After two overs against the West Indies, England had scored five. They then added another 177.
After two overs against South Africa, England had made 44. They then added another 186.
The first two overs aren’t to be wasted.
It was an odd match though. We can only conclude that they used the wrong ball. Rather than a cricket ball, some sort of fast-rolling rubber bouncy ball was employed. Better bowling has certainly been seen, but no matter where this ball landed and no matter what its pace, it was clipped to the fence with ease.
South Africa made 229, which is quite clearly a ludicrous total. England matched it with an over to spare.
If they’d batted first England would almost certainly have made about 190 and patted themselves on their giant collective back for having exceeded ‘par’. Jason Roy would have played himself in. They’d have finished four wickets down.
Instead, Roy was forced to revert to tinder, while Root took on the role of the hot-burning log – the hot-burning root arguably. Everyone else was kindling and the blaze roared until just one run was needed. At that point, everyone lost both perspective and their shit and the flame briefly flickered, damn near going out.
Fortunately, Moeen Ali was around to duff the necessary single with a level of serenity appropriate to the match – which is to say none.