AB de Villiers leads from front as South Africa seal series win
South Africa 237-5 (de Villiers 101no) beat
England 236 (Hales 112) by five wickets
Fifth One-Day International in Cape Town
AB de Villiers played a captain’s knock by hitting an unbeaten century as a resurgent South African side went on to defeat England by five wickets by chasing a target of 237 runs in the fifth One-Day International in Cape Town and registered a 3-2 series victory.
Earlier in the day, a well calculated century from Alex Hales was the only saving grace for England, who were bowled out for 236 runs in just 45 over.
South Africa opted to field first under cloud cover and replaced JP Duminy with Rilee Rossouw. Imran Tahir (3-53) was introduced in the fifth over and produced a wicket as he trapped Jason Roy (8) lbw.
A few overs later, Joe Root (27) edged a delivery from Chris Morris (0-59) but Hashim Amla shelled a simple catch in the slips.
Hales (112) was given caught behind off the next delivery but he was able to successfully review it as there was no bat involved.
Hales and Root added 61-runs for the second wicket and scored at 6.90 runs an over as South Africa tried various plans to strike early. Tahir broke the partnership by getting Root out lbw after forcing his captain to review a not out decision.
A few overs later Eoin Morgan (2) was caught behind off David Wiese (3-50) as England were reduced to 85 for three.
Ben Stokes (29) managed to put on a 70-run stand with Hales to rebuild the innings. South Africa roared back into the game with the wicket of Stokes, who was castled by Kagiso Rabada (3-34).
Once Stokes fell, the England batting line up imploded and lost regular wickets while Jos Buttler (0), Moeen Ali (12) and Chris Woakes (0) failed to make any telling contribution.
Hales put on a lone fight from one end to bring up a 116-ball century and pushed England’s total past the 200-run mark.
Rabada, Tahir and Wiese shared nine wickets equally between them as England were bowled out for 236 runs in 45 overs.
In a tricky chase of 237 runs, South Africa started off cautiously with Reece Topley (3-41) and Stuart Broad (0-34) bowling tight lines.
Topley struck twice in the sixth over to dismiss Quinton de Kock (4) and Faf du Plessis (0) off successive deliveries and got Rossouw (4) to chip a catch to covers in his next over.
At 22 for three after eight overs, South Africa were truly in a spot of bother. It was here that de Villiers (101 not out) and Amla (59) used all their experience to rebuild the innings to put the chase back on track with a 125-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Both de Villiers and Amla played with a mixture of caution and aggression and managed to stay well ahead of the required rate.
The South African skipper was more aggressive at the start as he completed a 46-ball fifty and soon went on to bring up the 100-run stand with Amla.
In the 28th over, Amla went past his own fifty with the chase firmly in South Africa’s grip. However, Amla was soon stumped as he attempted to take on Ali (1-37) whereas a few overs later, Farhaan Behardien (13) holed out to mid-on attempting a big shot off Adil Rashid (1-59).
Wiese (41 not out) poured cold water on England’s plans for a comeback as he played a wonderful cameo to add an unbeaten 71-run stand with de Villiers.
In the 43rd over, de Villiers completed a 94-ball century whereas Wiese added the finishing touches with two consecutive boundaries in the next over to seal a five-wicket win.
It was also the fourth time in the history of cricket that a team came back from a 0-2 deficit to win an ODI series.
De Villiers was the man of the match for his unbeaten hundred while Hales picked up the man of the series award for scoring 383 runs with four fifties and a hundred.
© Cricket World 2016