England v South Africa, 3rd NatWest ODI, The Oval August 31, 2012

Morgan sparkles in dull England win

77

England 212 for 6 (Morgan 73, Trott 71) beat South Africa 211 (Amla 43, Elgar 42, Anderson 4-44, Dernbach 3-44) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Eoin Morgan swore allegiance to England's Test team this week ahead of all other temptations. In the current climate he would be foolish to suggest anything else. There may be suitors from the IPL who do not entirely believe it and their appetite to find out more will only have been whetted by his dashing intervention at The Oval which took England back to the top of the ODI rankings.

England beat South Africa for the first time this summer as their four-wicket victory with two overs to spare levelled the series at 1-1 with two to play. They also reclaimed the title of the No. 1 one-day side in the world, although this accolade could be short-lived. South Africa's reign lasted three days and they may reign again by Sunday evening. Fortunately, the players keep these things in perspective. Some of the more rabid fans would be well advised to follow suit or their emotional highs and lows may prove terminal.

Morgan made 73 from 67 balls, but he had a rock to lean on: Jonathan Trott, met by a target well within his comfort zone and bent upon batting through the innings. When the game was in the balance, at 64 for 3 in the 18th over, it would have been a toss-up which batsman South Africa most wished to dismiss next. Morgan could fearlessly slash and burn but Trott was the smouldering menace.

By the time they removed either of them - Morgan offering a return catch to Robin Peterson, aiming over midwicket - England's alliance of opposites had garnered 108 in 20 overs and the match was almost spent. The only surprise was that Trott did not see it through. He was out with England five runs short, 71 from 125 balls, as Wayne Parnell had him caught at the wicket. Parnell completed a niggardly spell but for Dale Steyn, back in the side, the pitch offered little encouragement.

England's chase had never looked entirely comfortable against a persistent attack and on a low, holding surface. But Trott created order out of discomfort; approaching his task like a librarian, ticking off every ball and stacking it neatly in alphabetical order. South Africa, probably 30 runs shy, could do little about it. "We were hoping for 250-odd," said AB de Villiers, South Africa's captain. "Most of the senior players got in and got out. That was the big sin."

Ravi Bopara was not so composed. He left to the sound of booing from the crowd, adjudged by umpire Kumar Dharmasena to be caught at the wicket for nought off Morne Morkel. He immediately turned to the DRS and the crowd only witnessed the fact that Hot Spot showed no edge. But the sound as the ball passed the bat was clearly audible - convincingly so - and the third umpire, Simon Taufel, correctly concluded that he had no clear evidence to overturn the on-field umpire's decision.

Bopara had bowled his bothersome medium pace skilfully in South Africa's innings, conceding only 31 runs and claiming the wicket of Faf du Plessis in only his second completed bowling stint for England, following a full shift against Bangladesh at Edgbaston two years ago.

It has been a fraught period for Bopara, his cricketing summer affected by domestic issues, and this will have helped to persuade him that much of his England career, especially at one-day level, remains ahead of him, but his pressing need in the last two matches is runs.

Until Morgan shook the duvet, the cautious nature of England's reply was summed up in the dismissal of Alastair Cook, who reached 20 from 47 balls when he pulled Peterson gently to deep midwicket, an nondescript delivery but a wicket achieved through a gradual build up of pressure.

South Africa had to put in a workmanlike performance to post anything like a competitive total. Jade Dernbach held them back. His opportunities for England in limited-overs cricket this summer have extended no further than south London, but the moment he dismissed Hashim Amla, England's scourge all season, ensured him of an influential day. South Africa's last eight wickets slipped away for 91. England were sharper than they had been at the Ageas Bowl.

Fresh from his 150 in the second ODI in Southampton, Amla made unflustered progress to 43 from 51 balls before Dernbach took advantage of limited footwork in his first over to bowl him between bat and pad. Until then, he had batted with tranquillity and purpose, his runs advance unnoticed like a night-time tide. One whip behind square against James Anderson was so wristy that you could swear he played it with the back of the bat.

Dernbach, whose only other one-day appearance came against Australia , also on his home ground, was given an opportunity after England left out Tim Bresnan and overlooked the man who might have been viewed as his most like-for-like replacement, Chris Woakes. Dernbach has twice the forearms - as muscular and tattooed as a coal miner - but he is not twice the cricketer.

