England v South Africa, 5th NatWest ODI, Trent Bridge

Amla, de Villiers ease SA home to level series

The Report by Andrew McGlashan

September 5, 2012

Comments: 107 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 186 for 3 (Amla 97*, de Villiers 75*) beat England 182 (Cook 51, Peterson 3-37) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


AB de Villiers made his highest score of the tour, England v South Africa, 5th NatWest ODI, Trent Bridge, September, 5, 2012
AB de Villiers made his highest score of the tour © PA Photos
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South Africa levelled the one-day series with a resounding seven-wicket victory at Trent Bridge after England's batting had subsided to a collection of poor strokes. The visitors wobbled briefly in their chase, but Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers put the quality of what had gone before in the shade with the classiest batting of the day in an unbroken stand of 169 for the fourth wicket.

In keeping with the trend of the series it was not a gripping contest the match was completed well before the scheduled time. At least that meant the spectators did not have to sit through the autumnal chill. Day/night cricket is not made for an English September. The one period where the game did spark into life was the start of the chase when South Africa were reduced to 14 for 3, but it was a short-lived high point for England who were as poor as they were in Southampton. It must be hoped Andy Flower was not watching the TV on his rare day off.

The performance will again raise questions about England's ability to set defendable targets, where they appear significantly less comfortable than knowing what they have to chase. Only Ian Bell, who fell lbw to Robin Peterson when the left-arm spinner was smartly given the new ball, can be said to have not gifted his wicket away and 28 balls of the innings were unused when Jade Dernbach wafted at Wayne Parnell rather than at least trying to stick around with Chris Woakes who has significant pedigree as a batsman.

With so few runs on the board England's only chance was to run through South Africa and for a short while it looked possible. Graeme Smith flashed to second slip, where James Tredwell held the catch with a juggle, then James Anderson collected a brace in a superb display of pacey swing bowling.

Faf du Plessis, who has had a lean series, was the latest option to be tried at No. 3 but edged a rising delivery to Craig Kieswetter then Dean Elgar was given a working over. Showing exemplary control of the ball, Anderson probed away at Elgar's outside edge before the left hander could not resist pushing at one.

Amla, though, was not being shifted and this time had not even been offered a life. He had to be on his guard against Anderson and Dernbach, but without Steven Finn, who picked up a back injury, England did not quite have the pace resources to maintain the pressure although Woakes did find Amla's edge only for it fall well short of slip.

De Villiers had not scored an international fifty on the tour but got himself going with a back-foot drove, then drilled Anderson through mid-on before back-to-back pulls off Dernbach. The introduction of spin brought aggression from Amla as he drove both Samit Patel and Tredwell for boundaries - the latter with an effortless loft over mid-off - and the match was back under South Africa's control.

Amla reached his latest half-century from 63 balls and de Villiers moved through the 40s with a string of trademark drives straight and through cover. As England's intensity dropped runs came at a canter and, in the blink of an eye, Amla finished with 97 to his name. His tour-de-force shows no signs of halting as he ends the series with 335 runs - the next best was Bell with 181.

This was just England's second defeat of the year in 50-over cricket - and a drawn series against South Africa is no disgrace - but it will leave a bitter taste for Alastair Cook that it was handed away so easily on a plate. South Africa's bowlers - seven of them were used as de Villiers juggled his options effectively - shared around the wicket-taking.

The biggest bonus for them, especially in light of strengthening the batting, were the scalps taken by part-time spinners JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis. The stuffing was knocked out of the innings as England gifted away three wickets in six overs after Cook and Jonny Bairstow had started a recovery from 24 for 2 with one of the early losses that of the struggling Ravi Bopara for a second-ball duck. Bairstow, who had replaced the injured Jonathan Trott, could not have picked out deep square-leg with more precision when he flicked Morne Morkel off his pads straight to Justin Ontong.

Then in the next over, Duminy's first, Eoin Morgan tried to clear mid-on and offered a simple catch and England's most dynamic one-day player had gone without scoring. Moments after the halfway mark of the innings it got worse for England when Cook, having reached a steady fifty from 69 balls, punched a low full toss back to du Plessis also in his first over to leave the home side tottering on 99 for 5.

There was little option but to just try and bat out the innings, but each time a partnership was starting to form, a lose shot gave it away. Patel got into a tangle against a slower-ball bouncer from Dale Steyn - who bowled beautifully throughout - and gloved a catch to the keeper while Kieswetter, after showing promising signs, tried to clear the infield in the Powerplay but could only sky a catch to mid-off.

