England reach T20 semis despite 10-run loss to South Africa

·3-min read

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An injured Jason Roy tempered England's mood after making the T20 World Cup semifinals in spite of losing to South Africa by 10 runs on Saturday.

South Africa, needing a convincing win, was made to bat first and scored 189-2. England was restricted to 179-8, hindered by a last-over hat trick by fast bowler Kagiso Rabada.

The end of England’s four-game winning streak wasn’t enough for South Africa. Both teams and Australia finished with four wins out of five but net run rate decided England topped the group, Australia was second, and South Africa missed out on the semifinals.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma called it “a bittersweet ending for us.”

England was more concerned with Roy, who retired hurt with a calf injury and had to be carried from the field. He will be scanned on Sunday but doesn't looks like he's out of the tournament.

“He's unbelievably important,” England captain Eoin Morgan said.

"He's a guy that epitomizes everything that we are about in the changing room and the way that we play. You see how commanding he is at the top of the order. He's as close as we get to surmising how the changing room should play.

“We're gutted for Jase but also half hoping that he's OK. For anybody to miss the latter stages of the tournament, that does hurt the mood (of the changing room).”

England's bowlers expected an onslaught from South Africa, and got it. Rassie van der Dussen hit an undefeated 94 off 60 balls, including five fours and six sixes. Aiden Markram smashed a 25-ball 52 not out. The pair shared an unbroken 103-run partnership, adding 71 runs in the last 30 deliveries.

Chris Woakes' last over cost 21 runs as he collected unflattering figures of 0-43. Pacer Mark Wood went for 0-47 in four overs after being the only change made by England from its win against Sri Lanka. Wood came in for Tymal Mills, who was injured out of the tournament.

South Africa stayed unchanged from its win over Bangladesh.

After clearing hurdles of reaching 87 and 106 runs to respectively secure a place in the knockout stages and then top spot in its group, England finished 10 runs short following Rabada’s triple strike against Woakes, Morgan and Chris Jordan in the 20th over, all of them catches.

England started its chase by racing to 37 without loss in four overs, then Roy collapsed in agony after setting off for a run.

Jos Buttler started his innings with a tournament average of 214 and got into a groove with three fours in four balls off Rabada but slammed to mid-off for 26 off 15 balls.

Moeen Ali top-scored for England with 37 off 27, and Dawid Malan hit 33 off 26.

England required 14 from the last over, but Rabada held his nerve spectacularly at the death. He had earlier been hammered for three successive sixes by Liam Livingstone (28), the first measured at a tournament-record 112 meters.

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