The introduction of the T20I format was purely based on one thing, to get more excitement and at the same time not having the compulsion of watching each and every ball of an innings.
Well, it is not hard to say that people are so used to T20 cricket now that we are witnessing several leagues emerging from several countries.
The biggest of all is the Indian Premier League that recently concluded its 13th successful season despite the hardships this COVID-19 pandemic brought in.
However, the topic for today is not about the IPL or the PSL but some of the most thrilling encounters between two cricketing giants, England and South Africa.
1) South Africa vs England-Durban, South Africa (15 February, 2020)
The game was a high-scoring one as both teams showcased their immense batting power. However, every game has only one winner and the winner of this match was England who managed to defend 204.
However, South Africa fell short by just one run, making 202 for the loss of 7 wickets. Ben Stokes played a crucial knock of scoring 47* off 30 balls while for the Proteas, it was their wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock who fired a quick 65 off just 22 balls.
South Africa needed 15 from the last 6 but Tom Curran's back-to-back wickets on the final two deliveries won the game for England despite Curran being hit for 10 runs on the first three balls of his over.
2) South Africa vs England- Buffalo Park, South Africa (13 February, 2020)
This game went down to the wire as well but this time the winners were the home side who defended a total, much lesser that England had defended in the game that followed this one.
South Africa scored 177/8 and it was a pretty balanced performance with the bat. Bavuma was the highest scorer in the first innings, scoring 43 off 27 balls. For the English, two batsmen played big knocks but the lack of a healthy partnership led to their downfall.
Jason Roy scored 70 off just 38 balls while Eoin Morgan scored 52 off 34 balls but no support from others resulted in the home side's win.
Coincidently, even this game went until the last well as Lungi Ngidi managed to defend 7 runs, picking up 3 wickets in the process to help the Proteas win.
3) ICC Men's T20 World Cup-Super 10 (Wankhede, India) (18 March, 2016)
South Africa had put a mammoth target on the board with the likes of Hasim Amla, Quinton De Kock and JP Duminy all firing quick half-centuries leaving a target of 230 for England.
England won the game due to a match-winning knock by Joe Root who scored 83 off just 44 balls but couldn't finish the game by himself, leading to some drama in the last two overs. Despite losing two wickets in the final over, England won the game comfortably as they needed only 1 to win from 3 balls with two wickets in hand.
4) South Africa vs England- Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa (19 February, 2016)
The game was a low scoring yet a thrilling one. South Africa were chasing a low total of 134 by England courtesy of Iran Tahir who picked up 4 wickets in his 4 overs.
The Proteas though did not bat really well either as Chris Jordan took the responsibility and dismissed 3 batsmen in his spell. 15 were required off the last over as Chris Morris finished the game with ease and South Africa won a game that could've slipped easily.
Sad for England that Jordan had to bowl the penultimate over and his 2 wickets in that over still couldn't save the game for them.
5) ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2014 Chattogram, Bangladesh ( Group Stages)
The Proteas top three batsmen were in their prime and caused trouble to bowlers all around the world. The 2014 World Cup of the shortest format was no different. Hashim Amla scored 56 off 37 balls while the skipper AB de Villiers scored 69 off only 28 balls.
Mr.360 scored 9 fours and 3 sixes in that innings with a strike rate of 246.42 as England were asked to chase a total of 197.
The English had a tough start to their innings with only Alex Hales scoring 38 off 22 balls while rest did almost nothing. Jos Buttler scored a crucial 34 off 24 alongside Ravi Bopara who fired a quick 31 but none of them failed to convert their innings into a match-winning one.
England needed 22 off the final over and the ball was in Dale Steyn's hand. He got rid of Bopara on the very first ball of the final over but what came afterwards was unexpected.
Tim Bresnan scored 16 from the final three balls of the over but it was not enough as England lost the game by just 3 runs.
All the encounters mentioned above were really close ones and anyone who watched it live would be eager to witness the drama again in the upcoming series between the two.
Featured image credits- Cricktettimes