Australia clinched the Twenty20 series against South Africa in emphatic fashion at Newlands on Wednesday, thrashing the home side by 97 runs in the winner-takes-all showdown.

In a lopsided encounter remarkably similar to the first of the three games between the teams, the tourists posted a challenging total before skittling their opponents.

Opening duo David Warner and Aaron Finch both made half-centuries as they powered Australia to 193-5 after being put into bat.

The Proteas – who managed just 89 when chasing 197 last Friday – lost captain Quinton de Kock early and never threatened in a reply that lasted just 15.3 overs.

Mitchell Starc claimed the key early breakthrough, bowling left-hander De Kock with the fourth ball of the innings, and also removed Faf du Plessis cheaply during the powerplay. The paceman finished with figures of 3-23, wrapping up the win by trapping Kagiso Rabada in front.

Ashton Agar also claimed three wickets, with the spinner coming close to recording a second hat-trick in the series after seeing off Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi with successive deliveries in the 15th over.

Tabraiz Shamsi survived to deny Agar another treble but South Africa did not last too much longer, bowled out for 96 – the lowest total posted in a T20I at the Cape Town venue.

They appeared set to be chasing well in excess of 200 when Warner (57) and Finch (55) were in full flow, the pair putting on 120 in 11.3 overs.

Australia rather lost their way after the well-set pair departed in quick succession, yet Steve Smith – who surprisingly came in down at number five in the order – benefited from a repreive when bowled by a Rabada no ball to make an unbeaten 30 in a hurry.

Starc's double strike had South Africa teetering and while Rassie van der Dussen (24) and Heinrich Klaasen (22) tried to repair the damage, the slow-bowling combination of Agar (3-16) and Adam Zampa (2-10) turned the screw. Fittingly, the impressive Starc landed the knockout blow.

The two teams now turn their focus to 50-over cricket with a three-match ODI series rounding out Australia's trip. The first match takes place in Paarl on Saturday.

Former captain Faf du Plessis will be rested again by South Africa for the upcoming ODI series against Australia, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Du Plessis has stepped down as Proteas skipper across all three formats in recent weeks, with Quinton de Kock taking charge.

Although the 35-year-old is playing against Australia in the ongoing Twenty20 international series, he missed the clashes with England in the same format earlier in February.

And Du Plessis will be absent again when South Africa return to 50-over action on Saturday.

"With a busy year and a half in mind, the selectors have opted to give further rest to Faf du Plessis and other senior players, such as Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius, while giving themselves an opportunity to see what some of the country's up and coming talents have to offer," CSA posted on its Twitter page as the squad was announced.

Keshav Maharaj is granted a recall, having last played limited-overs cricket for the Proteas in August 2018.

The 30-year-old left-arm spinner has been a Test regular in recent years but is yet to play T20s for South Africa and has featured in just four ODIs.

Meanwhile, Lutho Sipamla, who debuted against England at the start of the month, and Janneman Malan, with two T20 caps, are among the younger players included, along with Kyle Verreynne.

Verreynne, 22, is yet to feature for his country at senior level.


South Africa ODI squad in full: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Jon-Jon Smuts, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Verreynne.

Jhye Richardson has been named in Australia's squad for the three-game ODI showdown against South Africa, though he will sit out the series with New Zealand.

Richardson returned to the international mix for three Twenty20s in South Africa, where the third and final game will be played on Wednesday, though the paceman has been overlooked for the first two clashes.

However, Richardson could feature in the 50-over format following his selection in Australia's ODI team to face the Proteas, starting in Paarl on Saturday.

Richardson, 23, will remain in South Africa after Australia announced their 14-man squad for a three-game series against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand from March 13-20.

"It has been a pretty tough road to get back, a few ups and downs, a few plateaus here and there. Just being here around everyone and this setup again is fantastic. Everyone is in a great frame of mind and extremely positive," said Richardson, who suffered a shoulder injury prior to last year's Cricket World Cup.

"I am absolutely ready to go. I feel I am bowling as well as I have for a long time. Hopefully there's an opportunity."

National selector Trevor Hohns added: "Jhye is performing exceptionally well, as we saw throughout the Big Bash. He has slotted back into the T20 squad in South Africa and is pushing for a place in that side.

"We are very fortunate to have such a deep pool of fast bowlers. Jhye has earned his place after the hard work he has done to get back into his best form after serious injury.

"Keeping him in South Africa with the one-day squad gives us another exceptional fast bowler who is ready to go."

Australia will face New Zealand in back-to-back ODIs at the SCG in Sydney on March 13 and 15 before hosting the Black Caps in Hobart on March 20.

