England 212-6 (Morgan 73, Trott 71) beat
South Africa 211 (Dernbach 3-44) by 4 wickets
Second One-Day International, The Oval
A batting collapse cost South Africa a par score in the second ODI at The Oval. England then chased down the 212 that they needed for victory with relative ease to retake the number one ranking.
South Africa had got off to an excellent start after winning the toss and electing to bat, with Hashim Amla, again in fine form, and Graeme Smith putting on 50 for the first-wicket. Amla played the dominant hand and was at his fluent best, and while he and Smith were at the crease South Africa looked like they could make 300. However, Smith charged down the track at James Anderson and saw the ball clip the top of his stumps to depart for 18.
Amla remained for a while, but he received the first of two jaffas that Jade Dernbach – recalled to the side in place of the off-colour Tim Bresnan – would bowl during the day when on 43. The ball seamed back just enough to beat his forward push and hit off-stump.
AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar then took the visitors to 120 for two and didn’t look too troubled until de Villiers flicked James Tredwell to Ian Bell at mid-on to begin what would be a steady procession of South African batsmen back to the pavilion. England bowled tidily during the middle overs, with Tredwell bowling intelligently; Ravi Bopara economically; and Dernbach going through his full repertoire of slower deliveries on what was looking increasingly like an unusually slow Oval pitch.
Bopara, who bowled his 10 overs at a cost of just 31 runs, picked up the wicket of Faf du Plessis in the 27th over, while Dernbach did Elgar with a trademark leg-cutter which the left-hander played all around before it hit his stumps. Parnell was next to go, snicking Dernbach through to Craig Kieswetter, and suddenly the tourists were in trouble at 155 for six.
JP Duminy and Robin Peterson played nicely during their seventh-wicket partnership and looked as though they could take the Proteas close to 250; only for Duminy to rather recklessly try to launch Tredwell over long-off; unfortunately succeeding only in finding Ian Bell just inside the boundary.
The lower-order crumbled to James Anderson, who picked up three cheap wickets, to end with four for 44 and South Africa were bowled out for 211 in the 47th over. Peterson was left high and dry on 23 off 35 balls.
England lost Ian Bell to Dale Steyn in the third over of their reply, but Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott laid the foundations for what would be a successful run chase with an unattractive second-wicket stand of 47 off 85 balls. Cook fell for 20 to Robin Peterson and Ravi Bopara’s miserable run continued when he fell victim to the vagaries of the UDRS. He was given out by the umpire caught behind, but reviewed it immediately, only for the decision to remain in spite of there being no white mark on Hot Spot.
With Bopara gone, Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott set about rebuilding the innings. Trott continued to play in his familiar way and brought up his fifty off 86 balls. By that stage, Morgan had almost caught him up with him and showed glimpses of his old self on his way to his half-century, which needed just 54 balls. The duo shared the crucial partnership of 108 for the fourth-wicket, but both fell prior to the end to leave England’s winning margin looking less than it really was.
Samit Patel hit the winning run in the 48th over and England climbed back up to the top of the ICC ODI rankings ahead of the third ODI on Sunday at Lord’s.
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