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South Africa will get its first taste of the bio bubble, as they take on England in the first T20I of the three-match series at Newlands on Friday evening. 

The Proteas come into this series with several question marks on their batting line-up and some concerns about an extended break for a few players. They have big decisions to make in the batting department as to who will partner skipper Q de Kock at the top of the order and how the balance of the team will be maintained.

Apart from the skipper, F du Plessis, K Rabada, and A Nortje have played in the Indian T20 League and are certain to be in the playing XI. J Malan is an exciting new talent on the block. He is expected to feature with the likes of Van der Dussen and the experienced D Miller.

England have played more T20I matches than any other team in these pandemic times and have won series against South Africa and Australia and tied the one with Pakistan. They have a few selection headaches of their own to sort out. Going by their current form, Bairstow is expected to play ahead of J Roy. Likewise S Curran is expected to get the nod ahead of his brother T Curran. 

E Morgan, J Buttler, and B Stokes are all in good form coming into this game. Perhaps, the biggest plus is the availability of J Archer, who is in superb form, with M Wood bringing more heat. A Rashid and M Ali will provide the spin options to the side.

The last time that the two teams met in T20I cricket, England won the series 2-1. It was a closely fought series. After South Africa won the first match by one run, England came back to win the next one by two runs and then the series in style with a five-wicket victory in the last over of the third T20I.

However, the hosts cannot be taken lightly, which should make for another closely fought game to kick-start the tour. With both teams looking to start on a winning note, this will be a perfect end to a cricket action Friday.

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Match Details

  • Match: South Africa vs. England, 1st T20
  • Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
  • Date & Time: Nov. 27, 2020, at 9.30 PM IST

Probable Playing XI

South Africa

Q de Kock (C & WK), J Malan, F du Plessis, R van der Dussen, D Miller, H Klaasen, A Phehlukwayo, K Rabada, L Ngidi, A Nortje, T Shamsi


J Roy, J Buttler (WK), D Malan, J Bairstow, E Morgan (C), B Stokes, M Ali, T Curran, J Archer, A Rashid, M Wood

Weather and Pitch Report

Some clouds are expected in Cape Town, but nothing is going to threaten the game. The temperature will be around 24 degrees during the day. It will come down to around 16 degrees as the evening progresses.

The pitch at the Newlands is expected to be an absolute belter. The ball should come onto the bat with pace and the bounce should be nice and even. The average first innings score in the last five T20Is has been 172.

The batsmen should be wary of the early swing and pace of the new ball. With dew expected to play a part in the latter half of the game, both teams will ideally look to the chase on winning the toss. A score of 160-170 should be a competitive total at this venue.

Key Players

  • Captain Q de Kock is going to be very crucial to South Africa’s fortunes in the series. He is their best batsman and is coming here from a very successful Indian T20 League. He had scores of 31, 65*, and 35 in the last series against England.
  • R Van der Dussen doesn’t seem like a T20 player at first glance but he can be very effective. He’s got all the shots in the book and plays risk-free cricket in most situations. He can be a vital player in the middle order for South Africa.
  • K Rabada was the purple cap winner in the Indian T20 League as he picked up 30 wickets in 17 matches. He will be keen on continuing his good form here.
  • D Malan has got success in T20 for England at the no. 3 spot. He is the current no. 1 ranked player in T20I rankings. In the six T20s in the summer, he scored 213 runs at an average of 42.6 and a strike rate of 151.
  • B Stokes is very dangerous when he is in full flow. After looking a bit rusty since his return to competitive cricket, he should now be able to contribute to the team’s success. He has not played any T20Is since the series against South Africa earlier in the year.
  • J Archer was exceptional for Rajasthan in the Indian T20 League and was the team’s best bowler in the tournament. He took 20 wickets in 14 matches at an economy of 6.55, which is outstanding in T20 cricket.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeeper: Q de Kock
  • Batsmen: R van der Dussen, F du Plessis, D Malan, E Morgan
  • All-rounders: B Stokes, S Curran 
  • Bowlers: K Rabada, A Nortje, J Archer, A Rashid
  • Captain: Q de Kock/D Malan
  • Vice Captain: B Stokes/K Rabada
Howzat Dream Team South Africa vs England

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

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