Away from The Oval, it would have been a debatable choice. But on this slow surface he was in his element. He dismissed Dean Elgar for 42, an innings that never really took shape, with a delivery bowled out of the back of the hand leaving the batsman motionless and bowling him through the gate. He later had Parnell caught at the wicket in an over when the batsman had twice nicked him for boundaries through the vacant slip cordon.

As the ball softened, South Africa laboured. Six players in all were bowled, emphasising that this was a pitch that rewarded a wicket-to-wicket attack. JP Duminy held things together until he fell at long off as he went big against the offspin of James Tredwell, who had also accounted for de Villiers as he sought out his favourite flick to deep midwicket.

With Parnell on the card at No. 7, recovery was always liable to be painstaking for South Africa and they never broke free, Anderson wrapping up the innings with the last three wickets in seven balls to leave 20 deliveries unused.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on September 3, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    @mikey76 - mate it is not about having ONE player of foreign born credentials, the reason why England get pinged on this topic is the VOLUME of players, at one point recently - 1/3 of all "England's" Test debutant players were overseas born. The only other TEST country that is anywhere near this level is NZ, who have a few Saffas & the odd Ozzy going thru their system. Nobody bags NZ for this, because they are nowhere near a #1 ranking in any format. England are via some good cricket near or are #1 in all 3 formats, so there is an element of sour grapes, but IMO that is still WITH some basis!

  • ashok_cricfan on September 2, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    can any1 plz tell me the list of imported players in england playing 11.

  • SuperSharky on September 2, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    I like this see-saw battle series. I knew England would fight back with their "NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP" attitude. And don't worry so much about the imports playing for England. Maybe you homo-sapiens don't know it yet, but latest discoveries by anthropologists on the coast of South Africa claims that almost everybody from Europe's forefathers were South African.

  • JG2704 on September 2, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (September 02 2012, 00:25 AM GMT) - I know you're an Eng fan , but for some reason in past threads I thought you were against our imports playing for England.

  • on September 2, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. Looking at his records so far, I can't disagree with you. Looking at some of the typical test player like Amla, Kallis, Dravid et al, who made an effort and succeeded in adjusting to the needs of ODI (including turning the strike over), I was just hoping.... Sad, but what you say is true... at least so far.

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 01 2012, 10:40 AM GMT) Don't be sorry for being wrong - joke. Seriously , I do think we have too many plodders and whereas before when we had KP and Morgan we had 2 players who could score at a very decent SR. Now we just have 1 and I think we need Bairstow in there. Bell replaced KP and despite my protests and horror at the time he seems to have upped the tempo in his ODI batting whereas to me Trott has actually regressed in that dept. Even chasing a modest target , Morgan had to score at a run a ball to keep up and had they scored just 20 or 30 more runs we might have been in big trouble. I'm just not so sure he can go through the gears when the situation requires it

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @ragrant on (September 01 2012, 10:29 AM GMT) Don't agree with your generalistic view that it was all SA batsmen being impatient. Amla and Elgar showed patience and Dernbach bowled a couple of beauties to get rid of them.

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (September 01 2012, 09:51 AM GMT) I think Trott is a very selfish batsman which is a good thing in tests but can be a bad thing in ODIs. I think also that batsmen below him have in the past tried to overcompensate for Trott's slow scoring and got out cheaply because of it , hence Trott's innings looking like a saving grace but really it might at times have been a catalyst. Actually he was never as slow as he seemed but he actually seems to have regressed. Bell seems to have improved in SR and I always feel he looks so more comfortable/less vulnerable when he plays his shots. With KP out of the side Bairstow's non selection is nonsense to me

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @GarfieldSobers on (September 01 2012, 07:27 AM GMT) I see you're very pleased with the England win. What a charming , balanced post.

  • bumsonseats on September 1, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    reporters who dont have to pay to watch a game may have found it dull. i found admittedly on sky found it absorbing. what ticks me off we seem to loose wickets as we get near the opponents score. so what looked a close game was not. mind david perhaps iv you had paid you might have enjoyed it more.