The generous nature of the batting continued with Tredwell missing a charge at Peterson and Anderson trying to launch him down the ground first ball and did not get further than mid-off. It suggested that minds were not entirely focussed.

However, there is no doubt who has the most frazzled mind of England's batsmen right now. Bopara had been promoted to No. 3 in the absence of Trott and, after leaving his first delivery from Steyn, was drawn into pushing at his next and edging to de Villiers. It was a good delivery, moving away late from the right hander, but Bopara did not offer much footwork and it was a carbon copy of his previous two dismissals, meaning he ends the series with scores of 16, 0, 6 and 0. He, more than anyone, needs a change of fortunes in the Twenty20 series.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
England 170 19 0 42 for 2 19 for 2 25 for 1 17 for 3 (40-46) 3(nb)/3
South Africa 110 19 1 43 for 3 42 for 0 DNP DNP 0/8

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 7, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 07 2012, 08:31 AM GMT) Just some little fish and Tadpoles and a couple of magnificent swans - the royalty in the waterbirds world. Not sure about the town itself but the weir between Dartington and Totnes is a really magnificent place if you're ever visiting the Southern half of Devon

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 7, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

@JG2704 (post on September 06 2012, 20:30 PM GMT): Any sharks in the "Weir in Totnes"? There's plenty on here, chomping like mad...

Posted by KK_Cricket on (September 7, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

Heard a lot about of Chris Woakes... He was really not up to the mark.. With 3 wickets down, bowled poor line and length and that too in English conditions... Would like to see players like Hales/Taylor in the side who can be aggressive if the wicket falls early... Feel for Bopara.. good player but unable to convert the chances.. hope he does well in T20s..

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 7, 2012, 2:17 GMT)

The big thing that seems to come from competition between 2 talented sides is that EVERYBODY in the team needs to contribute. There's no room for passengers EVER! England will do well in India - especially if KP returns. India are weak and ripe for picking especially with the favoritism shown to Tendulkar? As an English supporter I pray he is allowed to fail and fail..... I predict an England victory in India and many disgruntled Indain fans IF England pick in-form players who can adjust to sub-continent flat tracks. Apart from the obvious home advantage Inda are a very poor side...... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 6, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

TBH , I didn't even bother watching this game. Weather was too good to stay in and the nearest I got to Eng/SA was when I (an Englishman) was talking to a charming young lady from SA when going for a swim in a Weir in Totnes. Anyway (from the scorecard), it was obviously a pretty insipid performance from our batsmen by and large. Even Bairstow's SR was poor. Shame we couldn't get rid of the SA's linchpins. Re Woakes - is he starting to becoming more of a batting all rounder than a bowling all rounder. Bopara - if he plays - as I have said before should be moved down the order. His bowling is a saving grace for him as Wright is surely a much better bet with the bat.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 6, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

@ Rajesh_india_1990 on (September 06 2012, 19:20 PM GMT) Why can't more of your countrymen post common sense stuff like your good self. Truth is both sides are in some sort of transition. India obviously are without Raul and VVS and Sachin maybe coming towards the end and we will be without Strauss and probably KP. Both sides have gone through poor form in the last 12 months. Let's see what happens. Don't see the point in shouting the odds

Posted by JG2704 on (September 6, 2012, 20:30 GMT)

@TheBengalTiger on (September 05 2012, 22:16 PM GMT) Quite ironic that you accuse England fans of getting carried away when you start getting carried away yourself with a few wins over the mighty New Zealand. I suppose that erases the one sided whitewashes in Eng and Aus?

Posted by JG2704 on (September 6, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

@Mervo on (September 05 2012, 21:41 PM GMT) Weren't any new SA born faces in there so guess you're showing how you're on the ball

Posted by jb633 on (September 6, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

@tommytucker- South Africa have never done anything in a t20 tournament. England are current world champions. I don't think we will hold onto our trophy but South Africa need to prove something before they start talking themselves up.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (September 6, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

@jb633 i am also an indian i agree with you...we were poor in the last two overseas tour due to poor planning and poor administration by BCCI..our team is now in transition..it is not going to be easy to beat England in India this time...so it will be a tough contest between England and India This winter....

Posted by tommytucker on (September 6, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

England thrashed in two games and SA narrowly losing in two. England fortunate they werent humiliated like they were in the Test seriese and even more fortunate that Kallis, A.Morkel and J.Botha werent playing. India are going to crunch them in India, its going to be murder in the sunshine.

