South Africa 186-3 (Amla 97no, de Villiers 75no) beat
England 182 (Cook 50) by seven wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Trent Bridge
South Africa and England tied their One-Day International series 2-2 after South Africa pulled off a seven-wicket win in the fifth and final match at Trent Bridge.
After England batted poorly to be bowled out for 182, they hit back with three quick wickets but Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers guided South Africa home with an unbroken 172-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Amla closed unbeaten on 97 and de Villiers stroked 75 not out in 79 balls as South Africa recovered from 14 for three to reach their target in 34.3 overs.
England themselves made a poor start, falling to 24 for two when Dale Steyn dismissed Ian Bell (10) and Ravi Bopara (0) in the space of three balls but they were unable to recover as South Africa would later.
Alastair Cook played some excellent strokes in making 51 in 72 balls but his dismissal, caught and bowled to Francois du Plessis's, was one of several soft ones that England gave up.
Eoin Morgan (0) chipped to mid off, Jonny Bairstow clipped to deep square (29) and Craig Kieswetter skied one having done the hard work in making 33 in 53 balls.
Samit Patel was caught behind off Steyn for six, leaving Chris Woakes to bat with the lower order and he hauled England to a moderately respectable score of 182 all out with an innings of 33 in 44 deliveries.
James Tredwell was bowled by Robin Peterson for six, James Anderson charged at Peterson first ball only to mishit and be caught by Morne Morkel.
Jade Dernbach never looked comfortable and the inevitable end to England's innings came when he edged Wayne Parnell to de Villiers behind the stumps for two.
England's disappointing display should take nothing away from South Africa, who worked hard to give England few chances to break the shackles, contributing to their downfall.
Peterson led the way with figures of three for 37 having opened the bowling while Steyn showed his class with two for 24 and Morkel shrugged off what looked like a niggling side injury to return two for 41.
It was clear that England would need to bowl significantly better than they had batted to stay in the game; Dernbach and Anderson duly delivered with a superb spell with the new balls to put South Africa in trouble.
Graeme Smith (1) was caught by Tredwell before Anderson had du Plessis (3) and Dean Elgar (1) caught behind by Kieswetter as the Proteas shuffled their batting order.
Fortunately for them, Amla and de Villiers are proven performers and deliver wherever they might be sent in to bat and with a modest target in their sights, knew they could take their time.
They duly did so, but accelerated once they got themselves set, Amla hitting nine fours and a six as he just missed a century and de Villiers hit ten boundaries as South Africa closed the series in second place in the rankings, just a fraction behind England at the top.
The two sides now begin a three-match Twenty20 International series on 8th September.
© Cricket World 2012
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