English batsman Jonny Bairstow played a match-winning knockout against South Africa in the first T20I on Friday. Bairstow hit an unbeaten 86 of 48 balls when England made a stunning comeback to seal the game with four balls left. Bairstow, who is often considered the best white ball opener, came to bat in the first game as number four. The right-handed batsman now enjoys the new role and believes he can hit anywhere in the order as long as he has a role on the team.
“I am very happy with where my game is. The calm and composure were very pleasant. Seeing England over the line is important. I want to play cricket for England. I don’t mind [where I bat]. As long as I contribute and deliver match-winning performances, so be it, “ESPNcricinfo quoted Baistow.
In the chase of 180, England got off to the worst possible start when Jason Roy walked back in the very first over.
A few minutes later, Lungi Ngidi struck with the first ball of his spell when Jos Buttler took off after scoring seven paltry runs.
Dawid Malan, who is currently number one, couldn’t leave an impression as George Linde removed him in the next round.
With the score at 34-3, Bairstow and all-rounder Ben Stokes came together, the pair rebuilt the innings while firing the ball to all sides to build the pressure on South Africa.
“I was really happy with how I played tonight. It’s a different role than before, so going out and gaining confidence and contributing to winning the game is what it’s all about,” said Bairstow.
“I was really happy with the pace at which we structured the innings. To win with three or four balls left … I’m really happy,” he added.
England and South Africa will lock the horns in the second T20I next Sunday.
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