Australia ODI squad to face New Zealand: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Mignon du Preez celebrated her 100th T20I appearance in style by hitting back-to-back boundaries to help South Africa beat England in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup opener.

Nat Sciver’s half-century proved to be in vain at the WACA as England lost to South Africa for the first-time in the 20-over tournament.

A three-wicket haul from Ayabonga Khaka and two apiece for Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp prevented Lisa Keightley’s side from building momentum with the bat.

And the Van Niekerk and Kapp pairing shone again at the crease, combining for 84 to lay the foundations for Chloe Tryon (12) and Du Preez (18 not out) to wrap up the win in a thrilling finish in Perth.

Amy Jones got England off to a blistering start with four boundaries in the first three overs but Kapp ensured her stint was short-lived as the opener was caught at mid-off for 23 by Tryon.

It didn’t take long for the Proteas to strike again as Danni Wyatt was dismissed for two off Khaka’s first ball of the tournament, Lizelle Lee with the diving catch at backward point.

England’s batting woes continued with the introduction of van Niekerk’s spin, the South Africa captain dismissing opposite number Heather Knight who tried to hit her over the top, only to be brilliantly caught by Shabnim Ismail at long-on.

The middle-order pairing of Sciver and Fran Wilson were under pressure to accelerate the innings but only managed to push on to 72 before Wilson was dismissed in similar style to Knight to give Van Niekerk figures of two for 20.

Sciver’s 50 helped England reach three figures but from then on the wickets rapidly fell, Katherine Brunt perishing before the top-scorer was bowled by Khaka.

It was two quick scalps for Khaka within the over as Tryon snaffled a sharp catch to dismiss Lauren Winfield, before Kapp returned with one last strike to trap Tammy Beaumont lbw to halt England at 123 for eight.

England made up for the late wicket crumble by inflicting damage onto their opponents early, Lizelle Lee perishing for four when lofting Anya Shrubsole straight to Winfield in the circle.

Kapp and Van Niekerk produced an 84-run partnership for the second wicket to keep the Proteas ticking along, but England managed to up the required rate.

First, Kapp was caught and bowled by Women’s T20 World Cup debutant Sarah Glenn for 38 before Beaumont denied van Niekerk a 50 when she caught the skipper off Ecclestone with four overs to play.

A late attack from Tryon made for a nervous ending at the WACA and England may have thought they were safe when she was bowled by Ecclestone’s last delivery.

But two big hits from Du Preez off Brunt sealed a maiden win for the Proteas over England in the tournament, marking the perfect start to their campaign in Group B.

 

Scores in brief

South Africa beat England by six wickets, WACA Ground, Perth

England 123-8, 20 overs (Nat Sciver 50; Ayabonga Khaka 3-25, Marizanne Kapp 2-19)

South Africa 127-4, 19.4 overs (Dane van Niekerk 46, Marizanne Kapp 38; Sophie Ecclestone 2-19)

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.

Ashton Agar called his hat-trick against South Africa "a highlight of my cricketing life" as his heroics gave the tourists a flying start to their Twenty20 international series.

At the Wanderers in Johannesburg, left-arm spinner Agar was the unlikely chief destroyer as he finished with figures of 5-24 in a 107-run victory.

Australia made 196-6 before bowling out South Africa for a meagre 89 in the first of three matches between the teams in the shortest format.

Agar reduced South Africa from 44-4 to 44-7, and incredibly he almost took a second hat-trick later in the innings, only narrowly missing out on bowling last man Tabraiz Shamsi after taking wickets at the end of the 12th and start of the 14th over.

"It was really exciting, obviously a highlight of my cricketing life," Agar said at the post-match presentation, where he was named man of the match.

"But my job's made a lot easier when I've got Mitch Starc, Patty Cummins, Richo [Kane Richardson] and Zamps [Adam Zampa] doing the job before me."

Agar revealed he was not at his best before the match began, but thrashing 20 not out from nine balls at the end of Australia's innings must have set him right.

"It's funny, I was actually feeling horrible leading into the game," Agar said.

The man from Melbourne found it difficult to explain why the day proved such a personal success.

Trying to pin it down, he said: "I don't know... that self-belief at the top of the mark, to just let it all out and give it your best go.

"Obviously when the wicket turns a bit, you get a bit of assistance, your job gets a bit easier and you get on a roll and keep going."

Agar saluted captain Aaron Finch for the brilliant slip catch that clinched the hat-trick, removing Dale Steyn after the spinner earlier prised out Faf du Plessis and Andile Phehlukwayo to tease the big chance.

