Australia let a promising position slip as South Africa levelled the Twenty20 series with a 12-run win in Port Elizabeth.

The tourists crushed the Proteas by 107 runs in the opening game of their limited-overs tour on Friday, bowling their opponents out for just 89.

They appeared set to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after restricting South Africa to 158-4 despite Quinton de Kock's 70.

However, they slumped from 98-1 midway through the 13th over to finish on 146-6, well shy of a target perceived to be below par at the halfway stage of the contest.

Steve Smith stole the show in South Africa's powerplay, despite the hosts powering to 59-0 thanks mainly to the efforts of skipper De Kock.

Smith produced an incredible piece of fielding in the sixth over, catching a shot over the deep midwicket boundary from De Kock and throwing it back across the rope before he hit the ground to prevent what looked a certain six.

De Kock struck five fours and four sixes but was eventually caught at long off as Australia fought back, Rassie van der Dussen's 26-ball 37 the other primary contribution as the Proteas' early impetus petered out.

David Warner (67 not out) and Australia captain Aaron Finch put on 48 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs before the impressive Lungi Ngidi (3-41) struck.

Warner and Smith appeared in cruise control, yet both could be considered guilty of not scoring quickly enough and the latter went for 29 off 26 balls when Faf du Plessis raced in from the boundary to claim an excellent catch.

Alex Carey fell to Ngidi for 14 as South Africa's death bowling came to the fore.

Ngidi claimed his third when Du Plessis produced more brilliance in the field, parrying a high shot down the ground to David Miller to remove Mitchell Marsh, though Australia still needed just 20 off the final two overs with six wickets in hand.

Yet Kagiso Rabada drew a leading edge from Matthew Wade at the start of the 19th, during which Warner spent just one delivery on strike. 

Australia required 17 off the final six balls but could manage only four, Anrich Nortje bowling Ashton Agar as South Africa completed a fine comeback to ensure the third and final match on Wednesday will be a decider.

Tom Curran held his nerve at the death as England levelled the Twenty20 series against South Africa in dramatic fashion at Kingsmead.

A high-scoring contest went down to the wire as the Proteas, chasing 205 to move into an unassailable 2-0 lead, needed three from the last ball - the same task England had failed to achieve in the opening game.

Once again, the bowling side managed to escape with the victory, Bjorn Fortuin only able to paddle a slower delivery from Curran to the hands of the back-pedalling Adil Rashid at short fine leg.

Having started the final over needing 15, Dwaine Pretorius followed up a six with a cover-driven four to reduce the equation to five off three.

A scampered two tipped the balance even further in favour of South Africa, yet Curran dismissed Pretorius lbw before deceiving new man Fortuin with a clever change of pace.

The finish was in keeping with an eventful game that ebbed and flowed throughout. England were indebted to a fast start and a devastating finish as they made 204-7, only for Quinton de Kock to produce a one-man onslaught during the powerplay.

South Africa's limited-overs captain had smashed eight sixes to make 65 from just 22 balls, the last of which saw him swing a high full toss from Mark Wood out to Ben Stokes on the deep midwicket boundary.

Temba Bavuma (31), David Miller (21) and Pretorius (25) made contributions and Rassie van der Dussen finished up unbeaten on 43, but the Proteas came up narrowly short.

England, meanwhile, live to fight another day, with the result setting up a winner-takes-all showdown at SuperSport Park on Sunday.

They had posted their sixth highest T20 total after being put into bat, despite losing the dangerous Jos Buttler for just two. Jason Roy followed up his knock of 70 on Wednesday with 40 at the top of the order, while Jonny Bairstow belted 35 from just 17 deliveries.

Yet it was Moeen Ali who played the crucial hand. Having arrived at the crease with the innings wobbling slightly at 125-5, he was the catalyst for a late blitz of boundaries that yielded 79 runs from the final five overs.

The all-rounder hit four sixes, including one extraordinary sliced drive over point from a Lungi Ngidi full toss, in an 11-ball knock of 39, while Stokes made his highest T20 score at international level as he finished on 47 not out.

Dale Steyn has been included in South Africa's Twenty20 International squad to face England and Quinton de Kock will captain the side in the three-match series.

Steyn has not played for the Proteas since last March, but the paceman is set to return against Eoin Morgan's side.

De Kock was named as permanent ODI skipper ahead of the ongoing series with England and will also lead his country in the shortest format, as Faf du Plessis has been granted an extended period of rest.

Kagiso Rabada has also been given extra time off after being rested for the ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0 with one match to play at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Uncapped batsman Pite van Biljon and seamer Sisanda Magala were included in the squad for a T20 series that gets under way with a day-night contest at Buffalo Park, East London next Wednesday.

Magala's participation is dependent on him passing a fitness test. 

Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Graeme Smith said: "We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England.

"We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership."

He added: "With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa."

 

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, JJ Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

Quinton de Kock led by example with a magnificent century at the start of his reign as South Africa ODI captain, setting up an emphatic seven-wicket win over world champions England at Newlands.

De Kock replaced Faf du Plessis as skipper in the 50-over format last month and could not have scripted a better beginning to a new era, inspiring the Proteas to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Tabraiz Shamsi took 3-38 as England were restricted to 258-8 after being put in by De Kock, Joe Denly making an ODI-best 87 and Chris Woakes 40 in a seventh-wicket stand of 91.

That was not enough for the tourists in their first ODI since winning the World Cup for the first time, with De Kock scoring an imperious 107 to become the joint-fifth fastest to 5,000 ODI runs.