  • Meety on September 3, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    @mikey76 - mate it is not about having ONE player of foreign born credentials, the reason why England get pinged on this topic is the VOLUME of players, at one point recently - 1/3 of all "England's" Test debutant players were overseas born. The only other TEST country that is anywhere near this level is NZ, who have a few Saffas & the odd Ozzy going thru their system. Nobody bags NZ for this, because they are nowhere near a #1 ranking in any format. England are via some good cricket near or are #1 in all 3 formats, so there is an element of sour grapes, but IMO that is still WITH some basis!

  • ashok_cricfan on September 2, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    can any1 plz tell me the list of imported players in england playing 11.

  • SuperSharky on September 2, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    I like this see-saw battle series. I knew England would fight back with their "NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP" attitude. And don't worry so much about the imports playing for England. Maybe you homo-sapiens don't know it yet, but latest discoveries by anthropologists on the coast of South Africa claims that almost everybody from Europe's forefathers were South African.

  • JG2704 on September 2, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (September 02 2012, 00:25 AM GMT) - I know you're an Eng fan , but for some reason in past threads I thought you were against our imports playing for England.

  • on September 2, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    @jmcilhinney. Looking at his records so far, I can't disagree with you. Looking at some of the typical test player like Amla, Kallis, Dravid et al, who made an effort and succeeded in adjusting to the needs of ODI (including turning the strike over), I was just hoping.... Sad, but what you say is true... at least so far.

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 01 2012, 10:40 AM GMT) Don't be sorry for being wrong - joke. Seriously , I do think we have too many plodders and whereas before when we had KP and Morgan we had 2 players who could score at a very decent SR. Now we just have 1 and I think we need Bairstow in there. Bell replaced KP and despite my protests and horror at the time he seems to have upped the tempo in his ODI batting whereas to me Trott has actually regressed in that dept. Even chasing a modest target , Morgan had to score at a run a ball to keep up and had they scored just 20 or 30 more runs we might have been in big trouble. I'm just not so sure he can go through the gears when the situation requires it

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @ragrant on (September 01 2012, 10:29 AM GMT) Don't agree with your generalistic view that it was all SA batsmen being impatient. Amla and Elgar showed patience and Dernbach bowled a couple of beauties to get rid of them.

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (September 01 2012, 09:51 AM GMT) I think Trott is a very selfish batsman which is a good thing in tests but can be a bad thing in ODIs. I think also that batsmen below him have in the past tried to overcompensate for Trott's slow scoring and got out cheaply because of it , hence Trott's innings looking like a saving grace but really it might at times have been a catalyst. Actually he was never as slow as he seemed but he actually seems to have regressed. Bell seems to have improved in SR and I always feel he looks so more comfortable/less vulnerable when he plays his shots. With KP out of the side Bairstow's non selection is nonsense to me

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @GarfieldSobers on (September 01 2012, 07:27 AM GMT) I see you're very pleased with the England win. What a charming , balanced post.

  • bumsonseats on September 1, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    reporters who dont have to pay to watch a game may have found it dull. i found admittedly on sky found it absorbing. what ticks me off we seem to loose wickets as we get near the opponents score. so what looked a close game was not. mind david perhaps iv you had paid you might have enjoyed it more.

  • jmcilhinney on September 1, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (September 01 2012, 12:37 PM GMT), that's fair enough but unfortunately Trott doesn't necessarily do that. If he was always turning the strike over then that would be fine but he plays out a lot of dot balls and then doesn't have the ability to hit boundaries like some other batsmen. If a period of consolidation is required then he's a great guy to have at the crease but he just doesn't show the ability to accelerate. I've rarely seen him end an innings with a 100 strike rate unless he scores really big. Sometimes 50 at over a run a ball is what's required to turn a game and Trott doesn't look capable of doing that.

  • my.favourite.stroke.is.the.block on September 1, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    I was at the Oval for the match, watching from the Pavilion top seating, and it was anything but dull. Morgan's innings was electric, of course, but the whole match commanded attention.

  • warneneverchuck on September 1, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Morgan a great talent from ireland

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 1, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    England found a way under in less than ideal circumstances...Your the man Captain Cook. Its also great that so many people want to play for the mighty mighty England, who can blame them?

