Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

De Villiers `pretty upset` with fresh ball tempering row

Troy Mann | 29 May, 2017, 09:25

Buttler, one of whose seven fours was an extraordinary reverse swot off Phehlukwayo, kept the runs coming, as England scored 111 in their last 10 overs.

England's victory was set up by Ben Stokes who scored his second career worldwide 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).

The series, a warm-up for the Champions Trophy tournament in England and Wales that starts next week, concludes at Lord's on Monday.

Eventually, a brilliant last over from Wood saw South Africa finish off the chase 2 runs short of England's total of 330. The dismissal of Hales was followed by a freak run out of Joe Root, Pretorious deflecting a Morgan drive onto the stumps with the Yorkshireman out of his ground at the non-striker's end.

The joint is not yet quite the topic of national conversation that Denis Compton's knee was when the England batting great was having injury problems in the 1950s and Durham star Stokes tried to play down concerns by saying Saturday: "It's just the bowling that's getting affected by my knee".

This was a nail-biting contest that could have gone either way, as 98 from Quinton De Kock, 52 from captain AB De Villiers and David Miller's unbeaten 71 took it right to the wire.

He was fined 100 percent of his match fee by the ICC, but was cleared to play the third day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval.

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In reply, the South African openers made quick work of reaching 50, Amla and de Kock both working the ball around untroubled under the afternoon sun. Stokes received reprieves off his first two deliveries. Runs began to flow again as Miller and Chris Morris freed their arms, setting up an exciting finish.

It was the Durham pair of Ben Stokes and Mark Wood who made all the difference in this final-ball thriller.

"But England put you under a lot of pressure, and you have got to make sure you are on top of your game and transfer the pressure back on to them".

'I'm going to get a few more scans just to get an idea what's happening in there, ' said Stokes.

"I got a bit excited and thought we had it in the bag".

"We lost myself and Quinny together so it could have been easier, but we batted very deep".

But a victory in the Champions Trophy, also in England, would go a long way to relieving the pressure that has built on South African teams during 19 years of near-misses and outright failures in global events - pressure that has seen South Africa labelled "chokers" due to their tendency to perform well in limited overs cricket but crumble in one-off knockout games.

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