Broad hails brilliant Buttler
Stuart Broad credited Jos Buttler with a match-winning hand after the Somerset youngster put South Africa to the sword in the closing NatWest International T20 clash at Edgbaston.
County colleague Craig Kieswetter struck 50 in a contest reduced to 11 overs per side by persistent afternoon rain, but it was Buttler who lit up the sodden Birmingham evening by combining brutal power hitting with masterful invention to claim the man-of-the-match award.
Recalled South Africa left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell was the main victim of a lightning assault as the penultimate over of England's innings cost 32 runs to make it the second most expensive in international T20 history.
In South Africa's response, Hashim Amla rounded off his fabulous summer with an attractive 36 from 27 balls, but a performance of impressive discipline with the ball left the tourists five wickets down and 28 runs short of England's 118 for five.
"We knew we had hitters to come in and Jos played a game-changing innings," said Broad after his side levelled the three-match rubber at one win apiece.
"We've picked guys who can change the momentum of Twenty20 games. We've seen this fella do it for Somerset time and time again, so to see him do it in an England shirt was brilliant. It pretty much won us the game.
"We look for guys who can change the momentum of games. Going into the final three overs it looked like we needed a push. Jos got 32 in 10 balls and that would change most games."
Broad also reserved praise for Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs, who was afforded the responsibility of opening the bowling on his international T20 debut.
"I thought Danny Briggs bowled very well on debut," he said. "He had the pressure of opening up but he's done it for Hampshire a few times and I think he handled himself well.
"We've not done that a huge amount as an England team, but other teams have done it. It was good to have that option. Some teams are used to facing seam."
In demonstratively good spirits afterwards - he personally answered the phone of a South African journalist after a call interrupted the post-match press conference - Broad is relishing the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, where England fly today in defence of the crown they won in the Caribbean two years ago.
He added: "We've got eight World Twenty20 winners and guys who are performing now, so I'm really excited about getting on that flight because we have some talent in this changing room.
"It's important we believe we can do good things and we've got that belief now as well.
"It (the win) was awesome to see and a great confidence boost for the squad going to Sri Lanka. To get on that flight with a win under our belt is brilliant."
South Africa skipper AB de Villiers feels England are well positioned to mount a successful defence of their title this month and pointed to the bowling attack as a pillar of strength in Andy Flower's squad.
Asked whether he viewed England as being among the pre-tournament favourites, he said: "For sure, their bowling line-up has been one of the best in the world for quite a few years now.
"I thought they did really well in the Caribbean. It was probably down to bowlers that they won there. They had an amazing tournament.
"They certainly have a lot of talent, but so do a lot of other teams. I would like to think it will be a great tournament. May the best team win.
An attacking batsman held in the highest regard himself, de Villiers was full of warm praise for Buttler's delightful brilliance.
"He played extremely well," he added. "You have to give credit where it's due and he certainly took it to us.
"I thought he hit a few very inventive shots and that's what's needed in this format.
"It certainly wasn't our best performance, we came up short in a few areas and in the field as well - it was not the smoothest display. We were pretty much outplayed."