The T20's will be interesting, most of the SA players play in the IPL so they would be the finer quality outfit.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (September 6, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

Once we've beaten a faded, decrepit India in their own back yard and retired SRT and the other old timers I'm wondering what the excuses will be. Pitches not fair? Umpiring decisions weren't fair? Weather not too kind? Bats made of the wrong willow? ah the mind boggles.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (September 6, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

RandyOz - welcome back. We missed you from your extended break away from reality. How's the T20 going? You got a plan to beat Ireland yet?

Posted by samincolumbia on (September 6, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

@RandyOz - So Australia does not care about T20?! Taking a leaf out of England's book now that you are placed alongside Ireland in the rankings...haha. I guess that's probably explains why the aussies lost the Ashes, the WC ODI quarter final match to India and India U-19 thrashing the aussies at the WC...Australia does not care about these tournaments either!!lolz.

Posted by landl47 on (September 6, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

England finally couldn't overcome the loss of so many front-line players- quite apart from KP, Trott, Broad, Swann and most particularly Finn were missing. There were also some bewildering decisions on the batting order; why on earth was Bopara sent in at three when he has hardly made a run in two months? Then Bell and Morgan, England;s outstanding batsmen in this series, both failed and England's fate was sealed. Even so, when SA lost its 3rd wicket England was in with a chance if they could have got one more. However, SA's stars are stars for a reason and Amla and de Villiers saw them home. Woakes showed again that he is a more than useful bat; he bowls with a beautiful seam position and just needs another yard of pace to be a test-level bowler. A good series between the top two teams in the world. Honors even, and England are still #1.

Posted by jb633 on (September 6, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

@g.narshima- i don't recall ever calling this English side great either. Best check your own facts

Posted by joseyesu on (September 6, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

Both teams does not have the quality players other than Cook, Bell, Anderson and Devillers, Amla, Steyn, Morkel. If they fail then the results will be in Oscillation.

Posted by Amethyst8080 on (September 6, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Well, Eng will always find a good excuse when they loose. Never give credit to other teams. Lost in UAE blame went to being under cooked not well prepared. The best part was this Eng team will leave behind a legacy.

Posted by The_Utican on (September 6, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

SA may have been the better team overall, as many Proteas supporters point out, but the series result of 2-2 suggests both sides have unanswered questions. Not sure either team looks like they are superior on all surfaces and in all conditions. Both have an unsettled top order: SA may have superior firepower (esp. when Kallis returns), but this series suggests that Amla out, all out, and there are one or two passengers in the top 7. Also SA don't seem to know exactly what their best bowling line-up is. England's problem is that they probably do know their best line-up, once all their senior players return (perhaps a question mark over the third seamer?), but on this evidence you wouldn't back them to set a big enough target batting first, and sometimes, as in the Tests, the bowling goes very flat and ordinary. I don't see either side as guaranteed winners of a limited-over tournament, although given the competition, surely both have a chance.

Posted by jb633 on (September 6, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

@g.narshima- India had a golden generation from say 2000-2010 but those times are drawing to an end and the reasonable Indian fans will acknowledge that fact. India are going through a rebuilding process at present and are certainly not a dominant force. I cannpot argue that India played better cricket in the period of 2000-2010 but they were not just beaten but humiliated throughout the winter and at present they are a pretty poor side. This is not bias just the truth. I think England will put up a better show than they did in the UAE because Ajmal and Rehman are better bowlers than Ashwin and Ojha. I can't understand why so many Indian fans get ultra defensive and decide to ignore their away performances, like they don't actually matter. The cricketing world does not hate India and will acknowledge a good side when they see one. I acknowledged a top Indian side in 2004 when they toured Oz and with the same logic saw a poor one when they toured in 2011/2012.

Posted by letsgoproteas on (September 6, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

Well done SA. Even with all the new players - it was good to see you separate the men from the boys. Two closely fought games but lost on fielding, real shame. And then two exceptional games totally dominating the opposition. Pity it ended in a draw. Wasn't a true reflection. I think it's safe to say Bopara is an embarrassment - time to give up on him.

Would've loved to have seen Levi in action. And I wish Albi Morkel got a go - he's such a wasted talent. The SA top dogs got it wrong with him trying to mould him as the new Klusener in his early days. I also think we should bring in one of the young wickies we have to take a load off AB. 3 excellent options for that position.

Loads of Talent - Loads of Class - Loads of wins ahead for the boys in Green and Gold!

Posted by g.narsimha on (September 6, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

JB633- It doentmake any deference whether u rate this INDIAN team poor or some thing , but in reality the INDIANS thrashed u r great team home &away during the last decade , except the home heroics last time WE VISITED U R PLACE nothing in u r kit to show against us loosing hoplessly in home & away , so come from the blues of 4-0 win over us ,dont degrade ateam based on just 2 away bad performance during the last decade ours is far better than u rs in home & away , stats prove it .

