About the Match
South Africa registered a 7-wicket victory against England in the third one-day match to stay alive in the series; they will now try to continue with their winning momentum and draw level when they meet England for the 4th ODI at Johannesburg on 12th February. The English yet again posted a 300+ target for the hosts but this time the bowlers found it difficult to stifle the opposition and lost the match with almost 4 overs remaining. The upcoming game is a decider for England as they lead 2-1 in the series; on the other hand, the Proteans will leave no stone unturned to keep the battle for the title on for another day.
Chasing 319 runs, the openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla posted an astounding 239-run opening stand to start the innings in a smashing way; while Quinton scored 135 off 117 deliveries, Amla put up 127 off 130 balls to keep the scoreboard ticking. Faf du Plessis kept his cool and hit the winning runs with almost 4 overs to spare and help the team win the first match of the series.
Earlier, the bowlers found success as Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott took 2 wickets apiece and David Wiese and Morkel struck with a wicket each; they have a good variety of pace attack and with Imran Tahir and Behardien in the squad, they can surely mix it up to outwit the English hard-hitters.
In the second ODI, the batsmen had faltered against Topley and Stokes, being able to muster only 262 runs, which the bowlers found hard to defend; the recent victory will definitely boost the morale of the team and we can expect AB de Villiers to lead the team to another scintillating win.
After winning the first two games, England lost the plot in the 3rd ODI as they failed to defend the target against a rejuvenated South African side; while the spinners found success, the pace attack wasn’t effective against the top-order. Earlier, the batting performance saw signs of brilliance as Joe Root smashed away 125 off 113 balls before getting run-out; Alex Hales contributed with a well-made 65 while Ben Stokes posted a half-century to help the team post 318 runs.
While the first match saw Buttler powering the team to posting 399 batting first and registering a massive victory, the second match saw Topley and Stokes rip out the Protean batting line-up and restrict them to 262 runs, which they easily achieved.
Alex Hales, Joe Root, Buttler and Ben Stokes have been in good nick with the bat and stabilize the innings with their power-packed performances; the bowling is looking good too with pacemen Topley, Stokes, David Willey and Chris Jordan taking regular wickets while Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali provide the spin tactics to outwit the opponents. They will need a strong game plan to oust the in-form batsmen like Quinton and Amla if they want to go back to their winning ways here.
England has performed well in all departments of the game to take series lead but South Africa has replied back with a strong message in their recent win; although the contest could go either way, we feel that the hosts having received a morale boost will put their best foot forward to win the match