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Alex Hales, Jos Buttler help England take 2-0 lead

Alex Hales reacts after getting dismissed for 99 in the second ODI against South Africa.
Alex Hales reacts after getting dismissed for 99 in the second ODI against South Africa.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 263-5 (Hales 99) beat
South Africa 262-7 (de Villiers 73) by five wickets
Second One-Day International in Port Elizabeth

A fantastic knock of 99 from Alex Hales and a quick-fire cameo from Jos Buttler ensured that England chased down South Africa’s target of 263 runs in just 46.2 overs to claim a 2-0 lead in the series with a five wicket victory in the second One-Day International in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott returned for South Africa in place of Chris Morris and Marchant de Lange. England fielded an unchanged side.

In the third over of the innings, Hashim Amla (4) was castled by Reece Topley (4-50). A 49-run stand between Quinton de Kock (22) and Faf du Plessis (46) helped South Africa get to 52 for one in the powerplay.

After de Kock was dismissed lbw by Ben Stokes (2-54) in the 11th over, du Plessis joined hands with AB de Villiers (73) to post a 45-run stand for the third wicket.

Four runs short of his fifty, du Plessis edged a delivery from Adil Rashid (1-43) to Chris Jordan (0-33) in the slips. At the half-way mark, South Africa posted 114 for three.

JP Duminy (47) and de Villiers teamed up with a 50-run stand in 70 balls. Soon, de Villiers brought up his fifty in 72 deliveries and went on to post a 107-run stand with Duminy.

In the 41st over, de Villiers holed out to mid-wicket off Stokes with Jordan completing a well-judged catch.

Duminy followed his captain to the dressing room in the next over as he was adjusted lbw off Topley. Replays showed that the ball was missing the leg stump.

Despite losing Rilee Rossouw (11) and Rabada (12), South Africa managed 262 for seven in their 50 overs. Topley was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets.

Early in the chase, Jason Roy (14) was dropped by Abbott (3-58) but was soon castled by the same bowler in his next over.

A couple of overs later, Joe Root (38) was given out lbw but he reviewed the decision successfully with the replays showing the ball to be missing the stumps.

Root and Hales (99) played cautiously to post a 97-run stand for the second wicket. Hales survived a South Africa review for a caught behind early in his innings and went on to score a 68-ball fifty.

Just after the half-way mark, Root played an Abbott delivery onto his stumps to leave England at 117 for two.

Hales and Eoin Morgan (29) batted positively and quickly added 52 runs at run-a-ball. Just when he looked well set, Morgan holed out to deep mid-wicket off Morne Morkel (2-31).

Stokes did not last long and was bowled by Morkel and four overs later, while Hales edged an Abbott delivery down the leg side, one run short of a century.

These two wickets gave South Africa a hope of a comeback but Buttler (48 not out) poured cold water on their plans with a blistering 28-ball knock to take England home along with Moeen Ali (21 not out).

Buttler struck four boundaries and three sixes in his knock while Ali hit three fours while giving England a five-wicket victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.

Hales was the man of the match for his knock of 99 runs.

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