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Amla is simply sublime at the moment. Fluid, beautiful and more humble than seems possible.

Bopara needs a bit more time. He is very useful with the ball and when he's on song with the bat, he's a very compelling inclusion on his batting alone. The question is how much time to give him and why he just doesn't feature in Internationals when his first class domestic cricket says he should.

SA played well this time, but they are not nearly as dominant as they are in the Test format. Their ODI squad is not a settled unit and until it is the ODI number one ranking will move around a lot between the top 4 teams. England have as much claim to it as SA or AU.

Bring on the T20's!

Posted by Agila on (September 6, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@Hammiond..Winning matters, it doesnt matter where! Aus/SA/Eng are not the only places where cricket is played. PS: India hardly looses playing at home. Good luck this November!

Posted by Chandrutenneti on (September 6, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Yet again middle order determined the game.....Excellent Innings from Amla and De-villiers. Amla is very influential in SA batting order. Still I believe If he bats at 3 it will provide a stability to SA batting.England needs to drop Ravi Bopara he s useless with his bat. They can well bring baistrow in place of him..

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 6, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

@Clifford Adams on (September 06 2012, 05:02 AM GMT), "the critics have now been silenced". You're incredibly optimistic if you think that one good win is that significant. Having lost the previous two games and won game 2 in large part because of yet another dropped catch by England, there's still plenty to be critical of where SA are concerned. I'm certainly not suggesting that England don't have plenty to work on too but I think you're reading a bit much into one match win in a drawn series.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (September 6, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

I've said the same thing for the last 4 years and will say is again. Bopara is nowhere near good enough to play international cricket, never has been, and never will.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (September 6, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

The #1 ranking in ODIs is all well and good but I was most concerned with seeing some improvement in the England team during this series. While I didn't get to actually watch much of the play, I'm not really convinced that there was mush, if any, improvement. The bowling was relatively good I think but the batting was probably adequate at best, with the two victories coming when chasing relatively low scores, and the fielding continues to be a major let-down and a major contributing factor to the loss in game 2. None of Cook, Bell, Trott, Bopara or Morgan really delivered this series. There were some bright spots but most of the good innings weren't under pressure and too many poor shots leading to dismissals. At the very least England need to stop the rot with their fielding pronto if they want any chance of holding their own in India and surely one more poor series must be the last for Bopara. Bairstow and Woakes are the future and really must play.

Posted by SeanoN on (September 6, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Well done Amla.. You are showing them... What a response to that torrid period in 2004.... Poor backlift... susceptible to the short ball....

482 runs in the tests... 335 in the ODI's vs England 2012!

You make us proud man... Go make that batting slot yours in all formats of the game!

Posted by shovwar on (September 6, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

SA made England play those strokes...England has been pretty good in shot selection in the previous 10 matches. What happened now? Because in the last 10 matches they did not face Steyn, Morkel n co. SA has thrashed england in 2 games and fought hard and lost 2 games. 2-2 in England. SA were the better side. Even my granma can see it. Stop blaming England and start giving some credits where it deserves.

Posted by Damo_s on (September 6, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

England were unlikely to win from the outset with key players out (KP, trott, swann, broad, finn). That said I hoped for a better showing from this team. Bell, Bopara and Morgan should have done better. Bairstow and Woakes did OK although Woakes took a bit of a hammering with the ball. It doesnt bode well for India, although I think most England fans already know we are in for a pasting there.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

SA have most of top performers like Hashim Amla, DeVilliers, Steyn, Morne Morkel, Botha, TSotsbe, Parnel, Philander aging around 28 ensuring will be there for next 7 years. If they can develop players like DuPlessis, Elgar or else, I bet they will rule cricket the way Australia did for a decade.

Posted by Hammond on (September 6, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

@Agila- England won in India 1984, Pakistan in 2000. When did India win in Australia last? Oh that's right, never.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 6, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Strange that Bopara came in at 3 after all the talk that he'd be shifted down the order becasue of his poor form with the willow... Anyway, well played SA! AMLA'd again, and great to see AB cracking the runs again. When England got those early breakthroughs there was just a wee sniff of hope, especially with Anderson bowling so well. Alas, Amla just too good and not enough runs on the board by England's batsmen. Still say Trott is the best no. 3 for England!

