRR +1,216), which beat West Indies earlier in the day, finished second.
England crossed the 131-run mark in the 16th over that sent South Africa out of the tournament, but they needed 14 runs from the last over, which they could not score.
Rabada knocked out Chris Woakes (7), Eoin Morgan (17) and Chris Jordan (0) in consecutive balls in the final over for the third hat-trick of the tournament.
It was a bad start for the Protea bowlers as they conceded 10 runs each in the second and third overs. Rabada was treated with contempt by English opening batsmen Jason Roy and Jos Buttler when they took 15 runs from him using three boundaries.
But Roy was taken off the field and injured at 20 as he sustained an apparent leg injury. He could barely complete a single of the first ball of the fifth over and later limped off the ground.
Moeen Ali came in his place. Jos Buttler, who was in form, was out in the next over of Anrich Nortje’s bowling when he tried to drive to midfield but missed his shot for Temba Bavuma for a low catch.
England were still at 59 for 1 at the end of power play, but they lost some momentum with Jonny Bairstow (1) coming out on top in the third ball he encountered, LBW against Tabraiz Shamsi in the seventh over.
Ali and David Malan got the odd boundaries to take England to 81 for 2 at the halfway mark. The South African bowlers tried hard, but found it difficult to get wickets or tie the English batsmen for long.
Ali hit a giant six from Shamsi in the 13th over, but the bowler laughed the last as the batsman hit one big shot too many and was caught by David Miller.
England went over the notch of 131 runs to send South Africa out of the T20 World Cup with Liam Livingstone hitting three sixes in a row, the unlucky bowler being Rabada.
For South Africa, Tabraiz Shamsi took two wickets while Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius each got one.
Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen smashed an unbeaten 94 and Aiden Markram made 52 not out in a brilliant display of power shots as they led South Africa to 189 for 2.
Van der Dussen’s unbeaten run of 60 balls had five fours and six sixes, while Markram struck two boundaries and four maximums of 25 deliveries during his unbeaten innings, when the duo shared 103 runs for the uninterrupted third wicket.
The Proteas added 116 runs from the back-10, thanks to fireworks from van der Dussen and Markram. South Africa started slowly and on top of that they lost their opening batsman Reeza Hendricks (2), who was cleared by Moeen Ali in the third over.
The Proteas did not strike in the showdown, by the end of which they were only 40 for 1. Van der Dussen, one-down, was set to take on the English bowlers and he was able to hit Chris Woakes for a six and a four in the sixth over.
Quinton de Kock (34) and van der Dussen were able to reach the odd borders and South Africa reached 73 for 1 at the halfway mark.
But just as the duo looked ominous, England broke the 71-run partnership around the second wicket with Jason Roy taking an excellent dive from De Kock near the boundary of Adil Rashid’s bowling in the 12th over.
Van der Dussen did great and he reached his 50 off 37 balls in the 13th over. He hit Woakes for two consecutive sixes and Markram got another maximum from the bowler as South Africa took 21 runs from the 16th over.
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