Finch appeared more thrilled than Agar as he charged off in celebration.

"Unbelievable catch, I think he really enjoyed it as well," Agar said. "He was halfway off the ground when I looked over.

"But great catch, great team performance, good game."

Australia spinner Ashton Agar grabbed a hat-trick as he stole the show in a thumping 107-run Twenty20 win over South Africa at the Wanderers.

Two years on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, which saw both Steve Smith and David Warner banned from the game, much of the pre-match focus was on the Australia star batsmen.

The duo were returning to action in South Africa for the first time since playing a part in that plot and experienced distinctly mixed fortunes with the bat, before Agar rose to the occasion.

The 26-year-old Agar reduced South Africa from an already unsteady 44-4 to 44-7 in their response to Australia's 196-6, removing Faf du Plessis, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn, and there was no way back from there.

He remarkably later went close to a second hat-trick, finishing with career-best T20 international figures of 5-24 as South Africa were bowled out for 89.

South Africa put Australia in after winning the toss in the first game of a three-match series. Captain Aaron Finch made 42 and former skipper Smith top-scored with 45 as four other batsmen made at least 18 runs each.

Matthew Wade (18), Mitchell Marsh (19), Alex Carey (27) and Agar (20 not out) kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid rate, with Lungi Ndidi (37-1) and Kagiso Rabada (45-0) taking a carting.

Warner went to the second ball of the innings though, Steyn having the left-hander caught at long leg off at top edge.

Like Australia, South Africa lost an opener in the first over as Mitchell Starc bowled Quinton de Kock with a delicious delivery. But unlike Australia, South Africa did not find the rest of their batting order quite so dependable.

Du Plessis showed a modicum of resistance as chaos ensued around him, but his own dismissal was the beginning of the end for the Proteas - and the start of something special for Agar.

A mistimed shot against the left-arm slow bowler found the safe hands of Kane Richardson, before Agar secured an lbw verdict to remove Phehlukwayo.

Steyn took a lusty swipe at the hat-trick ball but only managed to find an edge and Finch took a fine slip catch, the ball hurtling his way.

Agar later bowled 33-year-old South Africa debutant Pite van Biljon at the end of the 12th over and had Ngidi caught at long-on from the first ball of the 14th, meaning that outrageously he was on the brink of a second hat-trick in the innings.

He was a whisker away from bowling Tabraiz Shamsi, but the batsman survived. Adam Zampa had the final say, bowling Rabada, but it was resoundingly Agar's day.

Temba Bavuma will miss South Africa's opening Twenty20 international against Australia on Friday due to a hamstring strain.

The 29-year-old batsman suffered the injury when fielding in the high-scoring T20 defeat to England on Sunday and will sit out the upcoming Wanderers clash.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) said Bavuma could return for Sunday's second game in their three-match series against Australia and there would be no replacement called into the 16-player squad.

"The recommended recovery time for the injury is seven to 10 days," said CSA. "He will remain with the team and receive treatment from the medical staff."

Bavuma blasted a rapid 49 off just 24 balls at the top of the order in a five-wicket loss at SuperSport Park as England sealed a 2-1 series win.

West Indies women will get their T20 World Cup in Australia off to a start this Saturday with an opener against Thailand but have much improvement to make if they are to reach the heady heights they have in recent times.

There will be two groups of five competing for progress to the semi-finals, with the top two from each group making it through.

The West Indies find themselves in Group B along with England, South Africa, Pakistan and Thailand.

West Indies had a successful tournament in 2018, reaching the semi-finals before being knocked out by the eventual champions Australia. Whilst their form in the format has not been ideal over the last few years, they still have some of the most exciting players in the tournament lining up for them.

Deandra Dottin is among the best attacking batters in the world, particularly if she's facing spin - in the last two years she scores at 8 runs per over against spinners, and only gets out every 38 balls.

With ball in hand, captain Stafanie Taylor will be looking to Shakera Selman to make inroads at the top of the inning - nobody swings the ball more than her over the last two years of T20I cricket, and on the hard fast pitches of Australia, movement through the air will be crucial.

If all goes to plan, West Indies will be more than confident of progressing to the knockout stages.

England made the final in the last edition of the T20 World Cup before, like West Indies, being eliminated by Australia. Heather Knight's side are still somewhat in transition, but a new-found balance relying on Nat Sciver to bowl four overs has allowed them to play an extra specialist batsman - it's given the batting line-up some serious oomph. On the bowling side of things, Sophie Ecclestone is a very important part of the English attack. A tall left-arm orthodox spinner, no player has taken more wickets for England in T20Is since the start of 2018 than Ecclestone, with 35 wickets in that time at an average of 16.82. Offering control as well as attacking threat, she'll be the likely fulcrum of the England attack. Knight will see anything but progress from the group as abject failure, and they'll be eager to go all the way.

