About the Match
The ODI series between South Africa and England stands at 2-2 after the hosts just made it across the finish line in the 4th ODI to snatch a thrilling one-wicket win; the two teams will now battle it out for the title when they meet for the 5th ODI at Cape Town on 14th February. After losing the first two games, South Africa has bounced back in style and will now be eager to keep the trophy home by winning the final match on Sunday. England, batting first, couldn’t go across the 300+ mark and were all-out for 262 runs, which the bowlers came quite close to defending but lost in the end against a determined Protean batting line-up.
Young Kagiso Rabada came back into his elements as he took 4 wickets for just 45 runs, removing the opener Jason Roy and the tail-enders to restrict England to 262 runs; he got good support from Kyle Abbott, who took 2 wickets with his pace bowling and Imran Tahir who was back in spin action with figures of 3-46. The batsmen built good partnerships after losing Amla in the very first over; they kept their head down and got to work on the target and thanks to Chris Morris’ smashing 62 off 38 deliveries, made it just in time to win the match by 1 wicket in a scintillating finish.
In the last match too, they successfully chased down a target of 319 runs after openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock posted brilliant centuries, hitting the English bowlers all across the park. In that game too, Rabada and Abbott had picked up regular wickets to stifle the opposition with help from Morkel and David Wiese.
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis are also in good nick with the bat and provide stability to the middle order along with players like JP Duminy and Behardien; Chris Morris displayed his all-rounder skills as he helped the team win the 4th ODI. They are a strong outfit that can outwit the opponent with good strategy making skills and execution on the field; they look good to take the series on Sunday.
Joe Root continued his brilliance with the bat as he posted a heroic 109 off 124 deliveries while the other batsmen fell like a pack of cards; along with Alex Hales, who scored a well-made half century, Root helped build the total of 262 runs with contributions from lower order players Woakes and Rashid. The rest of the batting line-up fell quickly against the South Africans and they couldn’t get to the 300+ run score as witnessed in the previous games.
The bowlers tried their best to contain the Proteas as Broad gave the opening breakthrough with Amla’s wicket in the first over and Stokes, Topley and Rashid taking 2 wickets each. Chris Woakes removed Faf du Plessis and also caused Villiers’ run-out to cause huge upsets but they didn’t find an answer for Morris, who took the hosts to a comfortable win.
Their first two conquests in the start of the series saw the batsmen coming out all guns blazing and they will need to go back to doing that if they want to win the match and series here.
South Africa have done well to draw level with England after losing the opening two games; the upcoming decider will be closely fought by both teams but we feel that the hosts will win the match.