  • on September 1, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    As long as Trott takes a single (when he doesn't get a bad ball to hit a boundary) and gives strike to better strikers of the ball, he is ideal for No. 3. If the opening pair bats fro nearly 20 overs, Trott need not even be sent in to bat; unless there is an unexpected collapse later, and some one need to prop up the innings (low chance of that happening, IF openers bat out 20 overs). Every one day team should have one guy like that -- like a life-jacket!

  • kc69 on September 1, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    I dont think SA will let england stay at #1 spot for a long time

  • on September 1, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    I'm not a huge Bopara fan but if you look at recent performances i.e against Australia he scored 15,83,33* & 52*. He also bowled 19 overs for only 67 runs and took 4 wickets. Thats a pretty good performance to me. He also bowled very well in the last ODI. If England played him as a true allrounder with him bowling his full ten then they could play another batsmen.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 1, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    @jmcilhinney (post on September 01 2012, 09:51 AM GMT): yeah as I said to JG below, Trott is a perfect no. 3 IMO. O.K. his slow rate can be ugly in high chases, but that's where the other players around him should step up. KP used to do it... Bell sometimes does it... Bopara/Morgan/KW can all do it... Singling out Trott (who happens to be our best batsman at the moment) is very controversial!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 1, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Nice quote from Michael Vaughan during commentating: "Today England played like a different team from the last game..." - err, it WAS a different team (thankfully!). So glad to see the England bowlers FINALLY trying more variations! This is the first game for ages I've seen Anderson et al. try slower balls, yorkers, cutters etc. Sorry @JG2704, but Trott at no. 3 is a MUST. As I've said before, I prefer no. 3 to be a grafter, and hold the innings together. Clarke plays like this for Oz. (sometimes); Thorpe used to do it for Eng... 20:20 rubbish this is not needed, but ODI's this is a key strategy. 50 overs can be a long time...

  • letsgoproteas on September 1, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    Basically... SA didnt settle a batting partnership, not because of englands bowling, because they were inpatient. Then the went into the field and bowled with no aggression, the fielding was atrocious and there were too many extras.

    England have one guy who can score at 100% rate, and that Morgan. If he cant score on every ball he gets flustered. Simple.

    Does anyone know what's happened to Levi? Why is he not in the team...He would get 212 on his own with 50 balls.

  • jmcilhinney on September 1, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    @JG2704 on (September 01 2012, 07:52 AM GMT), agree that Trott is not a long term solution in ODIs. There have been occasions where it's only been his runs that have made a losing side look respectable but England have been winning games and look to have the personnel to do so on a regular basis. Solid but slow innings are just not going to cut it. Unlike Cook, he has never looked like modifying his game to score at a consistently higher rate. I recall one game in India where he did do so but on a couple of other occasions where he's looked to score quickly he's got out to an ugly swipe. If KP comes back then I see him as a likely #3 with Bell continuing to open the innings. If KP doesn't come back then, if England think Bopara can play then they should look at him as #3 but I reckon grooming someone like James Taylor as a possible #3 in the near future would be a good option. I really think that Bairstow needs to be in the team now and given a good long run.

  • gimme-a-greentop on September 1, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    @Newlandsfaithful...even as a fellow South African , I don't agree with one thing you have said. Parnell is the future for SA one day cricket. He started really young and to say he's always expensive after going for 2 an over last night doesn't really make sense. The batsmen just had a bad game, and England bowled smartly too. Faf has actually played really well over the last year, as has Duminy. @ Ruziul Nur you make a decent point about AB being keeper. He is one of our best batsmen and they need to find a keeper to allow him to maximise his batting potential, especially in Test cricket. In ODI cricket he has actually averaged around 100 since being made captain (and keeper) so I think it's debatable there...

  • gimme-a-greentop on September 1, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    England did well to pick themselves up and play slightly the better cricket on the day. I say slightly because that was the not the most convincing run chase ever, Morgan aside. Trott is only suited to chasing low totals like the one SA made. Personally I was suprised Morgan didn't get a shot in the Test team having seen him bat in the previous one day series against the Aussies. I don't think SA know quite where to bowl to him. @JG2704 You are right I think this is a first choice SA team just missing Kallis. Parnell is the future all rounder for SA, he bowled superbly last night and in the previous game. @tommytucker you said it... the number one ranking thing after every game is getting old. Allan Border once said that anyone can beat anybody on any given day in one day cricket and he was right.

