Proteas fight back!!
After two corresponding disappointing losses in their third and fourth encounters, which saw the hosts pull back a possible series save, half centuries by Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers ensured South Africa shared the NatWest One-Day International series against their Northern Rivals.
The two seniors put up an astonishing 172 partnership after a dismal opening which saw the South Africans lay on 14 for 3.
A 97 from 107 balls from Amla along with Captain De Villiers undefeated on 75 from 79 deliveries trampled over the home side’s 182 all out with 15.3 over’s still to go.
Slow left-armer Peterson, handed the new ball at the start, claimed 3-37 and received superb support via Steyn (2-24) and Morkel (2-41) as the English were bundled out in 45.2 over’s with their innings built largely around skipper Alastair Cook’s 51 off 72 deliveries.
Cook won the toss and opted to bat first, but found his side in a bit of trouble on 24-2.
But they quickly slipped from 79-2 to 99-5 with Eoin Morgan (0) and Cook, who reached a 13th career 50 and first of the series, both falling after the dismissal of Bairstow.
Craig Kieswetter struck an attacking 53-ball 33 and a career-best 33 not out from Chris Woakes helped England fight, but they were rolled over with almost five over’s to go.
The Proteas began the chase woefully, losing Graeme Smith for one when he edged Jade Dernbach to James Tredwell at second slip.
James Anderson, England’s best bowler with 2-41, accounted for makeshift number three Faf du Plessis (3) and Dean Elgar (1), both caught behind by Kieswetter to cause some worry in the dressing room.
But Amla, who hit a career-best 150 in the second match of the series, and De Villiers fought back.
They raced to a 50 partnership in 62 balls, before bringing up the 100 in the 22nd over.
Both went to 50s in the 23rd over – Amla’s 19th from 63 balls and De Villiers getting to a 29th and first of the tour in 54 deliveries.
They continued to attack England, and with the home side content with the fact that they could not lose the series nor concede the number one ODI ranking, it was only a matter of time as the South Africans clinched a clinical win.
The Amla/De Villiers partnership finished as the highest ever fourth wicket stand for the Proteas against their English rivals, surpassing the 145 between Jacques Kallis and Jacques Rudolph in 2003.