England in South Africa: Eoin Morgan leads side to victory in stunning chase of 223

England are ranked number three in the world following this series
Third Twenty20 international, Centurion
South Africa 222-6 (20 overs): Klaasen 66, Bavuma 49; Curran 2-33
England 226-5 (19.1 overs): Bairstow 64, Morgan 57*, Buttler 57
England win by five wickets

England pulled off a stunning chase of 223 to beat South Africa in the third Twenty20 in Centurion and take a pulsating series 2-1.

Captain Eoin Morgan hit a blistering 57 not out from 22 balls, leading England to their second-highest chase in T20s – and the fourth-highest of all-time – with five balls remaining.

Morgan smashed seven sixes to take his side over the line after Jos Buttler (57) and Jonny Bairstow (64) also made half-centuries.

Heinrich Klaasen propelled South Africa to their total with a 33-ball 66 after the hosts had made a rapid start but England’s big hitting always kept them in the chase.

They stuttered, losing two wickets for seven runs shortly after halfway, but, with 53 runs needed from the final four overs, Morgan, helped by Ben Stokes’ 22, took control in sensational style.

Stokes holed out on the first ball of the penultimate over but Morgan hit back-to-back sixes before Moeen Ali sealed the win with a boundary.

The victory sees England take a gripping series which had seen final-ball finishes in the previous two games.

Morgan magic gives England victory

When England wobbled mid innings they were in danger of letting the platform set by Buttler and Bairstow go to waste.

Unlike in the first game, when Morgan was one of those culpable in his side throwing away a winning position, he seized the game emphatically.

He hit Dale Steyn over long-on for six off the final ball of the 16th over to keep the required rate in check and then plundered 14 runs from his next three balls, launching Lungi Ngidi into the stands twice more.

He equalled his own record for England’s fastest T20 50 with his seventh sixth, reaching the landmark from 21 balls.

His stunning assault ensured England reached such a high total with remarkable ease.

Bairstow and Buttler lay the platform

Morgan’s heroics would not have been possible but for the platform set by Bairstow and Buttler.

Having lost Jason Roy for seven in the second over, the pair shared a partnership of 91 to keep England in the game.

Buttler’s role as opener has been questioned in this series but he found form after an uncertain start.

Buttler and Bairstow took England to 62-1 at the end of the six-over Powerplay and then increased their intent immediately, taking 19 runs from spinner Tabraiz Shamsi’s first over.

Buttler fell lobbing an attempted scoop to short third man off Pretorius for a 29-ball 57, but afterwards Bairstow took up the scoring, targeting Shamsi again with three consecutive boundaries.

Bairstow was bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo with 83 runs still needed, and Dawid Malan added to the stutter when he edged behind off Shamsi in the following over, but Morgan was able to guide his team to a memorable victory.

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