HomeSports NewsRecent Match Report - England vs South Africa 2nd ODI 2022

Recent Match Report – England vs South Africa 2nd ODI 2022

England 201 (Livingstone 38, Curran 35, Pretorius 4-36) beat South Africa 83 (Klaasen 33, Rashid 3-29) by 118 runs

Rain shortened match? Sure. 72 for 5 in the 12th over? No problem. Series on the line? That’s okay.

After middling white-ball form at home this summer, England stormed back with a big win over a stunned South Africa, who were left on 6 for 4 in chase of 202. On a surface that promised runs but proved tricky to bat on in damp conditions, and even took some turn, South Africa were bowled out for their joint-lowest total against England and joint-second-lowest score overall, just three days after recording their highest score against England in the series-opener.

In a match that was reduced to 29 overs-a-side after a two-hour and 45 minute delay, neither side’s batters found fluency but their bowlers could make use of variations and the spinners shone. They took eight wickets between them, with Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali‘s five for 51 in 10.4 overs trumping Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi’s 3 for 68 in 12 overs. But it was England’s all left-arm pace attack that did the damage from which South Africa could not recover.

Janneman Malan, whose strike rate of under 90 has put him under some scrutiny, tried to get off the mark off the sixth ball he faced – a full, straight delivery from Reece Topley that he tried to flick off his pads. He mistimed it to Sam Curran at mid-on instead. Four balls later, Rassie van der Dussen attempted a similar shot, off a ball that was angling down leg and feathered it through to Jos Buttler.

David Willey beat Quinton de Kock’s edge in his first over, with a ball that just passed over off-stump and with pressure building, returned to remove de Kock with the first delivery of his second. Buttler deserves the credit for England’s field placement as he put Liam Livingstone at short cover and de Kock got a leading edge to him, as he tried to work Willey into the leg side.

It was also their groundwork that removed the next batter – Aiden Markram – without facing a ball. Heinrich Klaasen hit Willey towards short fine leg and set off a single but Buttler gave chase and flicked the ball at the stumps to catch Markram short of his ground. At 6 for 4 after four overs, South Africa were all but spent but may have hoped David Miller could maximise his time at the crease to keep them in it. He hit back-to-back boundaries off Topley but that was as good as it got. Miller was bowled by a Curran cutter that crashed into his off-stump to leave South Africa 27 for 5.

Klaasen and Dwaine Pretorius put on 39 for the sixth wicket but when Klaasen was stumped off Moeen, England were into the lower order and in sight of victory. They bowled South Africa out in the 21st over.

England’s effort in the field more than made up for what-seemed a haphazard performance with the bat. They were bowled out with five balls remaining against a crafty South African attack after their top-order went too hard too early in an innings that was not ODI-length but not quite T20. In the end, they relied on cameos by Livingstone and Curran, who hit all but one of their team’s seven sixes, to set them up to top 200.

Jason Roy was determined to swing his way through his innings and got three fours away before Anrich Nortje cramped him for room and he sent the ball to Pretorius at mid-wicket. Roy has gone five innings without fifty, since his century against Netherlands exactly a month ago.

Roy dismissal brought Phil Salt to the crease, in his seventh ODI and in the absence of the now-retired Ben Strokes and he rubbed it in Lungi Ngidi’s wounds when he whipped Ngidi through fine leg, then edged him short of de Kock and then over a vacant slip area for four. Ngidi’s first spell cost 28 runs and revealed nothing about the questions he asked the England line-up with his slower ball. Instead, it’s Pretorius who got the answers.

In his first over, Pretorius had Salt caught at mid-wicket by a diving Miller, a wicket which was confirmed on umpire’s review, and then struck twice in his second to leave England reeling. Joe Root skipped down the track and swiped at a Pretorius delivery, which he top-edged in front of and to the left of de Kock and, two balls later, Bairstow was bowled by a ball that pitched on off and wobbled back in to beat his flick and hit middle stump.

Pretorius had three wickets for nine runs in his first two overs and almost claimed a fourth when Moeen edged him wide of a diving de Kock. With no slip in place, Moeen survived but not for too much longer. In the next over, he picked out Nortje on the deep square boundary off Maharaj to leave England on 72 for 5 before the final specialist, Shamsi, had got in on the action.

For the second match in succession, Buttler tried to take Shamsi on and for the second time, he failed. Buttler advanced down the track and tried to hit Shamsi down the ground for six but got an outside edge to Pretorius at short third. And then England found their oomph. Curran first sent Maharaj and then Shamsi over their heads for six and Livingstone plundered 22 runs off the first four balls of Nortje’s third over. Livingstone sent 90mph deliveries off Nortje over square leg, mid-wicket and fine leg and then nicked him through third for four.

When Livingstone hit Nortje to mid-wicket, England still had Curran, who had one more burst against Shamsi. In a display of power-hitting, Curran sent Shamsi down the ground for successive fours and a six before holing out to long-off to end an 18-ball 35.

Pretorius finally picked up his fourth when Willey swung him to deep mid-wicket, the ball after hitting him over long-off for six. At the innings break, many may have thought that would be the best performance on the day. How wrong they were.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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