England hold off Morris, Miller blitz to seal thrilling two-run victory
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 15:56
England made 330 for six against South Africa after losing the toss in second one-day global at Southampton on Saturday.
They say fortune favours the fearless and so it proved at the Ageas Bowl as England wrapped up a nerve-jangling two-run victory to seal their series against South Africa with a game to spare.
Stokes made South Africa pay dearly for dropping him off both first and second balls after the all-rounder had been passed fit to play following a knee injury.
A brilliant chase from the Proteas fell agonizingly short of papering over the cracks of a poor effort in the field in the second ODI against England on Saturday.
Quinton de Kock (98) and AB de Villiers (52) launched South Africa's rely.
Dropped catches and a lack of intensity in the field saw England pile on the runs yet again posting 330/6 with a Ben Stokes ton and some late hitting doing the job for the hosts.
It was hard to ask for more than England gave here.
De Villiers said at the toss that the Proteas were looking to produce an improved display following the 72-run defeat at Headingley in Leeds on Wednesday.
Morgan and Stokes wrought the advantage for England with a stand of 95 that was ended in the 33rd over when Rabada dismissed Morgan for 45 with De Kock diving forward to snare a low catch.
Just when he and Alex Hales, who had already been dropped by Rabada, were beginning to motor though, Pretorius struck back - Hales caught behind on the cut before Root (39) was run out backing up after Eoin Morgan's drive had brushed Pretorius' fingertip. He was unable to connect and England were left to celebrate a win in a game they looked to have lost just minutes previously.
"We've got the team that is capable of (winning our next seven matches)", he said.
Stokes and Jos Butter then put on 77 to strengthen England's position, and Buttler and Moeen Ali built the momentum with a partnership of 78 that flowed off 40 balls.
South Africa had an early success when Jason Roy (eight), was bowled trying to whip a Kagiso Rabada yorker legside. Another two edges followed in the over, but from there on Stokes dictated play. There were probably four or five overs that went too big and cost us the game.
The 27-year-old left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj makes his ODI debut, replacing leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who returned unimpressive figures of 0-68 in the first match.