Jonny Bairstow kept up his strong all-format form this summer by smashing a 53-ball 90 in England’s 41-run victory against South Africa on Wednesday in the first Twenty20 international of the three-match series.
Bairstow hit 8 sixes and 3 fours to assist with leading England to 234-6 after being put in to bat at Bristol.
Moeen Ali showed up by smashing 52 off 18 balls, including 6 sixes, an England record for the quickest 50 in a Twenty20 cricket international. Moeen reached at his 50 in only 16 balls, beating teammate Liam Livingstone’s year-old record by a single delivery.
“It means a lot, there are guys in our changing room who score quickly and now I can brag about fastest 50 in T20 cricket for England,” Moeen said. “This was a nice-sized ground for someone like myself, who isn’t the most massive hitter of a ball.”
South Africa slumped to 7-2 after 2 overs and could make 193-8 in response regardless of Tristan Stubbs’ 72 off 28 deliveries.
Bairstow was a star for England in the test match format against New Zealand and India this summer. In his last five test innings, he scored 136, 162, 71 not out, 106 and 114 not out.
South Africa seam bowler Lungi Ngidi took 5 for 39 and said his team generally believed it had a chance after the 21-year-old Stubbs’ performance in his first international innings.
“We definitely thought we could chase it down. Anything was chase-able in the last five (overs) but we lost too many wickets,” Ngidi said. “We had full faith in Stubbs. He’s shown us what he is capable of in training. I’ve bowled to him myself and been on the receiving end of what we saw tonight.”