Southampton - The Proteas winning run in ODI Series came to an end at Southampton on Saturday when they went down by two runs to England in the second of three ODIs.
The result gives England a 2-0 series lead with only the final match at Lord’s on Monday still to be played.
The Proteas led throughout the match on comparative run rate, having been set 331 for victory, until the fourth ball of the last over. David Miller and Chris Morris needed 7 off the last over from Mark Wood to clinch victory but only managed 4 runs.
Miller finished unbeaten on 71 (51 balls, 5 fours and 2 sixes) and Morris on 36 (22 balls, 3 fours and 2 sixes) as the pair shared a partnership of 62 for the sixth wicket in 6.3 overs.
It was a much improved Proteas performance from the first match with a well-paced runs chase until the final over.
England’s victory was set up by Ben Stokes who scored his second career international century in this format (101 off 79 balls, 11 fours and 3 sixes) and the renowned finishing power of Jos Buttler (65 not out off 53 balls, 7 fours). But the Proteas were left to rue a number of errors in the field, notably a couple of lives that were given to Stokes before he had put a run on the board.
The Proteas reply was set up by Quinton de Kock (98 off 103 balls, 11 fours) with the main support coming from AB de Villiers (52 off 50 balls, 6 fours) and then the final onslaught by Miller and Morris.
Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the South African attack and there was an excellent debut by Keshav Maharaj – the 120th player to represent the Proteas in this format – whose performance was far better than his figures suggest and was the main sufferer from the errors in the field.
He took the place of Imran Tahir in one of three changes to the South African side as they rotated their squad. Farhaan Behardien played in place of JP Duminy and Dwaine Pretorius took the place of Wayne Parnell.
Morne Morkel is the only squad member still to play and he is expected to play in the final match on Monday.
Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball
Quinton de Kock (wkt), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (captain), Farhaan Behardien, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj