England held off an impressed innings from South Africa captain Quinton De Kock to degree the Twenty20 sequence as they secured a nervy two-run win in Durban in what was one other last-ball thriller.
A cameo of 39 from simply eleven deliveries from Moeen Ali helped England to a formidable 204 for seven nevertheless it was overshadowed by the good De Kock, whose 17-ball fifty beneath the floodlights was the quickest by a South African in T20s.
The shell-shocked vacationers had been grateful when he was caught within the deep for 65 from 22 balls, which included two fours and eight sixes, however Rassie Van Der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius nearly carried South Africa to victory.
Tom Curran was left to defend 15 within the final over and although Pretorius bludgeoned a six then a 4, he was trapped lbw and with three wanted from one ball, Bjorn Fortuin ramped a slower supply to Adil Rashid at brief fine-leg.
England subsequently prevailed to make it 1-1 – having misplaced at East London in a match that additionally went to the wire – and arrange a decider at Centurion on Sunday.
Having been requested to bat first they had been grateful for Jonny Bairstow’s 35 off 17 balls earlier than Moeen thrashed three fours and 4 sixes, dominating a 51-run stand with Ben Stokes that spanned 17 authorized deliveries and 14 minutes.
Stokes completed on 47 not out off 30 balls – remarkably his greatest return in Twenty20s for England – earlier than taking the catch within the deep that noticed off De Kock in a South Africa innings the place Mark Wooden, Chris Jordan and Curran completed with two wickets apiece.
After Jos Buttler’s free swing took a skinny exterior edge to offer Lungi Ngidi the breakthrough in the beginning of an unchanged England’s innings, Bairstow and Jason Roy peppered the boundary rope in a 52-run partnership.
Bairstow capitalised on Fortuin, included on the expense of Dale Steyn, dropping a pointy caught and bowled probability when the Yorkshireman was on one by unfurling a sequence of highly effective drives.
Roy exquisitely clubbed the costly Beuran Hendricks into the group past further cowl whereas Bairstow clattered back-to-back sixes off Andile Phehlukwayo earlier than being bowled by way of the gate later within the over.
Roy (40) and Eoin Morgan (27) had been each caught on the fence whereas Joe Denly made only one earlier than deflecting on to his stumps, deceived by Phehlukwayo’s leg-cutter in an unpleasant dismissal as England staggered from 90 for 2 to 125 for 5.
Nevertheless, that merely set the scene for Moeen, who at one stage threatened to shatter the quickest England T20 fifty, in a staggering cameo the place seven of the balls he confronted went for both 4 or six.
Hendricks was smashed over deep square-leg and long-on within the area of three balls whereas a exceptional slice off Ngidi flew over deep backward level. Moeen then despatched a catch to long-on however the injury had been accomplished.
After Stokes’ towering six had carried England past 200 and the second highest T20 complete on the floor, Moeen was on the receiving finish of some punishment as De Kock carted the off-spinner for 3 sixes in 4 deliveries.
It was not simply Moeen that De Kock manhandled as all of England’s frontline assault went the gap at the least as soon as, punished for erring in line and size as De Kock etched his title into South Africa’s historical past books.
He lastly mistimed one as a Mark Wooden full toss was caught at deep midwicket, with the wicket standing to De Kock’s evident frustration regardless of a marginal name on peak following a number of tv replays.
Temba Bavuma was unable to take the reins as he departed for 31 after gloving a Wooden bouncer down the leg-side whereas dangerman David Miller flickered in his 21 earlier than being caught at long-on off Stokes.
Regardless of wickets in hand, the asking fee was beginning to climb as 50 runs had been required from the final 4 overs, a interval by which England had earlier smashed 68.
Jordan bowled each JJ Smuts and Phehlukwayo with successive deliveries however Wooden yielded 19 runs within the 18th over as Van Der Dussen (43 not out) hammered the paceman for 2 sixes.
Nevertheless, England, and Curran specifically, had been in a position to maintain their nerve when it mattered most.