Kieswetter and Buttler lift England
England's Jos Buttler smashed 32 off just 10 balls at Edgbaston
A thrilling, if brief, partnership between Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler gave England a formidable total of 118 for five in a rain-restricted 11-over thrash against South Africa at Edgbaston.
The game was ostensibly the final chapter of the NatWest Twenty20 series but each innings lost nine overs due to poor weather in Birmingham.
The fourth-wicket pair were the only men to get to grips with their task, adding 48 runs in just 14 balls in a frenzied 11-minute interlude. Kieswetter finished with 50 off 32 balls, while his Somerset colleague Buttler was unbeaten on 32 from just 10.
England, having been asked to bat first by AB de Villiers, enjoyed a bumper start courtesy of a wild opening over from Morne Morkel. His first ball was a full toss and his third went a clear two feet down leg-side for four of the widest wides ever seen in international cricket.
Kieswetter picked up back-to-back boundaries past mid-on and the recalled Michael Lumb got going with a driven four off Wayne Parnell. But the Nottinghamshire man, back after more than a year on the sidelines, was bowled by Parnell just two balls later looking for a repeat.
Albie Morkel replaced his brother for the last of three powerplay overs and restricted Kieswetter and Luke Wright to just six runs from it. Kieswetter found the ropes for the third time when he smashed Johan Botha back over his head in the fifth over, but Wright departed for six after completely mis-hitting the off-spinner to Hashim Amla at point.
Eoin Morgan was fortunate to survive an lbw appeal by Robin Peterson and could almost have been caught in the deep reverse-sweeping the same bowler. Spin was frustrating England, with Botha's second over yielding only a pair of singles - a priceless contribution in the shortened format.
Jacques Kallis' introduction gave Kieswetter enough pace to open his shoulders and he smeared the all-rounder's third delivery for six over long-on. Botha's third over cost 11 - six of them to Kieswetter from the last ball - but also accounted for Morgan (five).
With two overs to go England were 74 and new man Jos Buttler set about adding to that in some style. 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 impudent paddled fours off the resulting free-hits.
Buttler's third maximum of the over, this time pulled flat over mid-wicket all-but completed Parnell's misery. Kieswetter's third six brought up his half-century but Morne Morkel removed both him and Jonny Bairstow in the final over.
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