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Bopara played well during India tour of England. He should be ommited from Tests and let him concentrate on shorter formats of ODI, and T20. SA should play DuPlasis and Elgar on top level though they need time to be consistent as they have very good middle order like Develliers, Duminy and even Peterson. They should take Parnel as specialist bowler rather than all-rounder as had affected his bowling so much compare to when he started his career.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

I really do wish SA wins the World Cup this time.. Its long overdue...

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

It looks to me the way in which Amla is playing his cricket, he may through away the recent records created by Master Batesman of India Tandulkar

Anyhow well done Amla. A great cricketer of our time

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

@'Sir'Hammond - The NEW ERA OF ENGLISH DOMINANCE HAS BEGUN they won 2 ODI's in a drawn home series - OOPS ENDED they lost 2 also.Enjoy No. 1 ranking England.

Posted by kc69 on (September 6, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

It was a simple equation for England(or any other team)get the wickets of Amla and AB you have half of the match in your pocket.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (September 6, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

@RandyOz, Sour grapes, eh? We'll see how good ur team is in the other forms of the game when they tour India later

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (September 6, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

On reflection all of the games have been one sided with the SA wins being bigger so parity really in an uninspiring series. The test series- if England hadn't fielded so poorly who knows but most England followers agree the stronger team prevailed. All in all a disappointing series but hopefully it was just that and England with the new talent coming through will do all right, time will tell. The test grounds will not be half empty in England next summer regardless.

Posted by Sunman81 on (September 6, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Well England needs to rethink their batting line up... In my opinion it is better to have Bell at no.3 and instead have C Kieswetter to open the innings... Bopara will be better down the order... if they can introduce some flexibility in the middle, they can shuffle bopara, morgan accordingly...

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

we continue our great record away from home yet again. we won the test series 2-0, drew the odi series 2-2 without kallis,albie and botha. the whole point of this odi series was to give chance to some future players like parnell,elgar,du plessis and check how they perform. elgar played ok, rest needs to improve a lot. off to t20s now. it has been a south african summer in england this time and i loved every part of it. sa forever

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (September 6, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

@AGILA . ACTUALLY AUS DIDN'T EVEN PLAYED FULL 20 OVERS , THEY WERE BOWLED OUT IN 19.3 OVERS .

Posted by Pablo123 on (September 6, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Expected SA to walk this series, but trying new blood is always going to have close results. Kallis needed to be there, but I understand them wanting to limit his play for the next ODI World Cup

Posted by maddy20 on (September 6, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

What about the drubbing you received in England in the recent ODI series? And what about the drubbing in India, the 2-0 clean sweep last time you were there and the 2-0 before that? Australia are finished. Next time they come to India, they are gonna get an even more sound thrashing than ever before. Mark my words.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

One single thing, England is a Home Tiger, They can play well at home against teams like Pakistan, India, sri lanka and weaker Australia etc. But when they faced strong side very competitive like South Africa which is totally in flow now days, England failed to deliver that quality cricket which it was giving against other countries. :) I knew Eng. gonna lose Test Series against SA. Happy. In the past England lost test and ODI's badly in india. 1-6 ODI's record and 0-2 or 0-3 in tests( don't remembered counts)

Same goes with India, They plays well at home like there is no other good nation except them in cricket. But when it comes to oversea they always slipped away and loses match really really easily. like India loses 4-0 in England and Australia in their arena and Won comfortably 2-0 against NZ at home.

They need to improve this thing and raise their standards....

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (September 6, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

AMLA IS HAS REAL CLASS NO DOUTE .......Player like him ...we see 100 in one...Good Luck future

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

Being a Pakistani... For me the best batsmen currently is Hashim Amla... Salute You sir...!

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

SA has experimentally overwhelmed the world's top-ranked ODI side by 7 wkts. The critics have now been silenced. They, the critics, did all the stressing ahead of the "final". Gary and AB have their plans all worked out. They know their players better than you and I do - like you would know your children. Big events lie ahead and they are developing and experimenting towards that end. And it all came together with a Castle! Congratulations Proteas - keep blooming!

Posted by india_needs_to_win_abroad on (September 6, 2012, 4:49 GMT)

Cook should've bowled first....in any case SA were solid favorites.

Posted by vertical on (September 6, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Now England would have realised Bopara is not of International standards.He gives an useful bowling option but he is in the team for his batting.Bairstow should be in the team in place of Kiewsetter and Pieterson in place of Bopara.That would really strengthen their batting.

Posted by Agila on (September 6, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

@Hammond, When was the last time England won in the Sub-continent?

Posted by Agila on (September 6, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

@RandyOZ , Nice way to save face after a defeat isnt it? Wasnt that a "cake walk" for Pak?

