England beat South Africa by 28 runs to tie their Twenty20 cricket series 1-1 in its final match before defending its world championship in Sri Lanka.
Craig Kieswetter hit 50 and Jos Buttler blasted 32 not out off 10 balls as England made 118-5 from 11 overs in last night’s rain-shortened match in Birmingham. South Africa, which won the toss and fielded first, was restricted to 90-5 in reply.
Buttler, who’d scored 36 runs in 10 Twenty20 internationals before last night, smashed three sixes and two fours off Wayne Parnell in an over that went for 32 runs. It was the second-most expensive over in Twenty20 international history.
“I swung hard and it came off,” Buttler, 22, said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “International cricket hasn’t gone quite as I’d hoped so far, so it’s nice to contribute to a winning side. It’s good preparation for Sri Lanka.”
Both teams will now head to the South Asian island for the World Twenty20 tournament, which starts Sept. 18 with the host nation taking on Zimbabwe.
South Africa, the No. 1 team in the International Cricket Council’s Twenty20 rankings, faces Zimbabwe two days later in its opening match at the 12-nation event. England starts its title defense Sept. 21 against Afghanistan.
India is the 4-1 favorite to win the tournament ahead of 5-1 chances South Africa and Sri Lanka, according to U.K. bookmaker William Hill. England is a 7-1 outsider, meaning a successful $100 bet returns $800.
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