Pakistan bowl 76 per cent spin over the last two years - that’s the most of any team in the world during that period. Much like Bangladesh in Group A, this does at least give them a clear blueprint to work to a basic structure they can focus on in the absence of many acclaimed stars. If they have one standout player it's Bismah Maroof, who has notched up 782 T20I runs in the last two years, comfortably the most of any Pakistan batter and the 11th most for anyone in the world. If anyone in Pakistan green is going to spring a shock on the opposition, it'll be her.

In contrast to Pakistan, 76 per cent of the deliveries sent down from South Africa over the last two years, come from pace bowlers, the most of any side in the competition. They were a disappointment at the last T20 World Cup, not reaching the semi-finals. Their bowling is mixed, but their batting is likely to focus around a few key individuals, and one in particular. Alyssa Healy is renowned as an absolute colossus, but Chloe Tryon - at least statistically - is almost keeping pace with her. A powerful left-hander, Tryon is particularly effective against spin bowling, rocketing along at 8.6 runs per over (compared to 7.6 runs per over against seamers). The South African has a particular preference for hitting off spinners, scoring 180  from 113 deliveries against off-break bowlers in T20I cricket. Given how much spin is bowled in T20 cricket, this sets Tryon apart, her strength and power meaning that she doesn’t need pace on the ball to cause damage - South Africa will be looking to her to really lift the scoring rate when she’s at the crease.

Thailand are the most notable presence at this T20 World Cup, an unfamiliar presence in top-level cricket for both men and women. However, much of their success in recent years and in qualification is down to Nattaya Boochatham. A skilful right-arm seamer, Boochatham has taken a lot of wickets since the start of 2018; in fact, in that time period, only Poonam Yadav has taken more international T20 wickets than Boochatham. Undoubtedly, this has been given a boost by the standard of opposition that Thailand have been facing, but it’s been Boochatham who has done the damage in those matches. If Thailand are going to lay a glove on any side at this tournament, she’ll have to be at her best.

Faf du Plessis has returned to South Africa's squad for the upcoming Twenty20 International series with Australia on the day he stepped down as captain.

Du Plessis announced earlier on Monday that he has taken a step back, relinquishing his responsibilities as Test and T20 captain, with Quinton de Kock, who last month took over the ODI job, poised to take over across all formats.

The 35-year-old was rested for the recent 2-1 T20 series defeat to England, as were Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

All three return to the fold in a 16-man group to face Australia in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town on February 21, 23 and 26.

Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks and Sisanda Magala drop out of the squad.

De Kock captains the side as he did in Du Plessis' absence against England, with the upcoming series key preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Independent selector Linda Zondi specifically hailed Du Plessis' experience following his return after the batsman expressed his determination to continue as a player for the Proteas.

He said: "As a selection panel, we are happy with the team that we have finalised for the Australia tour.

"We are confident that the return of Kagiso and Anrich will provide the boost that the bowling unit needs in order to return to its dangerous ways.

"The experience of Faf will add an extra dimension to the batting unit's already fledgling prowess."

AB de Villiers is not involved in this squad, although coach Mark Boucher has confirmed the explosive batsman is likely to be selected for the World Cup as long as he is in form and makes himself available.

Temba Bavuma is picked for the squad, but his involvement is dependent on the results of a scan on a hamstring injury he sustained against England.

Following the T20 series, South Africa will also play three ODIs against Australia.
 

South Africa T20 squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

Faf du Plessis has stepped down as the Test and Twenty20 captain of South Africa.

The 35-year-old was replaced by Quinton de Kock as ODI captain in January and, with immediate effect, no longer leads the Proteas in any form of the game.

Du Plessis wants to continue contributing as a batsman and senior player and will advise the new leadership group as of the team's succession planning, Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Monday.

Eoin Morgan said there was "no limit" to England's batting potential after their second-highest Twenty20 run chase secured a thrilling 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Proteas capitalised on dream batting conditions to post a mammoth 222-6 in the decider at SuperSport Park on Sunday, Heinrich Klaasen top-scoring with 66 from only 33 balls.

That was not enough to prevent the tourists from winning a run-fest by five wickets with five balls to spare, captain Morgan matching his own record for the fastest T20 half-century by an England batsman.

Morgan bludgeoned 57 not out from only 22 balls - striking seven sixes - after Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34) also flexed their muscles in Centurion.