Posted by Shafaet_001 on (September 6, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Amla is literally a gigantic run machine,who can stop him?? In this rate he will break the record of fastest 4000 runs by miles too. this man is unbelievable!!

Posted by hvijay.1985 on (September 6, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

It seems that in England, the team that chases usually wins.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

@tonobwoy the series was a draw I don't think its entirely fair to talk up SA and say England have lost their competitive edge on that basis, especially when you consider England won their last 3 ODI series to a total of 10-0.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (September 6, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

Another poor display by England and yet another batting failure to end this series as they started POORLY! The sooner KP is back the better as you can't beat quality opposition consistently without your top players. As suspected SA were up for this one but England made it easy for them. Congratulations to South Africa who I think had a moral victory in the series? It could be worse but it's been pretty bad at both the Rosebowl and at Trent Bridge. Meaningless T20 ahead... oh well.... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by Meety on (September 6, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

@The_bowlers_Holding - re: Prior. Whilst if you look at his test form, you'd say he was a shoe-in for an ODI spot, his List A & ODI stats are very average. In fact Kieswietter is a step up on Prior's bating in both averages & S/R. Prior has had 68 games to prove himself at ODI level & hasn't done so. In the end though, it is probably good for developing bench strength, managing the players workload & the primacy of Test cricket that Prior DOES NOT play ODIs! @2nd_Slip - elements of what you say is very true, however, the Saffas have had a fairly good test record in England for a while now, & in all that time have failed (relatively speaking) elsewhere in the world. Time will tell! @TheBengalTiger on (September 05 2012, 22:16 PM GMT) - such a short comment with so many flaws. Others have commented about the disimilar nature of Oz & Eng, I'd just like to say, these sites are FULL of vocal Indian fanboys who "..boast.." about beating Bangladesh & SL,(strangely they go quiet when losing)!

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 6, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

@Hammond - welcome back, we missed you during the test series. @Agila - only struggling teams like pakistan and India care about T20.

Posted by dariuscorny on (September 6, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

Eng are the only team in the planet where players like Bopara are accepted as real match winners,even Ravindra Jadeja seems to be a better choice,Eng should try and poach him.....

Posted by PrakashDhami on (September 6, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

Two batters who are in the form of the life are undoubtedly Amla and Kohli

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

EXCELLENT CRICKET BY AMLA

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

@TheBengalTiger I can assure you, as an Australian, there is no way Australian conditions are in any way similar to English conditions. I was there that summer, it was 40C in the middle of the ground on Day 4 of the Sydney Test (28C outside the ground - the nature of the stadium makes it a real cooker because no breeze gets in). Completely different climate, mate. Come out and visit and you'll see.

Posted by Hammond on (September 6, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

@TheBengalTiger- just a question, when was the last time that India won a test series in Australia?

Posted by Hammond on (September 6, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Too many wickets lost early. Never going to recover from that. Maybe should have bowled first.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

Great player AMLA win matches. for south Africa i wish SL have couple of AMLAS. instead of couple CHAMARA'S

Posted by tonobwoy on (September 6, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

England needs to try new, younger players... they have lost the competitive edge that they possessed a year ago. On the other hand, South Africa has improved and has depth to remain competitive. Amla's steady batting and his voracious appetite for runs puts the South Africans a notch above other teams.Even SA bowling is showmg up trumps. SA would be the team to beat in the t20 World Cup.

Posted by 12thUmpire on (September 6, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

England strategists deserve some credit - Did not the WI of a generation ago play 4 seamers? Did they not also earlier to that "expose" one of their seamers called Sobers to a strong attack of Trueman-Stathem under English conditions? Imitation is a sign of flattery!

Posted by Agila on (September 6, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

@RandyOZ, Mate how about Aus 89 all out in 20overs against Pak? Awesome talent isnt it?

Posted by Selfishkar on (September 5, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Congrats to Amala for for match winning 97no. Had it been Tendulkar, he would scored the century and lost the match like in Asia cup.

Posted by Patchmaster on (September 5, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

Prior back instead of Kieswetter, Bairstow in for Bopara. Tredwell looks ok to me so he should get a good run, save Swanny for Tests. Dernbach looks like a second grade cricketer and is too hot headed (why did he play that shot !) and certainly shouldn't get picked instead of Bresnan (who can bat pretty well). Bad selection phase for ENG at the moment, I feel Flower has taken his eye of things recently.

Posted by Patchmaster on (September 5, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

@ Randy OZ.... think you said exactly the same thing before the last two ashes series, something about ENG looking short of this and short of that. Then we whooped you twice....he he....

