Rilee Rossouw retirement: The South African batter missed out on a maiden T20I century on his international comeback.
During the second T20I of the ongoing South Africa’s tour of England, South Africa batter Rilee Rossouw scored a third T20I half-century to celebrate his international comeback.
Rossouw, who had scored 4 (4) in his first T20I in six years in Bristol last night, made instant amends to score 96* (55) with the help of 10 fours and five sixes in Cardiff today. A career-best knock from their No. 3 batter powered the Proteas to 207/3 in 20 overs – highest T20I innings total at the Sophia Gardens.
With South Africa losing wicket-keeper batter Quinton de Kock (15) cheaply for the second match in a row, Rossouw performed the duty of a top-order left-handed batter to the best of his skills. Hitting England pacer Reece Topley for a boundary on the second ball that he faced, Rossouw followed it with a six and four off Richard Gleeson in the following over.
Rossouw, who put together a 73-run second-wicket partnership alongside opening batter Reeza Hendricks (53), attacked the likes of Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan after the powerplay before bringing up a 31-ball half-century in the 14th over.
A couple of boundaries off Jordan in the 15th over to follow it up with a six and two fours off Gleeson in the next over had cleared the way for a maiden T20I century. However, despite hitting a six and a four in Jordan’s third over, the 32-year old player couldn’t reach the three-figure mark.
Needing 10 runs in the last two overs for a personal milestone, Rossouw not being able to hit a boundary against Sam Curran and Jordan denied him of a fourth international century.
Rilee Rossouw retirement
WELCOME BACK RILEE 👏
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) July 28, 2022
Readers must note that Rossouw had never retired from international cricket per se. The reason why he didn’t represent South Africa for all these years was a Kolpak deal with Hampshire in 2017.
Rossouw, who had scored a match-winning 122 (118) against Australia in the last of his 51 white-ball matches for South Africa back in the day, was declared the Player of the Series in a 5-0 ODI series whitewash. That being said, signing a Kolpak deal a few months later had brought his international career to an end.
Having participated in Pakistan Super League, T20 Blast, Bangladesh Premier League, Mzansi Super League and Big Bash League during his time away from international cricket, Rossouw returned to South African domestic cricket earlier this year. Highest run-scorer in the Provincial T20 Cup aided Rossouw in earning an opportunity to make a comeback at the highest level.