England win toss and bowl first in Cardiff T20I

England won the toss and chose to bowl first vs South Africa

Jos Buttler won his first toss in his last eight attempts, an occasion so momentous he received a round of applause from his teammates, who will bowl first in the second T20I in Cardiff.

England’s triumph by 41 runs on Wednesday, giving them a 1-0 lead in this three-match series, was solely down to an unwavering peppering of the stands, with numbers two to five hitting all 20 sixes between them – and all but one of the 29 boundaries – in what was as close to the perfect collective T20 performance from a top order. As such, Buttler had no qualms in going with an unchanged XI.

“A little bit to see the conditions,” said Buttler when asked why he decided not to bat first. “We’d like to try and chase if we can.”

Perhaps most surprising was stand-in captain David Miller‘s decision also to go with the same team, resisting the temptation to bring in the fast bowler Anrich Nortje to try and combat England’s firepower.

“We probably would have bowled as well,” Miller said. “There’s a big boundary on the one side so hopefully we can use that well.”

That big boundary, out on the right-hander’s leg side for the bowlers operating from the Media Centre End, was part of the reason Buttler wanted to chase. Nevertheless, the straight hit on both sides encourages swinging from the hip, which should be conducive to another high-scoring evening.

The most spectacular six-hitter in the first T20I was arguably Tristan Stubbs, even though Bairstow matched his tally (eight). Expect the River Taff to have a few more residents by the end of this one.

England 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (capt/wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Moeen Ali, 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Reece Topley, 11 Richard Gleeson

South Africa 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Rilee Rossouw, 4 Heinrich Klaasen, 5 David Miller (capt), 6 Tristan Stubbs, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

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