A SPECTACULAR century from Rassie van der Dussen and an all-round effort from Aiden Markram were instrumental in South Africa’s ability to take an early series lead over England yesterday.
van der Dussen’s ton ensured South Africa went past the 330-run mark after opting to bat before the bowlers kept the opposition batters in check as Ben Stokes’ ODI farewell ended on a disappointing note for England.
South Africa were on the money right from the start as they raced to 35-0 after just six overs. Even though Quinton de Kock was dismissed immediately by Sam Curran after that start, South Africa’s innings grew from strength to strength with van der Dussen stitching a century stand alongside opener Janneman Malan.
van der Dussen was scoring at more than a run-a-ball to keep South Africa at bay as both batters ended up bringing up their fifties. The partnership was finally broken by Moeen Ali when Malan failed in his attempt to clear deep midwicket but the wicket didn’t give the hosts any respite.
Scores: South Africa 333-5 in 50 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 133, Aiden Markram 77; Liam Livingstone 2-29) beat England 271 in 46.5 overs (Joe Root 86, Jonny Bairstow 63; Anrich Nortje 4-53) by 62 runs
Markram was a lot busier at the crease compared to Malan as he got going after fetching three boundaries off a single Liam Livingstone over. van der Dussen brought up his century off 90 deliveries and Markram got to his fifty in the following over as South Africa set themselves up for a big finish. At 244-2 after 40 overs, the visitors would have hoped to get near 350. While Markram took on Ben Stokes in his final ODI, van der Dussen was visibly exhausted and struggled to find the boundary regularly.
Livingstone then struck, removing both the set batters in the same over as England’s attempt to take the pace off the ball worked. South Africa then needed a mini cameo from David Miller to take them past 330.
In reply, England made a subdued start. Only three runs came in the opening two overs and even though Roy broke the shackles with a six off Keshav Maharaj, only 47 runs came in the power-play. Roy and Jonny Bairstow employed an uncharacteristic approach despite adding more than 100 for the first wicket. Maharaj then broke the partnership by getting rid of Roy and Markram then came into the attack to land more blows.
Bairstow missed a sweep to get trapped lbw and Stokes also suffered a similar fate and walked back for a paltry score on his ODI farewell.
South Africa kept pegging England back with regular wickets as Tabraiz Shamsi took a brilliant return catch to send Jos Buttler packing, whereas Livingstone inside-edged one onto his stumps. Joe Root, waging a lone hand, got to his fifty but Moeen Ali departed in the following over as England pretty much conceded defeat.
With the required rate mounting, Root did begin to open up to play some shots but Sam Curran struggled at the other end. Eventually, the former Test skipper couldn’t keep up with the asking rate as Anrich Nortje ended England’s resistance in a single over.
After castling Root, Nortje also removed Curran and Adil Rashid in the same over before returning to add to his tally and finish with a four-for. (Cricbuzz)