England captain Eoin Morgan rued a missed opportunity after his lost a last-ball T20 thriller against South Africa by three wickets.
With South Africa needing 15 off the last over of the first Twenty20 international in Cape Town, Reece Topley bowled two full tosses, which Chris Morris hit for four and six to put them on top.
And as Kyle Abbott sprinted to complete a match-winning second run off the last ball, Topley botched a simple run-out chance when he fumbled Joe Root’s throw from the deep.
The Essex seamer’s frustration was evident as he slammed his bare hand into the stumps and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis labelled it “a massive Monopoly get-out-of-jail card” for the hosts.
The late drama came after England had posted a seemingly below-par 134 and Morgan admitted: “It was a poor batting display.
“But the bowlers up front set the tone – Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan put the batsmen under pressure.
“We created a lot of chances with an under-par score and we probably should have won, but we didn’t deserve to win it with a poor batting display.”
Jordan took 3-23, his best T20 international figures, and Stokes a tidy 1-19 as no South Africa batsman made more than Du Plessis’s 25 – but Morris smashed 17 off seven balls to win the match.
Du Plessis said: “You need to win games when you’re in a position not to win it. Both teams didn’t play their best and the wicket was a bit two-paced.
“With the bat, we tried to learn from their mistakes, they possibly went too hard at the ball.”
Referencing Morris’s price when sold to the Delhi Daredevils at the recent Indian Premier League auction, he added: “We messed it up, almost, towards the end but the ‘million dollar man’ saved us.”
Imran Tahir scooped the man of the match award after taking 4-21 – and went desperately close to a hat-trick when he removed Morgan and Moeen Ali in successive balls before Jordan played all around the next.
“I thought I had him,” Tahir said at the break between innings.
“I could have had a hat-trick in my pocket.
“This is absolutely for my son, he told me I would take four wickets so it’s for him.”
India fast bowler Mohammed Shami’s World Twenty20 participation could be in doubt after he was ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup.
Shami has been battling a hamstring injury, having previously returned following a lengthy knee problem, but had been included in squads for both tournaments.
However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yesterday confirmed Shami would pull out of the Asia Cup, with the T20 campaign beginning later this month in Bangladesh.
With the World Twenty20 beginning next month, Shami faces a race against time.