That’s more like it!
England produced an impressive performance to claim victory in the third ODI by two wickets and ensure the series finished level.
Despite a late wobble, which saw English wickets tumble as the tourists closed in on their target of 259, Eoin Morgan’s men were able to get over the line and ensure that their first ODI series since last summer’s world cup win did not end in defeat.
The hosts batted first and as he has seemed to throughout the tour, Quinton De Kock led the charge for the South Africans.
The wicket-keeper batsman made 69, meaning he has now scored 567 runs in all formats during this tour, before he charged down the pitch and was bowled by Adil Rashid.
It was England’s spin twins, Rashid and Moeen Ali, that did the damage, combining for four wickets and giving Morgan control.
When issues with the DRS gave Rassie van der Dussen a reprieve after he fell LBW to the leg-spinner, Moeen made a mess of his stumps minutes later.
With the Three Lions in the ascendancy, it seemed as if South Africa were cruising toward a fairly weak score but David Miller bludgeoned 69 off 53 balls to take the Proteas up to a competitive 258/7 from their 50 overs.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy came out and reminded us why they’re one of the most feared opening pairs in the international game–taking England to 61 inside the first seven overs.
Missed our piece on the South Africans to watch in the IT20 series? Check it out here.
Bairstow appeared in that belligerent mood that always seems to help him generate the best results and at one point hit Beuran Hendricks from 21 from a single over.
However, England’s big-hitting opening duo fell within nine balls of each other and their skipper bunted an easy catch back to Hendricks soon after to leave his side 86-3.
Banton has not quite had the explosive series that many had hoped or predicted he would but showed just how talented he was in a short cameo–smashing 32 from 32 balls before nicking one to De Kock three balls after Denly.
That left England less than 30 runs short of their target with plenty of time to play with but it was wickets that would prove the real danger.
Lungi Ndidi did for first Tom Curran and then Adil Rashid, leaving the tourists eight down and suddenly facing a potential series defeat.
The nerves that England fans were likely feeling was not reflected by Moeen, however, as he produced a combination an innings that combined composure and strokeplay to guide Morgan’s side to victory.
It is so good to see the Worcestershire man back in the Three Lions side and the victory in Johannesburg was a perfect showcase of the balance that he gives them.
A great victory for England and one that ensures they have avoided a series defeat. Now, on to the IT20s!