  • crashed on September 1, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Nicely done England ... you have opened the series up for a great battle in the future next two matches ... hope the famous England weather does not interfere yet again. Looking forward to the next two matches and hope South Africa step up to task :0)

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (September 01 2012, 01:50 AM GMT) Woakes has been released to play for Warwicks in the CB40. Why they have not made room for Eng's most fluent looking batsman of recent weeks is beyond me. Despite his 50 yesterday I still feel Trott should go. If it wasn't for Morgan wemight well have lost that game yesterday too. Another 30 runs and I think we'd have been struggling

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    @Newlandsfaithful on (August 31 2012, 22:07 PM GMT) Who (besides Kallis) was missing that should definitely be a starter? To me they even took this game more seriously by bringing back Steyn. Tsotsobe (last time I looked) was the number 1 bowler in the world in this format and Vernon is not supposed to be so good in one dayers. I don't see this as being a particularly weak SA side and it's definitely stronger than the side who won the 1st match so convincingly. Maybe it was a fluke or a bad day at the office or maybe Eng actually played the better cricket

  • JG2704 on September 1, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    Good to stop the rot - at least for the time being. Our bowlers did a decent job and Jade's figures could have been better had Cook been a bit more ambitious and had a slip for Parnell. A fairly unconvincing chase. Decent to see Morgan showing better form though. Re Bopara's dismissal - it was a strange one. There was a definite noise but no hot spot and 2 things I noticed was that Ravi reviewed it straight away and that after the ball went past him , he did not look behind so either he's a very quick thinker if he was faking it or he genuinely had not concerns that he edged it. I'm still not convinced this is the right batting line up though

  • GarfieldSobers on September 1, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    this is a short lived condolence victory for england, they had to lose 6 wickets to score 212 runs, shows the inconsistency of england batting, having a bunch of guns and not knowing which one will fire when, how can one win a battle with the guns in such a dilemma? come sunday SA will once again whip them back to 3rd place! or second! what many england supporters dont see here is that SA is a better team, it has worlds fastest bowlers, they dont have barbies and ramp models like anderson, SA is composed, patient and has what it takes to stand their ground, as for England is just a team trying to impress the home crowd, less composed, inconsistent, arrogant and desperate. This was a lucky win for England, everyday is not friday! SA without a doubt the best team in world cricket now.. go SA!

  • on September 1, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    the-blue-android i will take a bet you were playing England in the last match that you won! Take a loss my friend, you did not play very well. If you are worried about the loss of players to England I would try to improve the game in your country.

  • tommytucker on September 1, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Congrats on your victory England. I thought Eng bowled very well and a decent bat from Trott and Morgan (import jokes aside). While eng bolwed well, I thought SA batted very very poorly by giving thier wickets away cheaply. Smith charging down the wicket - again, AB chipping the ball to long on??? Faf walking across his stumps without even looking at the bowler first. The boys will be dissapointed and need to respect their wickets more.

    Elgar is not a number 3 batsman and should go in at 6, with JP and AB coming in at 3 and 4. This media spinning on countries getting to World number 1 in ODIs is a joke because it changes constantly - lets give it a rest.

  • the_blue_android on September 1, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Well done Commonwealth XI, did a great job against SA!!! Can't wait for the England vs SA ODI series to start!!!

  • Akshita29 on September 1, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Though england won the match, its mainly due to good bowling and superb innings from Morgan. Only Morgan can score at a strike rate of 100. England need more players like him. Since Kp can't come back soon enough plz bring johny in the side . It will be a better odi side with 2 attacking batsman in the team.

  • on September 1, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Once again, imports come to the rescue -- Trott & Morgan.

  • on September 1, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Well done to England. Thoroughly deserved that win. I am disappointed with the SA performance in that it lacked some patience and discipline in the mid and lower order. In retrospect the loss is probably a good thing because there are aspects of the team structure that are weak and will hopefully get addressed now. Makes the series more interesting too.

  • VillageBlacksmith on September 1, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    @pomdon... totally correct re Prior & JB... kwetter needs a break.. and if bopara is in for his bowling (it cannot be his batting) then he shd be in at 8 or 9, in which case drop him and get woakesy in... just what has JBairstow done to not be an automatic choice?