Posted by hyrclov on (September 5, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

perfect stuff , I like the fact that England lost , they really need to shake things up , look at the list at the batsman who scored heavily against England starting fon the west indies and austrailia tours , no real threat although they won , but looked flat , carbon copy of today , SA has brought England back to reality big time

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 5, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

Thankfully that is the end of the summer's meaningfu international programme, a forgettable one if ever there were one. Like the rain, the cricket has been soggy and overdemanding of one's patience. Always a joy too to see that certain people are still trapped in the dynamics of obsessive nationalistic thinking which they mistake for patriotism.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (September 5, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

RUN MACHINE AMLA............................. WICKET MACHINE STYNE.......................... WHAT ELSE NEED!

Posted by samincolumbia on (September 5, 2012, 22:25 GMT)

Don't see much of Wombats these days singing glories of the 'number 1' english side...lol.

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (September 5, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

England won a series in Australia, in very similar conditions to their own, and suddenly felt they were invincible. Thats like India winning in Sri lanka. It happens all the time, no Indian fan boasts about it. England fans are a joke

Posted by 2nd_Slip on (September 5, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

Cant really judge the true strength of a team on the basis of one series.But if SA can give Eng(who have been virtually unbeatable over the past few years at home a in both test and limited overs cricket) a good run for their money like they have done, i have got a feeling we are about to witness another one of those eras where one nation dominates the game for a few number of years.

Posted by TheBengalTiger on (September 5, 2012, 22:14 GMT)

jb633- if india are a poor side, and yet they still maul England, what does that make England? The sort of logic i expect from somebody who discovered cricket in 2005.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (September 5, 2012, 22:13 GMT)

Woakes, Bairstow and Finn will be the backbone in the coming years (may be proved wrong) but I have never understood why Prior who is powerful with the bat and effectively so and a good with the gloves is ignored. Tredwell has done ok and has Patel so unsure of which 3 for India will they omit Monty, I hope not. Oh and well played SA today clearly the better team on the day.

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 5, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

That was embarrassing for England. Bopara is not even a 4th grade cricketer. The cupboards are incredibly empty.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (September 5, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

Proof, if any were needed, just what a load of rubbish these ODI rankings are

Posted by Rash_inswinger on (September 5, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

@ jb633- good team selection but prior needs to be replaced with Kieswetter and luke wright needs to come in for chris woakes if you are looking for some dynamism and clean hitting of the cricket ball in the ODI's.

Posted by PACERONE on (September 5, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Any bowler can get wickets if batsmen do not play strokes.The fishing and poking outside the off stump is terrible.What happened to getting behind the line or getting your feet to the pitch and driving.Anderson looked great when the batsmen were not playing a positive stroke.Amla and AB soon changed that.He looked less than ordinary after.As for England batting,lets see how they do when the opposing team opens the bowling with spin.

Posted by Mervo on (September 5, 2012, 21:41 GMT)

I see that England have 'unearthed' another two South Africans to include in their squad. Really the two cricket management boards should get together and pick the teams jointly.

Posted by Long-Leg on (September 5, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Historians will look back on the 2-2 scoreline of this ODI series and think it was a tight and exciting contest. But the truth is that not a single one of the four completed matches was close. In fact the entire series was a total anti climax and a complete shambles with two thrashings apiece. Can anyone explain why we wasted our time on these pointless matches when we could have had a fourth (and even a fifth) test instead?

Posted by Rash_inswinger on (September 5, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

What a clinical performance by RSA, someone always puts up a hand in crunch games for the proteas.Eng continue to surprisingly disappoint their fans, hope RSA continue their good form in the t20 WC.."c'mon AB, you have to make it to the t20 WC final..please don't choke again"..All the Best!

Posted by jb633 on (September 5, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

@SurlyCynic- trying to become SA version of RandyOz?? This has got to be one of the worst home seasons in recent years for us. There has been very few memorable moments from our players and we were comprehensively beaten in the only format that actually matters. I seriously fear that we are going to get the worst mauling imaginable against India. I still think India are a poor side but our players just don't seem to learn the mistakes against spin bowling. The dynamics of the side has got to change if we are to compete there. We need to get some pace in the side and a couple of power hitters. After watching Woakes today I do not see him as the next all rounder. My test team vs India 1. Vince 2. Cook 3. Trott 4. Bell 5. Bairstow/KP 6. Prior 7. Broad 8. Swann 9. Jimmy 10. Finn 11. Panesar. ODI side: 1. Cook 2.Bell 3. KP/Bairstow 4.Prior 5. Morgan 6. Woakes 7. Patel 8. Swann 9. Dernbach 10. Jimmy 11. Finn. Thoughts??

