South Africa win thriller against England, tie up T20 series

England's Tom Curran celebrates taking the wicket of South Africa's Reeza Hendricks during the second T20 Blast match at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, England, Friday June 23, 2017. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)

TAUNTON, England (AP) South Africa kept its nerve at the death to beat England by three runs in the second Twenty20 on Friday and take the series to a decider.

Andile Phehlukwayo bowled a dot ball last delivery of the game, with England needing four to win, to see South Africa squeeze home in a thriller.

Liam Dawson hit a four the ball before, but couldn’t repeat as South Africa struck back in the three-game series.

South Africa made 174-8 batting first, a total that appeared to be mediocre at best when Jason Roy (67 off 45 balls) and Jonny Bairstow (47 off 37) were hitting boundaries all around the park in a 110-run partnership off 70 balls.

But Bairstow fell to Chris Morris (2-18) and Roy was out two overs later, adjudged to have obstructed the field as he scrambled to make his ground and avoid a run out in the big turning point in the game.

England ultimately lost five wickets for 46 at the end as Jos Buttler was bowled by a Phehlukwayo yorker, captain Eoin Morgan was out a ball after striking a blistering four down the ground to give England hope, and debutant Liam Livingstone ran himself out in the penultimate over.

South Africa captain AB de Villiers top-scored for his team with 46 and opener JJ Smuts made 45, but there was little else for the Proteas who appeared around 20 runs short of a competitive score at the County Ground, with its short boundaries.

Another England debutant, quick bowler Tom Curran, took 3-33, including a wicket with his second ball when he bowled Reeza Hendricks.

The deciding game is in Cardiff on Sunday, when the teams are playing for this T20 series but also a solid psychological advantage ahead of the test series starting next month.