ENG Vs SA, Super 8 ICC T20 WC 2024: De Kock's Knock Propels Proteas To 7 Run Victory, Boosting Semi-Final Hopes

Quinton de Kock's fiery knock (65 runs) early on put England on the back foot in the World Cup chase. Despite a valiant half-century from Harry Brook (53 runs), South Africa held their nerve to secure a thrilling 7-run victory and remain undefeated

 AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
South Africa's Keshav Maharaj, right, hugs captain Aiden Markram to celebrate the dismissal of England's captain Jos Buttler during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between England and South Africa at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, Friday, June 21, 2024. AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

In a nail-biting finish, South Africa edged past England by seven runs in the T20 World Cup 2024 on Friday, June 21 at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet in St Lucia in Group 2 Super Eights match. (Highlights|Cricket News)

Harry Brook's valiant half-century for England wasn't enough to overcome a strong South African showing. This win keeps South Africa's unbeaten streak alive in the tournament.

The match started with England winning the toss and deciding to bowl first.

Quinton de Kock turned the early stages of the South African innings into a personal nightmare for England. He majorly contributed to the 163 that SA scored. The explosive opener unleashed a brutal assault on the bowling, particularly targeting Jofra Archer.

De Kock's bat blazed, finding the boundary with ease as he smashed (68 off 35, 4x4, 4x6) 68 runs off just 35 balls, including four boundaries and four sixes. This onslaught pushed the South African scoring rate close to 10 runs per over in the early stages. He was also named as player of the match.

However, England refused to crumble under De Kock's pressure. They fought back with disciplined bowling, led by Reece Topley's tight bowling during the Powerplay. Sharp fielding also played a crucial role in containing the South African batsmen. While De Kock's knock provided a strong foundation, England managed to take wickets at regular intervals, preventing South Africa from building a truly dominant total.

The dismissal of de Kock became a major need for England. A moment of fortune occurred when de Kock's sweep off Adil Rashid was caught by Mark Wood, but TV replays showed part of the ball touching the ground, so he was not out. South Africa celebrated early, thinking they had de Kock, but it was not out.

England soon broke through when Reeza Hendricks charged down to Moeen in the 10th over, and Harry Brook took a regulation catch. With the run rate approaching 10, promoting Heinrich Klaasen seemed like a smart move, but Wood’s brilliance foiled it. Wood bowled a short ball as Klaasen moved away. Klaasen attempted a quick run, but Wood quickly reached the ball and uprooted the stumps, catching Klaasen short of his crease.

After de Kock's reprieve, South Africa lost some very quick wickets. From 86 for no loss, they slipped to 113 for four by the 15th over, losing momentum. Amid the steady fall of wickets at one end, Miller held his ground, and his late charge helped South Africa go past the 150-mark.

On the other hand, Harry Brook smashed a 53 (37 balls, 7 fours) for England, their chase of 164 fell short as the other batters failed to shine. Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj starred with the ball for South Africa, taking two wickets each. Jofra Archer was England's top bowler with 3 wickets for 40 runs.

Brief scores: South Africa 163 for 6 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 65, David Miller 43; Adil Rashid 1/23, Jofra Archer 3/40) beat England: 156/6 in 20 overs (Harry Brook 53, Liam Livingstone 33; Keshav Maharaj 2/25, Kagiso Rabada 2/32) by 7 runs.