Proteas in England

AB: We showed great character

2012-09-05 22:52
Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers (AP)

Nottingham - South Africa routed England by seven wickets in their fifth and final one-day international at Trent Bridge, to tie the series 2-2.

South Africa recovered from 14-3 to coast home on 186-3 with 15.3 overs remaining, after skittling England out for 182.

Hashim Amla hit an unbeaten 97, while Proteas captain AB de Villiers made 75 not out. James Anderson had England's best bowling figures with 2-41.

"We've been a little bit inconsistent to my liking," De Villiers said. "(But) there are a lot of positives, especially today, the way the boys came back with a lot of character. Under pressure we showed a lot of guts there and that's the thing I would like to hang on going forward."

Earlier, South Africa's Robin Peterson claimed 3-37 as the hosts were all out with 4.4 overs to spare.

Captain Alastair Cook made 51, but Chris Woakes and Craig Kieswetter were the next highest scorers, with 33 not out and 33 respectively.

"Clearly 180 on that wicket was nowhere near enough," Cook admitted. "Quite a lot of soft dismissals from everyone really. Pretty much all of us gave our wickets away.

"It's frustrating. We came into this game trying to wrap up the series and you're not going to do that when you bat like that."

The hosts sorely missed Jonathan Trott, who on Wednesday was ruled out for the rest of the domestic season with a broken hand, sustained during Sunday's six-wicket win at Lord's in the fourth ODI.

England won the toss and chose to bat, only to lose two wickets in the space of four balls.

Ian Bell (10) was lbw to Peterson to the final ball of the fourth over, a call he referred in vain and the decision to promote Ravi Bopara to No 3 in Trott's absence backfired when he fell for a duck, edging Steyn behind in the next over.

Trott's replacement Jonny Bairstow was nearly caught behind off Steyn in the ninth over when he was on 10 but De Villiers just failed to hold a one-handed catch.

Peterson then missed a chance to remove Cook caught and bowled in the 18th when the batsman was on 34. But Bairstow fell for 29 in the next over when he pulled Morné Morkel to Justin Ontong on the square leg boundary.

That ended a stand of 55 for the third wicket and England's hopes of posting a competitive score suffered a serious blow when Eoin Morgan was out for 0, after some inspired captaincy.

De Villiers brought on spinner JP Duminy for the 19th over and moved Hashim Alma in to mid on.

Morgan tried to hit Duminy's fifth ball out of the ground but misjudged his shot and chipped him straight to Amla.

Cook advanced to 50 with a single off Wayne Parnell, only to fall in the next over, the 26th, when he lofted a simple return catch to Faf du Plessis.

That left the usually aggressive Kieswetter to muster as many runs as he could with the tail and he was unsuited to the anchor role. With over 12 overs remaining he skied a Morkel delivery to Amla at mid off.

James Tredwell was beaten in the flight by Peterson and bowled for 6, before James Anderson skied Peterson's next ball to Morkel for a golden duck.

Woakes, in the side because Steven Finn has a back problem, blocked the hat-trick ball but ran out of partners when Jade Dernbach slashed Wayne Parnell behind for 2.

A cluster of early wickets threatened to make things interesting, but England's early momentum vanished and the run chase became one-sided.

Graeme Smith (1) fell to the 10th ball of the innings, slashing Jade Dernbach to James Tredwell, who took a juggling catch at second slip.

Five balls later Du Plessis's poor series continued when he nicked Anderson behind for 3.

In Anderson's next over, the fifth, Dean Elgar was caught behind for 1, but Amla and De Villiers killed the contest with an unbroken stand of 172, a South African record for the fourth wicket against England.

Both batsmen reached 50 with singles off Anderson in the 23rd over and the only alarm came when De Villiers just avoided being run out by Woakes in the 28th.

Amla cover drove Tredwell for the first six of the match and the rout was confirmed when Amla, voted man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series, whipped Dernbach through square leg for four.

Despite their loss, England remain at the top of the ODI world rankings.

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