England v South Africa: We know where improvement needed – Broad
England v South Africa: Stuart Broad says the hosts know where improvement is needed after losing the opening Twenty20 match
Stuart Broad insisted England know where improvement is needed after suffering a seven-wicket defeat by South Africa in the opening Twenty20 match at Chester-le-Street.
The Proteas reduced England to 118-7 in their twenty overs after winning the toss and electing to field.
The tourists then made light work of the hosts’ total despite an early wobble, as Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy saw them home with an over to spare.
“We were 20 or 30 short, we didn’t adapt to the condition of the pitch or bat to our average,” Broad told Sky Sports.
“We got a little bit stuck with the spin. We played nicely through the first six overs, but struggled in the middle period. We are aware of that and we know where to improve.”
Under untypically hot Durham skies, AB de Villiers’ side shared England’s wickets evenly amongst themselves as the home side struggled to come to terms with the Proteas’ spin options.
Johan Botha (2-19) and Robin Peterson (2-27) pegged England back with tight bowling in the middle spell.
South African born wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter top scored with 25, while Kevin Pietersen’s replacement Alex Hales made just 19 after being run out by Kallis.
It was left to Broad and Graeme Swann to muster a 33-run partnership for the eighth wicket to add some respectability to the score.
The tourists got off to a poor start in their run chase after an early double breakthrough by Surrey’s Jade Dernbach, which included the opposition’s captain De Villiers, and Steven Finn saw the tourists at 29-3 at one point.
However, with such a low target to defend thanks to a poor batting display, it was always going to be a case of keeping their wickets in hand and playing the balls as they saw it.
Unfortunately for the hosts, one of the best cricketers ever to grace the game was in the Proteas’ line-up and Kallis’ steady 48 from 44 balls, coupled with a solid knock from Duminy (47no) meant that there was not going to be an embarrassing end for De Villiers’ men.
Broad will know how woefully short his team came, and England will now have to pick themselves up as the second game of the series takes place at Old Trafford on Monday, with victory needed to stay in contention in the three-match series.