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Twenty 20 - Cricket: England vs South Africa second T20 preview

Just 24 hours after England won a thriller in the first of three T20 internationals against South Africa, part two takes place in Cardiff on Thursday evening, with more fireworks expected.

England took a 1-0 lead in the T20 series against South Africa on Wednesday night and did so in real style.

Sixes rained down off the bats of Jonny Bairstow and player-of-the-match Moeen Ali, before Chris Jordan ended the tourists' gutsy run chase with a classic over of short-format class and guile.

England, who triumphed by 41 runs, are 4/9 to wrap up the series in Cardiff ahead of the third and final match in Southampton on Sunday - South Africa are 7/4.

What:

England v South Africa, second T20 international

Where:

Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

When:

18:30, Thursday 28th July 2022

How to watch:

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket

Odds:England 4/9, South Africa 7/4

Bristol enjoys barrage of boundaries

If most eyes are on the World T20 in Australia in October, then everybody will be watching Jos Buttler's England after their ferocious assault on a more than decent South African bowling attack in Bristol.

Bairstow bashed a career-best 90 featuring eight sixes, Moeen Ali hit England's fastest ever T20 50 - an 18-ball blitz in which he also cleared the ropes six times.

In total, England's batsmen whacked 20 sixes in their near-record score of 234-6. Spare a thought for Andile Phehlukwayo who went for seven of those sixes and 63 runs in total, while Tristan Stubbs will never forget his first over at international T20 level - it went for 20.

All credit to South Africa's batters, who overcame the early loss of Quinton de Kock for just two and made a real game of it. Stubbs recovered from his bowling nightmare to smash 72 off just 28 balls - with eight sixes of his own.

Jordan then produced the peachiest over at just the right time, going for just three singles in the 18th to douse any hope of a Proteas' victory.

England won, the runs flowed, the crowd were regally entertained and so on to Cardiff, where the pressure is on both sides to repeat the fun.

Cardiff's stats hint at lower totals

It's almost impossible to gauge quite what this new-look, England are going to do in any of the three formats of the game, but one thing is for sure, it's going to involve all-out attack.

In Bristol it came off spectacularly on a belting track and with a slick outfield and short boundaries.

So to Cardiff. Again the ropes will be in, but the numbers suggest this might not be quite the rip-roarer of Wednesday night.

The average first innings score at Bristol in this season's T20 Blast is 171 - at Cardiff it is down to 147.

That won't deter either team - both are packed with rope-clearers - but it may modify expectations of another run-infused bloodbath.

Indeed the first innings score has been marked up at 180.5, though the temptation is surely still to take 5/6 over that mark.

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Proteas braced for another left-right blow

England are now focused totally on prepping for the World T20 and with only the headache where to stick Ben Stokes, the batting line-up has almost picked itself.

Jason Roy's form at the top of the order might be raising an alarm bell or two - his demise for eight was his fifth single-figures flop this year - but coming in at the top of the innings he is 10/3 to be England's top batter.

England fielded an ideal left-right-left-right line-up from three to six on Wednesday and that is never easy to bowl against or set fields for.

Moeen's elevation to No.5 looked inspired and he's 13/2 for top team batting honours in Cardiff, while De Kock missed out in Bristol but heads the betting at 13/5 to be top South Africa batter.

However, the South African batting line-up is likely to be reshaped after three of the top five were out in single figures on Wednesday and presumably Rassie van der Dussen - 5/1 for top team honours - will come back in.

He boasts over 1,000 international T20 runs with a strike rate of 130 and his experience and clout will be invaluable if the tourists are to stay in the series.

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