Temba Bavuma’s century propelled South Africa to victory in the second one-day international, clinching the series 2-0 with one game remaining, despite England’s bowlers’ inability to contain 342 runs.
The foundation of England’s total had been Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 94 off 82 balls, while Harry Brook had scored an excellent 80.
However, England’s assault found it difficult to gain momentum at crucial junctures as South Africa captain Bavuma’s 109 off 102 balls lay the groundwork for the chase.
With five balls and five wickets remaining, the hosts accomplished their third-highest ODI chase thanks to David Miller’s unbeaten 58, which helped them over the finish line.
The Proteas’ attempt to win the ICC Super League and guarantee automatic qualification for the World Cup later this year may depend on this victory.
When asked to bat first, England overcame a challenging bowling period that left them 33-2 by relying on significant innings from Brook and Buttler.
Before South Africa’s bowlers recovered, Moeen Ali and Buttler established a 106-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Moeen Ali contributed with a 45-ball 51.
In spite of Buttler and Sam Curran (28) scoring 30 runs off the final two overs, England was pushed back at the crucial point of the innings.
After battling discomfort in the later half of his innings, Bavuma was bowled by Curran. He had played freely on his way to a 90-ball century.
Miller produced a cool innings off 37 balls to secure the win with a thunderous six off the first delivery of the last over. Rassie van der Dussen (38) and Aiden Markram (49) provided helpful support.
As England loses its fifth consecutive ODI, the bowlers struggle.
For England’s limited-overs coach and captain, nothing seems quite out of the ordinary just yet, especially considering that a number of important players are not taking part in this series.
Buttler and Matthew Mott are attempting to lead a defense of the World Cup that was so dramatically won on home soil in 2019. There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that five straight ODI losses make for uncomfortably uncomfortable reading.
Because Buttler had to repeatedly move his pack, England’s bowlers in particular suffered. Chris Woakes (0-60), Reece Topley (0-74) and Moeen Ali (0-32) were all costly.
While Adil Rashid (2-72) occasionally produced quality bowling, Olly Stone (2-48) was easily the most economical bowler as his pace threatened.
That shouldn’t detract from South Africa’s performance, as they followed up their 27-run victory in the first ODI on the same field with a determined showing with the ball and cool-headed batting led by Bavuma’s conscientious aim.
They will try to complete a whitewash in the last ODI at The Oval in Kimberley on Wednesday before playing two more ODIs against the Netherlands later in the year. Their victory increased their own chances of securing a spot at the World Cup in India later this year.
Multi-format Brook performs admirably
The performance of Brook was a plus for England.
With eight months until the World Cup in India, England’s batting lineup has a wide range of choices, and every ODI played between now and then is essentially an audition.
In T20I and Test cricket, Brook’s developing multi-format prowess has already made an impact, but a three-ball duck in the opening ODI was an unfavorable start to the 50-over match.
He might have wilted here after being thrust into the middle of a stressful opening spell by Lungi Ngidi and Wayne Parnell in the seventh over, but Brook’s fortitude and technique allowed him lead England to a respectable score.