Sam Curran and Joe Root hit quick-fire scores of 45 not out as Team Buttler beat Team Morgan by six wickets; Olly Stone and Tom Helm impress with the ball; watch England face South Africa from 3.30pm on Friday on Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 23/11/20 7:47pm
Sam Curran slammed an unbeaten 45 from 18 balls and Joe Root gave a reminder of his T20 skills in England’s internal warm-up match in South Africa.
England begin their three-match T20I series against the Proteas on Friday and all-rounder Curran boosted his chances of a spot in the starting XI by blazing six boundaries in as many balls as Team Buttler blitzed to their target of 140 in 12.4 overs in Paarl to beat Team Morgan by six wickets.
Curran went four, six, four, six, four, six across the 11th and 12th overs, smoking three boundaries off Liam Livingstone and then three more off Moeen Ali to move from 14 off 11 balls to 44 off 17.
S Africa vs England
November 27, 2020, 3:30pm
How they lined up
- Team Buttler: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, Tom Helm
- Team Morgan: Liam Livingstone, Tom Banton, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, Reece Topley
Root (45no from 26) – left out of the T20 games against the Proteas but in South Africa as part of England’s 50-over party – then took the first four balls of the 13th over, bowled by spinner Livingstone, for 14 as Team Buttler won at a canter having earlier slipped from 50-1 to 50-4 in the chase.
Root has not played a T20 international since May 2019, although national selector Ed Smith says the door is not closed on the Test captain, who hit a run-a-ball 77 in Saturday’s 40-over practice game.
Two other players not in England’s T20 squad also impressed on Monday, with seamers Olly Stone (3-12) and Tom Helm (2-18) bagging a combined five wickets in Team Morgan’s 139-9, an innings in which Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow batted twice and Moeen top-scored with 41.
Stokes and Bairstow saw their initial knocks ended by Stone, while Helm’s wickets included that of England captain and Middlesex team-mate Eoin Morgan for 14 as the seamers joined Chris Jordan (2-9) in having positive run-outs with the ball.
Stone, like Root, is in South Africa as part of England’s 50-over party with the first of three ODIs beginning on December 4, while the uncapped Helm is a reserve across both formats.
Moeen’s knock was the batting highlight for Team Morgan, the left-hander, who was eventually out to the expensive Jofra Archer (1-39 ), the only other batsman on his team besides Livingstone (23) to pass 17.
Sky Sports Scores
Faster goal updates. Hundreds of teams and leagues. Free Premier League, EFL and Scottish highlights. Download the app now.
However, Ali and Livingstone were then taken apart by Sam Curran after the Surrey man and Root had initially stabilised the run chase once Dawid Malan, Jason Roy and Sam Billings had fallen in the space of three balls – Tom Curran with two of those wickets and Mark Wood the other.
Ali’s two overs of off-spin were carted for 28, while Livingstone’s 10 balls went for 33 as Buttler – out to Chris Woakes for a four-ball 11 – got one over on Morgan.
Watch every game of England’s white-ball tour to South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket, starting with the first T20 from 3.30pm on Friday.