Kallis, JP lead Proteas to victory

England

The first T20 between South Africa and England was hardly thrill-a-minute in Durham on Saturday, but the Proteas stuck to their guns as they won by seven wickets, thanks to a mature partnership between JP Duminy and Jacques Kallis.

The first T20 between South Africa and England was hardly thrill-a-minute in Durham on Saturday, but the Proteas stuck to their guns as they won by seven wickets, thanks to a mature partnership between JP Duminy and Jacques Kallis.

South Africa needed a meagre 119 to win after doing a neat job restricting England to 118 for seven, but their chase got off to a rocky start, just like in the final ODI. This time, instead of Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers rescuing the innings with three wickets down, it was Kallis (48) and Duminy (47).

The pair came together with the score on 29, and they put on 90 in a measured, sometimes boring (for a T20) partnership, but still had six balls to spare when the final single was played into the covers.

Proteas skipper De Villiers had won the toss and elected to field, reckoning it would be easier to chase on the slow-ish wicket at Chester-le-Street. He quickly employed his spinners, opening with Robin Peterson, and it all went smoothly from there.

Peterson ended up taking two wickets, as did Johan Botha, back in a competitive cricket team for the first time since the end of this year's IPL. The spin duo illustrated how varied the Proteas attack had become, as Botha added two scalps of his own.

Dale Steyn was the pick of the bowlers though, taking only one wicket, that of poor Ravi Bopara, but bowled with menace and restricted England's slog at the death. He was suitably awarded man of the match for his 1/13 in four overs.

Kallis' return was not only significant with the bat, as he showed his experience in the field too. He scored a direct hit to run out opener Alex Hales, which started the regular tumble of wickets, and also took a great running-tumbling catch to dismiss the dangerous Jonny Bairstow.

Only Craig Kieswetter managed to score anything over 20, as England's batsmen struggled on the slow track and handed their wickets away. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann's partnership of 33 not out at the death made sure they passed the 100 mark.

As was the case at Trent Bridge, South Africa gave their fans heart palpitations by losing three quick wickets. Richard Levi opened the batting with Kallis but his ugly strokeplay was not long in view as he was caught in the slips off Jade Dernbach.

The former South African then bagged De Villiers, and Steve Finn got rid of Faf du Plessis, who, like Bopara, is having a summer to forget with the bat. This brought Duminy to the middle to join Kallis, refreshed after his trip to the USA while resting during the ODIs.

The pair were together for 15 overs and went at six runs to the over, never looking like playing silly reverse sweeps or waltzing down the pitch, but quietly strangling England into submission.

The second match will be played at Old Trafford in Manchester on Monday.

South Africa: 1 Richard Levi, 2 Jacques Kallis , 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Justin Ontong, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

England: 1 Craig Kieswetter (wkt), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad (capt), 10 Steven Finn, 11 Jade Dernbach

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