England roared back from their big loss in the opening One-day International against South Africa at Chester-le-Street on July 19 by registering a massive 118-run win against the tourists at Old Trafford to level the three-match series 1-1 here.
With the game reduced to 29-overs-per-side on Friday evening, England got off to a promising start despite losing Jason Roy to South African pacer Anrich Nortje early on. Phil Salt and Jonny Bairstow pushed the scoring rate up with the former racing to 17 off just nine deliveries with the help of three boundaries in a Lungi Ngidi over.
At 49/1 after six overs, England looked set for take-off when Dwaine Pretorius swung things in South Africa’s favour, varying his pace and length. Pretorius had Salt trapped in front and then dismissed the dangerous Joe Root and Bairstow in his next over.
At 62/4, England were in deep trouble and Pretorius, who had played a role in every dismissal up until that stage, was all pumped up. He finally finished with impressive figures of 4/36, his career-best in ODIs. Keshav Maharaj added to England’s woes by sending back Moeen Ali soon afterward and Jos Buttler couldn’t do much damage either as England ambled along at run-a-ball to 101/6.
But a late flourish in the rain-shortened game, aided by Liam Livingstone’s pyrotechnics put England back on track. He found Sam Curran for company as the host picked up the momentum again in the next few overs with Curran smashing sixes off Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Livingstone then went on to hit Nortje for three consecutive sixes followed by a four but chipped the pull shot to mid-wicket to be dismissed off the next ball in the same over. Livingstone’s 26-ball 38 was complemented by Curran’s entertaining knock of 35 off 18 balls as he hit two fours and a six off Shamsi in the 24th over before being dismissed by the same bowler. David Willey found a few runs as did Adil Rashid, and England managed to push their total past 200.
England’s left-arm quicks Reece Topley and David Willey quickly put the hosts on top with the former sending back Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen in the same over. While Malan struggled with his timing from the beginning and chipped a simple catch to mid-on, van der Dussen, fresh off a hundred from the last game, was unfortunate to nick one down the leg side through to the wicket-keeper.
Things turned difficult for South Africa as Quinton de Kock fell on the first ball of the next over, a leading edge off David Willey settling in the hands of the cover point fielder. What was a shocking start already led to more trouble as Aiden Markram attempted a risky single only to be run out by a brilliant pick up and throw from wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. At 6/4, South Africa were in dire straits and needed to rebuild their innings.
David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen tried to lift up the visitors, but the promising partnership was broken by Sam Curran. The left-arm quick bowled David Miller with a sharp cutter that seamed back in to castle the stumps. At the 10-over mark, South Africa were 39/5 and the result appeared all but given when a slight drizzle dismayed England.
It didn’t last for long, though, and Klaasen and Pretorius soon tried to stitch together a partnership for South Africa. But that didn’t last long either as Moeen had Klaasen stumped and Adil Rashid cleaned up Keshav Maharaj next over. Rashid went on to dismiss Dwaine Pretorius next over as South Africa were reduced to 76/8 which soon turned into 83 all out and a massive loss.
Brief scores: England 201 in 28.1 overs (Jonny Bairstow 28, Liam Livingstone 38, Sam Curran 35; Dwaine Pretorius 4/36, Anrich Nortje 2/53) beat South Africa 83 in 20.4 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 33; Reece Topley 2/17, Adil Rashid 3/29, Moeen Ali 2/22) by 118 runs.