On the night of Valentine’s Day, cricket produced a reminder of why and how much we love the sport at its best. England triumphed in the topsy-turvy second Twenty20 International against South Africa in Durban on Friday to win by two runs and level the three-match series 1-1.
With 15 required from the last over, Dwaine Pretorius narrowed the equation down to three needed from two, but Tom Curran turned out to be the hero for the visitors. He first bowled a brilliant yorker to trap Pretorius LBW before Bjorn Fortuin was dismissed off the final ball, with his paddle sweep finding Adil Rashid at fine leg. The moment was a flashback to Misbah-ul-Haq’s dismissal in the 2007 World T20 final against India, for good measure.
England’s win in a high-scoring match, punctuated by 30 sixes, levelled the three-match series, which will be decided in the third and final match in Centurion on Sunday.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl first, with Jason Roy (40 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (35 from 17) laying a solid base after Jos Buttler fell early.
England made 204/7, with player of the match Moeen Ali hitting 39 off 11 balls as the tourists slammed 79 runs off the last five overs. South Africa made 202/7.
South African captain Quinton de Kock then blazed to 65 off 22 balls, hitting eight sixes, in an opening partnership of 92 with Temba Bavuma. It was the fastest half century by a South African in the shortest format.
Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out) and Dwaine Pretorius (25) got South Africa agonisingly close. South Africa needed 15 off the last over and Pretorius hit 12 of them before Curran stepped up in style.
The match was a reminder of why we enjoy the game of cricket and Twitter was abuzz with reactions: