Buttler fires resurgent England to Edgbaston T20 victory

Thrilling knocks from Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler saw England end the summer on a high note, squaring the NatWest Twenty20 Series against South Africa with a 28-run victory at Edgbaston.

The familiar sight of rain reduced the match to an 11-over thrash, a format that suited the Somerset pair down to the ground as Kieswetter made 50 in 32 balls and Buttler blazed 32 not in just 10 deliveries.

The fourth-wicket pair added 48 in 11 frenzied minutes to lead the hosts to 118-5, Buttler launching a brutal attack on Wayne Parnell that saw him concede 32 in a single over – the second costliest over in international Twenty20 history.

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As so often in recent times, Hashim Amla was South Africa’s lynchpin, top-scoring with 36 in an ill-fated reply that ended at 90-5.

England’s innings was built almost exclusively around the efforts of Kieswetter and Buttler.

They were the only men to get past double figures and each did so in some style.

But the first major contributor to England’s total was Morne Morkel. He sent down a wild first over that included four comical wides down leg side, a waist-high full toss and back-to-back boundaries from Kieswetter.

Michael Lumb, recalled to the side for the first time in over a year, managed one fluent cover drive off Parnell before losing his middle stump to the left-armer.

Kieswetter found the ropes for the third time when he smashed Johan Botha back over his head in the fifth over. Botha’s second over cost only two, a priceless contribution, and he picked up the scalps of Luke Wright and Morgan for single figures.

Jacques Kallis’s introduction gave Kieswetter sufficient pace to open his shoulders with a six over long-on.

A second Kieswetter six saw England to 74 with two overs remaining and Buttler set about adding to that with a flourish.

After just one sighter he crashed Parnell for a steepling six over long-off and then immediately repeated the stroke.

Parnell was spooked and sent down successive no-balls, Buttler producing a pair of paddled fours off the resulting free-hits.

Buttler’s third maximum of the over, this time pulled flat over mid-wicket completed Parnell’s misery before Kieswetter pulled a third six to bring up his half-century in the final over.