7th plus: South Africa 52-1 (Bavuma 28, Hendricks 7) If the PowerPlay is over, it must be time for Adil Rashid. He beats Hendricks with a nice drift, but Bavuma sweeps him to six.
6th above: South Africa 44-1 (Bavuma 21, Hendricks 6) Tom Curran succeeds Archer, and he has Hendricks fall by Jos Buttler, flashing on a long ball. To add injury to insult, the ball lasts four. It’s the end of PowerPlay – known as Powerade PowerPlay in these parts, which doesn’t make it more powerful. England are slightly ahead on points, but it’s hard to tell with this sticky wicket.
5th above: South Africa 36-1 (Bavuma 18, Hendricks 1) Sam Curran had given way to Chris Jordan, who bamboozled Kock with his slower ball before knocking him out. Then England almost added another wicket as Bavuma takes a tight single from Ben Stokes, who can’t quite hit a single strain. In a change to the announced batting order, Reeza Hendricks was pushed past Far du Plessis.
Counter! by Kock c T Curran b Jordan 17 (SA 34-1)
This is the big one! de Kock descends straight to the ground this time, and instantly regrets it as he gives Tom Curran a comfortable grip mid-race.
4th above: South Africa 32-0 (de Kock 16, Bavuma 16) Four, then six, you say? Anything Bavuma can do, de Kock can do with an extra touch of magic. He passes Archer on a thin leg, then throws him on a deep square. This one entered the site and left it.
3rd above: South Africa 20-0 (de Kock 5, Bavuma 15) Curran continues, de Kock gets off with a questionable run to the short-legged Archer, then Bavuma throws the party: a sweater for four, a whip for six. The crowd would go mad, if only they were there.
2nd above: South Africa 6-0 (from Kock 3, Bavuma 3) Jofra Archer is a world batsman in this format, and of course he beats Bavuma’s bat with a long ball that pinches the seam. He starts with four points before Bavuma shovels a single halfway through the race. Quentin de Kock also gets a single, but almost performs in the process. Royal stuff from Jofra.
1st above: South Africa 4-0 (de Kock 2, Bavuma 2) Curran’s first three balls go for singles, and the fourth, a lifter from Temba Bavuma, would take a wicket if there was a short leg. There’s another single to finish, and it’s a good start for England.
It will be Sam Curran to initiate the procedure. He went from a marginal player to a central figure in two matches.
Dead rubber? Yes and no
The series can be decided, but it turns out there is something to this game. If England win they will place No.1 in the T20 world rankings, knocking Australia off their pedestal. Which always feels good.
Cricket wouldn’t be cricket without a word from Gary Naylor. “The lack of fans,” he said, “affected the aesthetics of sports viewing. The course of cycling has been laid bare and beautiful, but cricket has gone both ways. The stadiums looked even more soulless, but the grounds were more beautiful than ever. Now, get rid of the ads. Good luck with that.
These teams in full
Rabada outside, Sipamla inside
Kagiso Rabada is out of shape which is a big blow to South Africa and a disgrace for fans of fast bowling. The man who has to fill his shoes is Lutho Sipamla.
Eoin Morgan resists the temptation to tinker, which is hard on Moeen Ali and Mark Wood. Morgan says he would have hit first too.
Toss: SA wins and beats first
Surprising choice – perhaps de Kock thinks the surface, which is the same as the one used the other day, will get even slower as the evening progresses.
Préambule: Six Gun Grilling