  • landl47 on September 1, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    I have to admit I wasn't too happy with the side as selected, but in the end they brought home the win, so the selectors were right and I (and many others, it seems) was wrong. Bopara has done nothing with the bat, but his bowling today got the South Africans bogged down and was a large part of the win. Dernbach, whom I have never rated, had one of his best days with key wickets and Anderson also bowled well. Trott and Morgan complemented each other in a good stand and despite some silly dismissals (Cook and the Kieswetter run out) England never looked in trouble with the rate. So it's 1-1 and England are back at #1. There really isn't much between these sides and the last 2 games could go either way, or possibly both ways!

  • RandyOZ on September 1, 2012, 2:29 GMT

    Firstly, welcome back to all the poms who have been mysteriously missing the entire summer. Secondly, England only won due to their 3 imports Morgan, Trott and Dernbach. A verry bitter sweet victory I would say

  • jmcilhinney on September 1, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    That's not necessarily the most convincing win by England but it's certainly more convincing than a loss. It certainly shows that England are good enough to beat SA when they don't give the batsmen second and third chances. It helps when so many batsmen get bowled and there are fewer catches to drop. Like many, if not most, I don't see Dernbach as a genuine prospect for Test cricket but he has done some good things in the limited-overs formats and he was a good addition here too. I know that England like to have the option of the extra bowler but I'd like to see Woakes and Bairstow in for Bopara and Patel.

  • Jarr30 on September 1, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    England back to #1...hahhahahaaaaa...REALLY....WHO CARES.

  • on September 1, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    he wants to do everything and ends up doing nothing. ABD, a WK+ Cap+ Batsman= LOSER. he has to understand that its international cricket, its not a fun game like ipl. how come a prime batsman in a team where Kallis is not playing, giving his wkt like this. he cant even score more than 28. i m surprised to see SA cricket board's decision about ABD playing as wkt keeper and a main batsman & captain as well. this is poor and SA is paying too much for this. they need a specialized wkt keeper and must set ABD free for big runs. this is simply poor management.

  • CamS71 on September 1, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Just want to give a big hand to Tredwell. Properly excellent county Pro who never complains at his role in the set-up & never lets England down. Top fella. KP could learn a massive amount from his selfless attitude.

  • Chris_P on September 1, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    @mikey76. I think you got Brendan Nash mixed up with Dion Nash, the Kiwi pace bowler.

  • RodStark on September 1, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    It certainly does seem ridiculous that the rankings get adjusted after each game instead of waiting till the end of the series. But I suppose it makes it exciting if you like that kind of thing.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on September 1, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    " One whip behind square against James Anderson was so wristy that you could swear he played it with the back of the bat." That is great writing - take a bow Mr. Hopps.

  • Meety on August 31, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    a win's a win, I don't think the English players could give a hoot if it was "dull"!!!

  • on August 31, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Wow SA were only no.1 in the ODI ranking for less than a week. Are they really the best team in the world in all formats. No is the answer but this is their 1st defeat to England on tour.

  • marlboro19 on August 31, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    @voice of the reason : Because the ranking system based on finite parameters becomes chaotic when absolute difference of parameters approaches zero. So a small perturbation in parameters leads to a large difference in outcome. in other words, teams are too closely matched these days , and that's how it is reflected in the ranking system. the set {Aus, Eng,Ind,Sa,Pak} should be ranked no.1 for some time to avoid flustered supporters .

  • Newlandsfaithful on August 31, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    I think SA needs to put their real team on the field. This team doesn't nearly look in the same class as the test team. Too many weak points. Elgar and Faf are not really working out. Parnell has always been expensive. Tsotsobe has not shown much form in England. Even AB is not having a great tour. Surely SA can put together a team that can at least last 50 overs? Kallis must play - surely there must be someone besides Amla that can bat through most of the innings at a reasonable rate. Philander or somebody must replace Parnell. Lopsy must get hisradar back or make way.

  • voice_of_reason on August 31, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Does anybody understand how the ICC ranking system works? I mean how can England be No. 1 one day, No. 3 the next, then No. 1 again a couple of days later? When everybody knows that England are actually are pretty mediocre ODI team, improving yes but with a long way to go before they can say they deserve to be ranked No.1 in the world.