Skipper Morgan believes England sent out a message to their rivals with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

"It creates belief that you can chase down anything and it reinforces what our method is in chasing big totals down," said the England captain, named man of the match and series.

"It's a reference point to what we can do, there’s no limit on restricting yourself to certain things. You want to leave everything out there with the bat.

"It won’t always work but it will give us the best chance of winning.

"Moving forward from this series, our learning will continue to get better, hopefully, because I don't think we’ve played at our best in this series."

Morgan also gave his backing to Buttler, although he did not believe the wicketkeeper-batsman was at his devastating best at the top of the order.

"I'm delighted for Jos," Morgan told Sky Sports. "I think he has as much talent as somebody like AB de Villiers; it took De Villiers a long time, and a lot of games, to get going in a South African shirt.

"We need to back guys that have that sort of talent; Jos has been around a long time now and we know that when he delivers, we win games of cricket. It's great to see him back in the runs.

"I think the priority at the moment is to get the top three facing as many balls as they can - they are the most destructive players that we have.

"If that changes between now and the World Cup, and we feel the need to fill a gap somewhere, then we might change it but, for the moment, it's an extremely destructive batting line-up to play against."

Eoin Morgan matched his own record for the fastest half-century by an England batsman in a Twenty20 international as the tourists clinched a 2-1 series victory over South Africa after a SuperSport Park thriller.

Heinrich Klaasen blasted 66 from only 33 balls after Temba Bavuma (49 off 24) and Quinton de Kock (35 from 24) laid the platform for the Proteas, who posted an intimidating 222-6 at Centurion on Sunday.

England embraced the challenge of pulling off their second-highest successful run chase in the shortest format to turn the series around, Morgan making an astonishing 57 off 22 deliveries as they got home with five balls and five wickets to spare.

Captain Morgan struck seven sixes, equalling the England record of a 21-ball fifty that he set against New Zealand last year, after explosive knocks from Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34).

There were 28 sixes in a contest which proved to be a batsman's paradise at altitude, with England ending a successful tour on a high note after also coming from behind to secure a 3-1 Test triumph and draw the ODI series.

De Kock capitalised on winning the toss by delivering a brutal onslaught along with Bavuma, the openers needing only 22 balls to get 50 on the board.

The captain disdainfully hammered Chris Jordan for three consecutive sixes, with Mark Wood also given the treatment before De Kock struck Ben Stokes (2-35) to Bairstow in the deep.

Bavuma drilled Adil Rashid's first ball over the rope, but the spinner got a measure of revenge when he bowled him one short of a half-century and Stokes struck again to see the back of Rassie van der Dussen.

Klaasen, in for JJ Smuts, then took centre stage, racing to a half-century in 25 balls, with 23 runs coming off an over from a struggling Wood.

David Miller made only nine in a fourth-wicket stand of 66 with Klaasen, whose scintillating knock was ended by Tom Curran (2-33), but his unbeaten 35 got South Africa up to their fifth-best T20 total.

In England's response, a fine catch from Tabraiz Shamsi sent Jason Roy on his way in Lungi Ngidi's second over before Buttler set about the returning Dale Steyn and took only 23 deliveries to reach his half-century.

Bairstow also looked ominous, dispatching Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin into the crowd as the 100 mark came up inside nine overs, but Buttler gave it away when he was caught ramping Dwaine Pretorius.

The clean-striking Bairstow was bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo, having nailed three sixes, and England needed 78 from 38 when Dawid Malan - replacing the unwell Joe Denly - edged behind in a superb over from Shamsi.

Morgan middled Pretorius over the fence twice in the next over to silence the crowd and did the same to Ngidi after ending Steyn's spell with a six.

Stokes launched Phehlukwayo for back-to-back sixes before an incredible stand of 61 off 4.3 overs was ended when he holed out to Ngidi.

An imperious Morgan struck another two sixes in that same penultimate over from Ngidi, and Moeen Ali struck the winning runs after both he and the skipper offered chances to Pretorius.

Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
Lionel Messi – Football
Marc Marquez – MotoGP
Rafael Nadal – Tennis
Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics
Megan Rapinoe – Football
Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Naomi Osaka – Tennis
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
Simone Biles – Gymnastics

 

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football
Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
South Africa – Rugby Union
Spain – Basketball
Toronto Raptors – Basketball
United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing
Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
Coco Gauff – Tennis
Egan Bernal – Cycling
Japan – Rugby Union
Regan Smith – Swimming

 

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis
Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
Liverpool – Football
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming
Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
Jetze Plat – Triathlon
Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
Omara Durand – Athletics

 

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Italo Ferreira – Surfing
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

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.

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