Bairstow and Moeen wreak havoc as England win Bristol T20I run-fest

By Sports Desk July 27, 2022

Jonny Bairstow blasted his highest T20 International score and Moeen Ali struck a record-breaking half-century as England beat South Africa by 41 runs in the first match of the series.

Bairstow is in the form of his life and bludgeoned 90 off only 53 balls on Wednesday, while Moeen made the fastest T20I half-century by an England batter from just 16 deliveries.

The exploits of Bairstow and Moeen (50) enabled England to rack up 234-6 at the County Ground in Bristol, their second-highest total in the shortest format and the biggest they have posted at home.

Tristan Stubbs top scored with a sublime 72 off 28 balls in his first international innings and Reeza Hendricks made 57, but the tourists fell short on 193-8 in a run-fest.

Jos Buttler smashed 22 off only seven balls after losing yet another toss, but Lungi Ngidi (5-39) removed the skipper and fellow opener Jason Roy.

Dawid Malan (43) was looking in ominous touch before he nicked Andile Phehlukwayo behind, setting the stage for Bairstow and Moeen put on an astonishing show of power and timing.

From 112-3 after 12 overs, the left and right-hand combination wreaked havoc, putting on 106 for the fourth wicket in just under six overs, with Bairstow dropped twice as the Proteas suffered under the lights.

Moeen fell straight after bringing up a fastest T20I half-century and Bairstow finally departed in the last over from Ngidi, just missing out on hundred.

The in-form Reece Topley (2-29) dismissed Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw cheaply, but Hendricks and Stubbs made a game of it as they made hay on a great track.

Moeen had Hendricks caught by Sam Curran and Adil Rashid (2-21) struck twice before Stubbs took centre stage as the boundaries continued to flow, but he was one of Richard Gleeson's three late victims and Chris Jordan bowled superbly at the death in a hugely impressive win for England.

 

Bairstow and Moeen go berserk 

The powerful Bairstow struck eight sixes and Moeen cleared the rope six times, with Phehlukwayo (1-63) conceding 33 runs from an astonishing 17th over and Tabraiz Shamsi going for 49 in three wicket-less overs.

Rossouw and Hendricks dropped Bairstow, who was finally removed in an excellent last over from the Ngidi, but the damage had already been done.

Stubbs stakes his claim

The 21-year-old Stubbs had batted in his only two previous internationals against India, but he staked a claim to be a regular fixture in the side with the T20 World Cup on the horizon.

He hit eight sixes to keep the Proteas in with an outside chance of chasing down a huge target, scoring at a rapid rate on both sides of the wicket before falling to Gleeson (3-51).

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