  • cool2cool on August 31, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    @richardror: Dravid was given out by third umpire using DRS(?) and that time "United 11" fans were with third umpire/DRS.

  • cool2cool on August 31, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    @crindo77: Yes, as close as last tours (5-0, 5-0, 5-1).

  • The_bowlers_Holding on August 31, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    I too am unsure if Woakes and Bairstow have done something to warrant their being overlooked, both big test futures expected but phenomenal one day players now.

  • cool2cool on August 31, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    @crindo77: Yes, it will be a close contest against India, the same way as it was a 5-0 last time in India.

  • kc69 on August 31, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Well whether dernbach is a SA or Aus or anything else i dont care...all that matters is he is playing for England and his contributions show under English cricket...well equation looks simple for English Cricket get Amla out and win half of the match.

  • letsgoproteas on August 31, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    South Africa have made england look good today

  • crindo77 on August 31, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    Dean Elgar actually made it look much harder than it was. Amla and Morgan looked at ease; not all pitches have to be easy scoring pitches. I find low scoring matches more exciting. Good interview with Andy Flower on TV. He said the 'India tour will be exciting'. I noted with dismay he didn't say it would be 'difficult'. Watching India bowl and field today with utter lack of discipline (bar the spinners) against NZ, I suddenly realised that this WILL be a close contest. India are still sitting on their haunches; a loss at home will hopefully change some of the outlooks of BCCI.

  • Long-Leg on August 31, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    @tommytucker: Deeply boring comments. Don't suppose you have ever noticed how many South Africans have developed their game in English County Cricket. I make it 9 of the starting XI today. Where would the Saffas be without the English county system propping up their national side?

  • Greatest_Game on August 31, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    A well played & deserved win for England. SA batsmen gave away starts & failed to build big partnerships, whereas Trott and Morgan put their heads down & played with focus. Morgan did not hesitate to capitalize on loose SA bowling & upped the run rate to leave Eng well positioned, despite the late wickets. The SA selectors are learning from the ECB. Where Eng labored through the tests, short a bowler, SA have decided that there are never enough bowlers! Not sure if it is because they don't know what to do without Kallis, but as others have observed the ODI team is definitely a batsman short - they can't rely on Amla to post more than half the runs in every game! Why they don't play Philander is a complete mystery to me? During the tests I breathed a sigh of relief each time Onions was left out in favor of the "rotating & ineffective number 6." I hope the ECB continues that fine tradition: Kieswetter behind the stumps, Bairstow cooling his heels, & Woakes somewhere under the Oaks!

  • Akshita29 on August 31, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Swan was saying" who needs kp ". Bresnan was saying" we can win without kp" and I dont know what broad was saying. Now Dernbach should say" we dont need bresnan. We won without him." and Patel and tardewell would say" who need s a sprinkler dancer on the field. We won without him " . Anyways Congrats to england for winning and really well played by Morgan. He is a true match winner . If only irish cricket board could pay its cricketers enough we could have had a stronger ireland team which would have been good for world cricket.

  • mikey76 on August 31, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Dont know what Chris Woakes has done to upset Andy Flower. The guy is a genuine all-rounder with a fantastic FC record. He took a six-for in an ODI against Aus and hasn't really been given a shot since. Dernbach isn't a particularly great bowler, but we persist with him.

  • cover_drive12345 on August 31, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Well done to England-not the most convincing of wins but a win all the same, outplayed south Africa. Saffas need to do something about their problem of being a batsmen short, hopefully Albie can get back to full fitness soon to boost their batting and bowling. Was not impressed by Tsotsobe but thought Parnell bowled quite well. Intriguing next two games to come!

  • mikey76 on August 31, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    Dernbach is a saffer. Tahir is Pakistani. Khawaja is Pakistani. Van wyk is South African. Brendan Nash is a Kiwi. Why is it only England get called out for having overseas players?? Pot calling Kettle.

