Mumbai: England pulled off an astonishing 230-run record chase with Joe Root (83) leading an incredible batting performance that powered them to a two-wicket victory against South Africa in the ICC World Twenty20 here today.
Required to score at almost 12 runs an over, England turned the chase on its head with Jason Roy and Alex Hales (17) putting on a blistering 48-run partnership for the opening wicket in just 2.3 overs.
Test specialist Root, the no. 2 ranked player in the world in the longest form of the game, threw caution to the wind during his whirlwind 44-ball knock studded with four sixes and six fours, as England succeeded in pulling off the second-best run-chase in T20 Internationals and best in World T20 history by making 230 for 8 in 19.4 overs, thus keeping their hopes alive in the mega-event.
The highest-ever second innings T20 total was put up by the West Indies, 236, also against South Africa in January, 2015, when they chased down the home team's 231 for 7 at Johannesburg.
Root came to the crease after openers Roy blitzed his way to 43 in just 16 balls with the help of three sixes and five fours to give England a superb blast-off in the Super 10 Group 1 game at the Wankhede Stadium.
Coming to the crease after England had rocketed off to 71 for 2 in 4.3 overs, Root attacked the bowling with gusto and set up the victory before departing, caught in the deep, when 11 were needed off the last 10 balls.
Amidst mounting tension England crossed the finish line after losing two more wickets with the ninth wicket pair of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid at the crease, the winning run coming off the former's bat.
England, who lost to the West Indies in their tournament opener here two days ago, next play against Afghanistan at Delhi on March 24.
Earlier, South Africa rode on belligerent half centuries from Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Jean-Paul Duminy to post a record-high total of 229 for 4.
A near-century opening partnership between right-handed Amla (58 in 31 balls) and left-handed de Kock (52 in 24 balls) set the stage nicely for left handers Duminy (54 not out in 24 balls) and David Miller (24 not out in 11 balls) to finish the innings with a flourish with an unconquered stand of 60 in 27 balls.
Wicketkeeper batsman de Kock set the stage alight with an all-out attack in the power play before departing for 52, inclusive of 3 sixes and 7 fours.