South Africa v England: Joe Root stars in T20 warm-up

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Joe Root has not played a Twenty20 international for 18 months
Team Morgan 139-9 (20 overs): Moeen 41; Stone 3-12
Team Buttler 141-4 (12.4 overs): Root 45*, Curran 45*
Team Buttler won by six wickets
Scorecard (external site)external-link

Joe Root grabbed the opportunity to impress in Twenty20 cricket in England’s intra-squad warm-up match in South Africa.

Root, who is only in the squad for the one-day leg of the tour, crashed 45 not out from 26 balls.

With Sam Curran also making 45 not out, from only 18 balls, a team led by Jos Buttler chased a target of 140 inside 13 overs in Paarl.

An Eoin Morgan-led side had been restricted to 139-9.

That was mainly thanks to pace bowler Olly Stone – another who is only in South Africa to play one-day matches – picking up 3-12 in two overs.

Stone removed Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone, with Bairstow eventually returning to bat for a second time after nine wickets had fallen.

In the chase, Root and Curran came together with Team Buttler 50-4, having lost three wickets for no runs after opener Jason Roy made 28 off 16 balls.

For Root, who has not played a T20 international in 18 months, his five fours and a six were a continuation of the good form he displayed on Saturday in making 77 in a 40-over warm-up match.

Curran was even more destructive, the all-rounder picking up from the impressive performances he put in for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. He clubbed three sixes and four fours after earlier taking 1-28 with the ball.

England play the first of three T20s against South Africa on Friday, with the three-match ODI series beginning on 4 December.

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