England Take Six-Wicket Victory Over South Africa
England 224-4 (Bell 88, Trott 48) beat
South Africa 220-8 (Tredwell 3-35) by 6 wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Lord's
England completed a six-wicket victory over South Africa to move into an unassailable 2-1 lead in the One-Day International series at Lord's.
Another impressive performance in the fourth match saw them hold South Africa to 220 for eight at the home of cricket before chasing down their target with more than three overs to spare.
Ian Bell became the third Englishman to score 2,000 ODI runs in England on his way to a score of 88 that laid the foundations for the successful chase.
After the early departure of Alastair Cook, who was trapped in front by Dale Steyn for two, Warwickshire pair Bell and Jonathan Trott (48) repaired the innings in much the same way they had in the third match, putting on 141 for the second wicket.
Trott was dismissed leg before to Dean Elgar and only 13 more runs had been added when Ravi Bopara was caught behind off Ryan McLaren for six as South Africa threatened to bowl their way back into the contest.
However, Bell stroked eight fours and a six in 137 balls and even his departure in the 44th over when he was caught by AB de Villiers off Steyn did nothing to halt England's progress.
In fact, they subsequently sped to victory thanks to Eoin Morgan's 36 not out in as many balls and Craig Kieswetter's belligerent unbeaten 21 in 12. He finished the game off in style with a blistering straight six off Steyn following two earlier crunching boundaries off South Africa's premier pace bowler.
Earlier, plenty of South African batsmen made starts but none could go on and score even a half-century that would have put England under more pressure.
Hashim Amla (45), de Villiers (39), Elgar (35) and Robin Peterson (31 not out) all asked questions of England's attack but they came up with the required answers more often than not, despite offering chances with a below-standard catching display.
Kieswetter made some amends by joining a select group of gloveman who have effected three stumpings in one innings, combining with James Tredwell to remove JP Duminy (18), de Villiers and Wayne Parnell (5).
Tredwell bowled excellently to return figures of three for 35, Bopara showed his versatility with two for 34 and there was a wicket apiece for Steven Finn and Jade Dernbach.
Peterson kept things interesting with his innovative style of strokeplay and his knock of 31 in 20 balls included four fours and a six and although the Proteas finished their innings and began their bowling effort strongly, England lasted the course and proved to be too strong again.
The final match of the series is at Trent Bridge on 5th September and regardless of the result in Nottingham, England will finish the series on top of the ICC ODI rankings.
© Cricket World 2012
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.