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AB de Villiers smashes 69 as South Africa score 196/5

Saturday, 29 March 2014 - 9:23pm IST | Agency: PTI

Stand-in skipper A B de Villiers knocked the stuffing out of England bowling attack with a blistering unbeaten 28-ball 69 to propel South Africa to an imposing 196/5 in a crucial ICC World T20 Group 1 match here today.

Stepping in for the suspended Faf du Plessis, De Villiers came to the party after experienced opener Hashim Amla laid the foundation with a 37-ball 56 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

De Villier smashed nine fours and three sixes while Amla hit fours fours and two maximums.

England won the toss and opted to bowl, keeping in mind the dew factor later on. But South Africa seemed unperturbed by all this.

Amla made use of a chance offered by English wicketkeeper Jos Buttler in the third over, going on to play a well-compiled knock that set the tone for South Africa's daunting total in this match.

Amla went down the wicket, failed to connect, but to his fortune, Buttler missed what was a sitter.

Amla's response next ball was a six as he danced down the wicket to whip one off Moeen Ali over wide long-on.

Before that, the South African powerfully flicked Jade Dernbach into the stands for a maximum over over square leg.

The 30-year-old experienced opener played some lovely shots during his knock, which was was cut short when he holed out to deep midwicket fielder Alex Hales off the bowling of skipper Stuart Broad in the 11th over of the innings.

Quinton de Kock fell soon after as the batsman, stepping out of the crease, was stumped by Buttler with a sharp piece of work before the South Africa could get back.

Thereafter, the redoubtable De Villiers took charge as well as he normally does in such situations, hitting the English bowlers all over the park to prop up South Africa's innings.

With David Miller giving him able support at the other end, De Villiers freed his arms to go all out. There was one shot against Dernbach whose full delivery outside off was smacked straight down the ground for a six with the batsman down on one knee.

The ball was changed after that shot but the result was same as De Villiers hammered the bowler for another maximum, this time over long-on. That brought the stand-in skipper's fifty, which turned out to be the fastest in T20s for South Africa.

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