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South Africa fight back to level T20 series with England

25 June 2017

It was a tense and controversial thriller at Taunton last night as South Africa squared the Twenty20 series with one match to go in Cardiff tomorrow. With Mark Wood rested for the remainder of the series, England have also recalled Liam Plunkett but there is no place for Craig Overton, the Somerset seamer, on his home ground.

However, things started to fall apart for England when Roy was controversially given out obstructing the field after being hit by a throw from the deep, having veered off his original course running between the wickets, the innings fell away.

A tour that had already seen the Proteas lose a one-day worldwide series to England 2-1, and cement their reputation as serial under-achievers at major events with a first-round exit at the Champions Trophy ODI tournament before Wednesday's nine-wicket thrashing in the first Twenty20, was heading for yet another defeat while Surrey opener Roy was making a stylish 67 at Taunton on Friday.

After their Champions Trophy semi-final meltdown against Pakistan, the England captain, Eoin Morgan, bemoaned a lack of knockout experience in his side.

"We'll take it and run, but the on-field umpire told me at the time that the right decision was made". Jason obviously looked at the umpire but after that he ran in a straight line, so that's why it was a 50-50 call. "We'll take it for what it is".

But Morgan insisted England had only themselves to blame, saying: "We didn't deserve to win because we didn't capitalise on the start we had". Cheered on by 12,420, (the Somerset chairman reckoned the club could have sold out this game, only England men's second global here and their first since the 1983 World Cup, four times over) the only thing an excellent venue lacked was floodlights.

Many successful Surrey sides have featured sets of brothers, be it the Bedser twins, Alec and Eric, who starred in the club's run of seven consecutive County Championship titles in the 1950s or the Bicknells, Darren and Martin, who featured in the team that won three Championships at the turn of the century.

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He struck nine fours and went to his fifty with a six against spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

In the end, England could manage 171 runs for the loss of six wickets.

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers defended his team's reaction.

Debutant Tom Curran had earlier taken 3-33 to restrict the AB de Villiers' side to what looked to be an under-par 174-8.

Relishing the extra pace of the surface, de Villiers rushed to 46 in 20 deliveries with a swept six off Dawson and a driven one off Plunkett the highlights, before he appeared to lose his grip on the bat as he attempted to drive David Willey and instead skied a catch to mid-off. But he ended up scoring 67 runs off 45 balls and later, England lost the game by 3 runs.

Roy ran across the pitch, placing himself between the fielder and the wicket and Phehlukwayo's return struck his leg, leading to the appeal, which was backed by the umpire's after video review.