Posted by Lipoflegend on (September 5, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

Graeme Smith again showing that as soon as he has to up the temp of run scoring, he wilts. He is not an ODI player - he should stick to the grim grinding of tests.

Posted by shovwar on (September 5, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

Well done Proteas. A series won and a series tied away. Proteas still have a chance to become no.1 in odi as they share same rating points with England. The SA ODI side is still not settled unlike the test side. But its just a matter of time. But they are still level with England ODI side which is good because England has beaten most of the good sides in ODIs recently. Which means even with this squad SA odi team is a good team. Pietersen and Kallis has taken some shine off but still it was good to watch. Now England has their only chance of winning a series in their own backyard in the t20 series. Which is not a great thing cos any team on their day can win a t20 match. Bad series for England at home. Great job SA.

Posted by tommytucker on (September 5, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

England aren't good at playing spin. They ate going to get s thrashing in India.

Posted by tommytucker on (September 5, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

Massive anti-choke from S.A. after being 12/3......well done boys!!! Finally S.A. have realised you don't need 4 quick seamers to bowl out England just some part tines spinners will done. AB back in form can't wait to watch him in T20...

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 5, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

I think it's time to congratulate the #1 ODI side, England, on managing to draw the series on home turf. Two thrashings to South Africa, and two close games where England scraped home. T20s are a lottery but will be interesting to see how the teams change.

Posted by Riz000 on (September 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Amla is a class will be tested against Saeed ajmal in January next year wen they meet for 3 tests

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

nice win, for the proteas. dissapointing play from poms. At 12 for 3, I thought this may be an unlikely victory, but Amla and AB showed their class.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

Haha dear Lord that was woeful. We're number 1 (allegedly)! Complete pasting only slightly ameliorated by the fact that I do love to watch Amla and AB bat. Congrats SA, that was a decent series.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 19:25 GMT)

I don't understand why Bopara always gets singled out. There were other players that did not perform... He needs to be kept for a good few series regardless of his form, there are other players that barely score anything but they still play series after series, just because of their previous reputation.

Posted by   on (September 5, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

faf du plessis should not be [played in the T20 world cup following his display this series

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 5, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Oh oh! Three down in under 5 overs and just 14 runs on the board. Is this a battle to decide the worst top team in the world? A big Amla & De Villiers partnership is going to be needed for SA to keep the C word from being gleefully trotted out by all and sundry. Still SA's game to lose, and they certainly have started out that way!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (September 5, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

A lackluster batting display from England. Not a collapse, but failures from Bell, Bopara, Morgan & Patel have left this SA's match to lose. (Tho SA have historically shown a remarkable aptitude for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!) Woakes did well, justifying the batting side of his selection as an all-rounder, and Bopara failed badly. Strong bowling from Woakes should see him preferred over Bopara, something the Eng commenters here have loudly called for. Bairstow did nothing to justify his replacing Kieswetter, unless he has a terrible day keeping. Eng's inconsistent batting order have left the bowlers a herculean task - probably way too much. SA's bowlers did well - great display from Steyn, good stuff from Peterson, & Morkel was effective but expensive. Duminy is usually underutilized, & today he showed that. Unless Eng pull off a miracle, I'm left wondering what excuses Hammond, Front-foot-in-mouth & co will have today? Go get em Proteas!

Posted by Noball_Specialist on (September 5, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Bopara's ship has sailed. He doesn't posses the mental mettle to make it in the international game. England should let him go now, since the pressure is detrimental to his performance. He would do better without the pressure of trying to make selection and to try and perform. He is a good county player - let him continue his career there.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (September 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

I just can't work out why England sent out a nightwatchman after the loss of Bell. The light seemed fine to me. As usual, it backfired and a proper batsman had to come out anyway.

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 5, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Bell simply can"t play spin . His subcontinent record is abysmal . He is a certain failure in the tour to India . In the whole series England never looked like they would be able to score more than 250 if required . However good bowling and poor batting of SA has saved them in the series so far .

Posted by premnauth on (September 5, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

Interesting to see what Chris Woakes can add to this england side , they do need a genuine all rounder and one who is consistant

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 5, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Bopara England's answer to Steven Smith, Ravinder Jadeja, Chamara Kapugedera and co! What a decision to play him at 3 under current form.

Posted by Akshita29 on (September 5, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Bell just can't play spin it's simple . Anyone look at his records at subcontinent . They are not even poor they are just utterly hopeless .

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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