TELFORD VICE in Cape Town
THAT the result of the third one-day international between England and South Africa at Lord’s on Monday was irrelevant didn’t get in the way of milestones being passed.
South Africa’s seven-wicket win in a series England clinched in Southampton on Saturday was their first success in an ODI at the grand old ground, where they have played four matches in the format.
Hashim Amla, already the fastest man to score 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 runs in ODIs, added 7000 to his list.
Amla made 55 in his 150th innings to knock Virat Kohli – who got there in 161 trips to the crease – off the top spot.
That effort was part of an opening stand of 95 Amla shared with Quinton de Kock, who scored 34.
South Africa remained on course for a comfortable victory even though Amla and De Kock were dismissed four balls apart with Faf du Plessis following them back to the most famous pavilion in cricket 15 deliveries later.
JP Duminy and AB de Villiers, and their unbroken stand of 55, took the visitors home with 21.1 overs remaining.
That won the game but by then the contest had been decided.
Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell saw to that by reducing England to 20/6 in the first five overs of the match to record the fastest instance of a team taking the first six wickets in all 3874 ODIs yet played.
England recovered before being dismissed for 153 in 31.1 overs.
South Africa took the advantage with more disciplined bowling than in the first two games of the series and a dramatically improved fielding performance.
They put down six catches on Saturday, but their only blemish on Monday was the difficult chance De Kock spilled off Keshav Maharaj for Jake Ball’s wicket.
Jonny Bairstow and David Willey found a path through the debris with a partnership of 62 for the seventh wicket.
Then Bairstow and Toby Roland-Jones added 52, a stand ended when Bairstow ventured down the pitch to Maharaj and was stumped for 51.
Rabada first struck with the fifth ball of the match, which Jason Roy edged to first slip.
Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid fell to consecutive deliveries by Rabada in the fifth over – both to catches by Faf du Plessis at second slip – but Bairstow survived the hat-trick ball.
Rabada took 4/39 with Parnell claiming 3/43 and Maharaj 3/25.
Imran Tahir was not considered for selection because of a tight hamstring.
Morne Morkel played his first match of the series, while Parnell and Duminy returned after missing the second game.
South Africa now turn their attention to the Champions Trophy, in which they play their first match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday.
De Villiers and his will be disappointed at the series loss to England, but they will take heart from the steady improvement they have shown in the three matches.