Temba Bavuma fell for a classy 98 after putting on 173 for the second wicket with his new skipper before South Africa - beaten 3-1 by England in the Test series - completed the highest successful ODI run chase in Cape Town with 14 balls to spare.

England - without the rested Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler - looked destined to post a big total with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow going along nicely, but they lost their way after both openers fell in consecutive overs.

Roy (32) holed out to debutant JJ Smuts to end a stand of 51 before Bairstow (19) fell to Andile Phehlukwayo and Rassie van der Dussen ran out Joe Root with a magnificent piece of fielding.

Spinner Shamsi got rid of captain Eoin Morgan and ended Tom Banton's first ODI knock, then bowled Sam Curran around his legs to leave England reeling on 108-5.

Denly and Woakes halted the procession of wickets, rotating the strike well and driving handsomely as they took the tourists over 200.

A third ODI half-century - 11 years after his second - for Denly was registered off 72 balls and he struck the fit-again Lungi Ngidi for two sixes before falling to Beuran Hendricks in the final over, with Woakes having become Lutho Sipamla's first international victim.

Reeza Hendricks successfully reviewed after being given lbw to Woakes in the first over of the run chase, but the England all-rounder got his man caught behind for just six.

De Kock and Bavuma then made the England attack look ordinary in a magnificent partnership, driving majestically and sweeping with conviction to put the Proteas well on their way to victory.

A reverse sweep took De Kock to a half-century and he crunched Tom Curran for six with disdain before Bavuma dispatched a poor ball from debutant Matt Parkinson over the ropes.

De Kock passed 5,000 ODI runs and fittingly brought up a 15th ODI hundred with a stylish drive off spinner Parkinson, before he was cleaned up trying to hit Root out of the ground.

Bavuma missed out on a hundred when he was struck bang in front by Chris Jordan, but Van der Dussen made an unbeaten 35 as South Africa sealed victory at a canter.

Quinton de Kock has no qualms with balancing multiple responsibilities as he prepares to lead South Africa in the one-day series with England.

De Kock has assumed the captaincy and will combine that with his usual duties as a wicketkeeper and batsman, the Proteas star insisting there is no risk of him being overloaded.

South Africa, who lost the Test series to England, face three ODIs against the 2019 Cricket World Cup winners, with the first taking place in Cape Town on Tuesday.

And De Kock will gladly continue to keep wicket in addition to his other roles.

"It [keeping wicket] is the one thing that helps me with my captaincy and my batting," he told the media. "It's key for me to hang on to the gloves for as long as I can.

"You guys think it sounds like a lot of work. I've been doing it for quite a while now, so it becomes second nature.

"Now, with the captaincy, it adds a bit more responsibility to me, which I enjoy. I think I am going to hang on with the keeping and the batting for a while."

The Proteas finished seventh in the pool phase at the World Cup last year, losing five of their nine matches in a miserable showing.

De Kock acknowledged there was significant room for improvement but the 27-year-old is looking to the future with optimism.

"We are in a rebuilding stage in the 50-over format," he said.

"We are looking forward to the next World Cup and we are at a stage where we are looking for youngsters to come through, and to give them the best opportunities we can, and hopefully help them grow as cricketers and be great prospects for us in future.

"We just want to win the series for now. There is a lot of time to give a lot of opportunities but for now, it's important for us as a team that we just get a series win.

"That's more important at the moment for the morale of the team. In the future, we will be giving more opportunities when we decide its best for the team."

Graeme Smith plans to have a "robust discussion" with Faf du Plessis on his future after the Test series against England.

Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced Quinton de Kock had replaced Du Plessis as ODI captain ahead of the series against the world champions.

Du Plessis stated the fourth Test against England at the Wanderers, which starts on Friday, could be his last appearance in the longest format on home soil, revealing he may quit after facing West Indies in July and August.

The batsman had earlier outlined his desire to remain Proteas captain until the T20 World Cup in Australia in October, and Smith wants some clarity over Du Plessis' plans.

Interim South Africa director of cricket Smith said of the decision to appoint De Kock as ODI captain: "We see Faf playing a role as a player but from a leadership perspective, we felt the need to move on.

"Faf doesn't see himself being around in 2023. Leadership has been an issue of late in South African cricket and we have made the decision to give Quinny an opportunity.

"We feel tactically he is good, there are areas of his leadership that we all know we need to grow and develop but he is the right guy at this stage to take the one-day side forward."

The former Proteas skipper added: "With the World Cup around the corner, we need to go forward.

"At the moment Faf is in that position but I need to sit with him post this Test series. He has got a bit of time because he is being rested from the one-day series, so we will have some time to have a robust discussion on his future.

"He is the South African Test captain. The next Test match we play after this series will be in the Caribbean - there is an extensive amount of time. I need to understand how he sees his future in the game."

Quinton de Kock has been named as the new South Africa captain in ODIs ahead of the series against England, with Test skipper Faf du Plessis not named in the squad.

South Africa will play England in three matches over the space of six days from February 4 and will be led by wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock.

Du Plessis, under mounting pressure as the Proteas' Test leader, has recently discussed which international commitments he will keep after this year's T20 World Cup and he is not in the 15-man squad for the series.

Cricket South Africa, while not directly naming the previous ODI skipper, indicated in Tuesday's announcement that some senior members of the squad have been rested as they look to blood young players.

 

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