1st over: South Africa 7-0 (de Kock 5, Bavuma 2) Sam Curran scurries in from the Old Stables End, Bavuma squirts a single off the first ball, and so it continues for the rest of the over. The breeze is coming in over midwicket, billowing the flags and shifting across the ground. The pitch has been freshly rolled out for afternoon mince pies – a rich brown.
Out swagger Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma to attack those big Boland boundaries. Sam Curran has the ball…
Those mountains are really rather hypnotic. Play will start in five minutes – time to grab a coffee. Another coffee. Anyone having Sunday roast?
Looking forward to a speedster battle between Anrich Nortje (top speed 97mph) and Jofra Archer.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (cpt, wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Temba Bavuma, 4 Faf du Plessis, 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 George Linde, 8 Lungi Ngidi, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Eoin Morgan (cpt), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Jofra Archer, 11 Adil Rashid
Do drop me a line or two if you’re hankering down with time on your hands. Jonny Bairstow is being interviewed in front of the Drakestein Mountains, hair and beard glorious in its gingerness. Nasser probes : “Where would you rather bat?” YJB plays a straight bat. “I’ll do whatever Morgs wants us to do, there are about six guys who want to open the batting.” Nasser: “Do you ever feel it is always you?” YJB: slightly less straight bat. “Sometimes, but you’ve got to take it as a compliment.”
England have won the toss and will bowl
Sky have just switched from highlights of the last match to Boland Park, where the sky – oh the sky – is the deepest, most brilliant periwinkle blue.
England have won the toss and will bowl. The two captains are standing, socially distanced, in front of two microphones where there is a technical hitch or three. But the important news is: England are unchanged; South Africa have made two changes, with Hendricks and Nortje coming in.
No news yet on the teams, though rumours are that Mark Wood may get a game in place of the out-of-sorts Tom Curran (are he and Sam like weather-house, with only one in form at a time?) And thanks to Ali for this little nugget – Dawid Malan is returning to the scene of his first-class debut in 2006, playing for Boland v Border.
Some Sunday stats:
Elsewhere, New Zealand have defeated West Indies by a crushing 72 runs, thanks to a hundred from Glenn Philips in the second IT20, and a humdinger is coming to a conclusion at Sydney where Virat Kohli (89) and Rahul’s (76) efforts look like they’ll be in vain against Australia’s mammoth 389 – thanks to a hundred from Steve Smith and late order pinging from Glenn Maxwell.
Good morning from Manchester, where November is seeping through the letter box in all its gloom. Luckily, there is sunshine somewhere more southerly, Paarl, where England and South Africa are about to start the second IT20 of a three match competition.
Eoin Morgan called England’s last performance “pretty average”: he doesn’t hand out gongs easily. Bairstow blasted 86 from his new position at No. 4 and Sam Curran slipped easily into Moeen Ali’s No.7 shoes. Jason Roy got a second ball duck in what has been a tricky year for him, and Tom Curran was knocked for his most expensive figures in IT20s, though didn’t have as bad a time as Beuran Hendricks – whose awful last over went for 28. South African left-arm spinner Georg Linde had a quietly impressive debut, dismissing Roy and Malan in the power play.
England will fancy another win; South Africa, who have lost four of their last 5 IT20s, need someone other than du Plessis to sprinkle some batting stardust.
at 6.53am EST