  • Akshita29 on August 31, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    @richardror clearly that was the right decision by simon tuffel the 3rd umpire . He went according to lawbook that if there is not enough evidence to overrule the on field decision then it stays with the infield. There was a clear noise as the ball went past the bat on field umpire heard it and gave it out. So both the umpires are correct and hot spot is not fullproof. Remember broad cheking vvs laxman's bat for vaseline

  • on August 31, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    Feel sorry to say but truth should come out: I was wondering what AB was trying to do through out the England chase. He kept persisting with Lopsy even when the latter was completely off colour, instead of going for slow bowlers which fortunately he was possessing today. Shocking composition of team..and just to aggravate that further he failed to utilise his armoury judiciously. So sad seeing AB in this mould...

  • Chapelau on August 31, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    yawn yawn tommytucker - not our problem if the UK is an attractive place to live - oh by the way - ever looked at the heritage of the Aussies? To be sure I doubt it !

  • SurlyCynic on August 31, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    Well played England. Although that was one of the worst pitches for ODIs/strokeplay I've seen. And not the best chase of 211 I've seen. Luckily the South African / Irish batting partnership rescued things. Hope to see the ball coming on to the bat at least once this series!

  • cool2cool on August 31, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Why the best spinner and the best all-rounder are not playing for "United 11"?

  • tommytucker on August 31, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Well done 'England' looks like your Irish batsman, saffa bowler dernbach and Saffa batsman trott have done it again!!!!! Oh England.

  • richardror on August 31, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Just seen Bopara been given out by a terrible decision firstly by the onfield umpire and then by the 3rd umpire. Smith and Kallis had poor decisions by the 3rd umpire in the test series and Bopara has one now. Why is hotspot there if its not being used? There was clearly no mark and Bopara hit his pad and reviewed immediately. This has got to be sorted out.

  • tommytucker on August 31, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Lol@ kc69 Dernbach is in fact a saffa!!!

  • GerrardLK on August 31, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    All out for 211. Still I would go for Saffa 2-0 after this match.

  • SurlyCynic on August 31, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Well bowled Dernbach. Surely he's the best SA-born bowler with an Italian passport in world cricket right now? All credit to him. As we said before the game SA have too few batsmen, if England lose too many wickets they also have a long tail but no pressure on them now.

  • Highflyer_GP on August 31, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    @ kc69: Dernbach is a South African.

  • JB77 on August 31, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    @kc69: *English* bowlers got the wicket of Amla eh? Are you sure?

  • kc69 on August 31, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Hah....finally English bowlers got the wicket of Amla(which seemed impossible this series) lets see whether this was the effort of english bowlers or just a lucky wicket.

  • JG2704 on August 31, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Good to see England freshening up the batting with Bairstow and strengthening their batting by bringing in Woakes for Bresnan.

  • pom_don on August 31, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Don't often disagree with Flower & Co but Prior & Barstow would be natural choices or should be natural choices

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  • pom_don on August 31, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Don't often disagree with Flower & Co but Prior & Barstow would be natural choices or should be natural choices

  • JG2704 on August 31, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Good to see England freshening up the batting with Bairstow and strengthening their batting by bringing in Woakes for Bresnan.

  • kc69 on August 31, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Hah....finally English bowlers got the wicket of Amla(which seemed impossible this series) lets see whether this was the effort of english bowlers or just a lucky wicket.

  • JB77 on August 31, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    @kc69: *English* bowlers got the wicket of Amla eh? Are you sure?

  • Highflyer_GP on August 31, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    @ kc69: Dernbach is a South African.

  • SurlyCynic on August 31, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Well bowled Dernbach. Surely he's the best SA-born bowler with an Italian passport in world cricket right now? All credit to him. As we said before the game SA have too few batsmen, if England lose too many wickets they also have a long tail but no pressure on them now.

  • GerrardLK on August 31, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    All out for 211. Still I would go for Saffa 2-0 after this match.

  • tommytucker on August 31, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Lol@ kc69 Dernbach is in fact a saffa!!!

  • richardror on August 31, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Just seen Bopara been given out by a terrible decision firstly by the onfield umpire and then by the 3rd umpire. Smith and Kallis had poor decisions by the 3rd umpire in the test series and Bopara has one now. Why is hotspot there if its not being used? There was clearly no mark and Bopara hit his pad and reviewed immediately. This has got to be sorted out.

  • tommytucker on August 31, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Well done 'England' looks like your Irish batsman, saffa bowler dernbach and Saffa batsman trott have done it again!!!!! Oh England.