sport

Proteas pile pressure on England

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers piled the pressure on England as South Africa posted 196 for five in the must-win World T20 clash.

England inserted the Proteas knowing defeat would see them exit the competition, but Amla (56 off 37 balls) and De Villiers (69 not out off 28) ensured they would need to beat the record chase they made against Sri Lanka last time to avoid that.

De Villiers, in particular, was in devastating form as he smashed three sixes and nine fours, with 68 runs off the final four overs.

South Africa's rollicking start was made possible by Amla's brilliance and Jos Buttler's blunder.

The opener began by caressing Moeen Ali's second legal delivery to the cover boundary and followed up with a sumptuous flick for six off Jade Dernbach.

Amla added four more before a floodlight powered down and forced a 10-minute delay before returning to life.

England almost struck gold in the six balls after the restart, Amla charging Moeen and failing to make contact.

The ball bounced higher than Buttler anticipated but to miss a stumping and give Amla a life was a heavy price to pay.

He made sure Buttler's error did not go unpunished, thumping Moeen's next delivery for six.

Quinton de Kock was hardly having a look-in at the other end, with Amla scoring 38 of his side's 52 in the powerplay.

De Kock came alive when he fed James Tredwell through point for four but moments later the lights failed again, forcing a 12-minute lay-off.

While England continued struggling - byes, wides and mis-fields all making an appearance - Amla was unfazed by the interruptions and reached 50 in 30 balls.

He was eventually prised out in the 11th over, shovelling Stuart Broad to deep mid-wicket where Alex Hales showed safe hands.

De Kock, having poked his way to a one-paced 29, was close behind - Buttler this time making the stumping off Tredwell - with JP Duminy run out for four having dropped his bat on the turn.

De Villiers quickly found his stride with a series of boundaries but reallty came to life as the death overs arrived.

Broad asked Dernbach to bowl the 18th over and it proved a costly call as South Africa took 26 from it.

It was an abject effort from Dernbach, who was hit for two fours by David Miller, two sixes by De Villiers and chipped in with a pair of wides and a no-ball.

De Villiers' second maximum moved him to 50 in 23 balls and, as he added 19 to his own score in the last two overs, Miller and Albie Morkel donated their wickets.