England beat South in final ODI match

Jofra Archer blew apart the Proteas run-chase with career-best figures of 6/40 as England beat South Africa by 59 runs in the third and final Betway ODI between the countries at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Wednesday night.

South Africa won the series 2-1 after recording consecutive wins in Bloemfontein. England, however, broke a sequence of five consecutive defeats with this win that was initially made possible by a magnificent double-century partnership between Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan.

Archer, who had conceded 81 runs in his 10 overs in the first ODI in Bloemfontein, returned to action in Kimberley and recorded the third best figures by an England bowler in ODIs. Along with legspinner Adil Rashid (3/68), the pair pegged back the Proteas’ run chase with the home team looking to score 348 for victory.

With England struggling early on in their innings, only reaching 20 for three in the first power play, South Africa were always ahead of the required run rate. Unlike in the second ODI in Bloemfontein however, the home team lost wickets consistently as they were finally dismissed for 287 in 43.1 overs.

Initially, it looked like a repeat performance for the Proteas, however, as skipper Temba Bavuma – currently in sublime form – raced to 35 in 27 balls before he was deceived by a slower ball from Chris Woakes, driving tamely to mid-off. Rassie van der Dussen, prolific in this series, didn’t last long, edging Archer to Jason Roy at backward point.

Reeza Hendricks, in for the injured Quinton de Kock, started slowly but soon began striking a series of elegant strokes as he went to his fifth ODI half-century. But, after he and Aiden Markram had added exactly 50, he went in strange fashion to Rashid, missing a short delivery down leg with the ball deflecting off his pad onto his stumps.

Markram and Heinrich Klaasen briefly looked threatening but Markram, after looking good for his 39 in 35 balls, then drove at Archer but only succeeded in hitting the ball straight up in the air to be pouched by Moeen Ali at midwicket.

A fired-up Archer, bowling in the mid-140s, then got rid of the dangerous David Miller, who got an inside edge to a lightning delivery that was caught by wicketkeeper Buttler.

South Africa’s last hope of victory lay with Klaasen and Wayne Parnell, with the former striking the ball superbly, particularly off the back foot against pace and spin. They added 85 in 54 balls for the seventh wicket but the rush of runs was halted when Archer bowled a slower ball, enticing Klaasen to mistime a hook to Ben Duckett running in from deep square leg.

That was effectively that as Archer and Rashid cleaned up the tail with the former bowling Parnell for 34 in 29 balls.

Earlier, a superb fourth-wicket partnership of 232 in 211 balls from Malan and Buttler – an England record – rescued the tourists from a desperate start to finally total a formidable 346 for seven.


Bavuma had won the toss for the third time in the series and made the correct decision to put England in to bat on a tacky pitch moistened by overnight rain. Lungi Ngidi and Parnell were all over the England top order with the former grabbing the first three wickets as England staggered to 14 for three after six overs, reaching a paltry 20 for three after the first power play.

Jason Roy was the first to go, playing too early and punching a drive straight to Bavuma at mid-off. That was the last ball of Ngidi’s first over; with the first of his next over he had Duckett caught behind flashing at a delivery that bounced more than he expected. Harry Brook managed to avert the hat-trick, but Ngidi was back in business in his next over, inducing a Brook inside edge to wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen.

Dawid Malan, who had sat on his bat watching the carnage, was now joined by his captain and the pair simply focused on survival for the remainder of the power play.

Gradually, as the sun baked the pitch and the ball grew softer, the run-rate began to pick up. Nevertheless, Buttler went scoreless for 13 consecutive balls, something he has never done before in an ODI. The 50 only came up in the 18th over.

Buttler, unsurprisingly, began to take the initiative while Malan initially made slow progress, but the England batsmen were beginning to generate heat as they became used to the pace of the pitch. The 100 partnership came up in 133 balls and there were few alarms to trouble the batsmen although Malan was dropped twice – two very difficult chances to Hendricks at midwicket and Tabraiz Shamsi off his own bowling.

The acceleration in the scoring rate is indicated by the balls needed for consecutive 50s: 103 balls for the first 50, and just 31 for the fourth. Remarkably, 217 runs came off the final 20 overs as England surged to their target.

Both men reached their hundreds in the 40th over, Malan first and then Buttler. It was Malan’s third in ODIs, Buttler’s 11th. Ngidi, so deadly in his opening spell, then felt the pain of conceding 18 runs as Malan began to open up. The fun, from an English point of view, came to a temporary halt in the 42nd over when Malan top-edged a pull off Sisanda Magala and the skier was caught by the wicketkeeper. He had struck 118 in 114 balls, with seven sixes and six fours.

Moeen Ali instantly joined in the carnage, helping Buttler to add another 67 in 38 balls before he perished for a breezy 41 in 23 balls before the captain holed out to long-on for a remarkable 131 in 127 balls (6x4s, 7x6s).

Sixes outnumbered fours (19 to 16) in the England innings in which the first power play only included two fours.

For South Africa, Ngidi (4/62) and Marco Jansen (2/53) completed their full quota of 10 overs and can be reasonably satisfied with their efforts. The remainder will want to forget their afternoon’s work.

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