England v South Africa, 4th NatWest ODI, Lord's September 2, 2012

Tredwell traditions leave South Africa stumped

England 224 for 4 (Bell 88, Trott 48) beat South Africa 220 for 8 (Amla 45, Tredwell 3-35) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Stumped Kieswetter bowled Tredwell is hardly the commonest entry on England scorecards, but it dominated proceedings at Lord's as England took a 2-1 lead against South Africa in the NatWest series with one to play and as a result ensured they would complete the series at the top of the ODI rankings. India will have the opportunity to claim that status when they face England in January.

Three times, James Tredwell lured a South Africa batsman down the pitch and three times Craig Kieswetter completed a stumping. It was the first time an England wicketkeeper had pulled off three stumpings in a one-day international and it set them en route to a comprehensive six-wicket victory with 20 balls to spare.

Ian Bell, with 88 from 137 balls, ensured England's run chase would stay on course, a task not entirely straightforward with the floodlights piercing the gloom and mizzle causing a 20-minute stoppage. He fell with victory in sight, making room to cut Dale Steyn, South Africa's one bowler of menace, over the off side and edging to the wicketkeeper, his man-of-the-match award assured. Craig Kieswetter completed victory to cheers by depositing Steyn fox six into the pavilion.

Bell's Warwickshire team mate, Jonathan Trott offered, grim, indeed grimacing, support, in a second-wicket stand of 141 in 31 overs, batting on gamely for 48 after being struck on the hand during a fiery opening spell from Steyn, who also removed Alastair Cook lbw in his first over with a high-class inswinger. Trott, not as much as a Bear with a sore head as a Bear with a sore hand, will have a hospital scan on Monday morning.

Trott took a blow on the hand in Steyn's third over and needed pain-killing spray and tablets as he batted on manfully in obvious discomfort. One uppercut over point off Tsotsobe Lonwabo was followed by a curse at the discomfort and he settled for wise deflections thereafter. Not that it would have unduly bothered him.

Like Trott, Tredwell is a representative of an unglamorous species. His very appearance, unassuming in manner, deliberate in tread and economical of hair, accentuates the impression. He does not even deal in Graeme Swann's happy brand of kidology. But South Africa will give more attention to this thoughtful Kent cricketer after his figures of 3 for 34 gave England an advantage they never relinquished.

It was an influential toss for England to win on a murky, overcast September morning. Their catching and fielding was again sketchy, but at least the Tredwell/Kieswetter combination was working well. JP Duminy, who had looked fallible against Swann's off spin earlier in the summer, was the first batsman removed, in Tredwell's second over. Then he returned in his second spell to defeat de Villiers' expansive drive and extended the habit by finding appreciable turn past Wayne Parnell's outside edge.

Tredwell's success transformed his morning. He has the convivial air of a suburban doctor and any self-diagnosis changed from feeling decidedly poorly to tip-top condition. He began by dropping Hashim Amla at second slip, not a habit designed to make winning cricket matches any easier. Amla had 5 when Finn found the edge and Tredwell, fingers pointing downwards as the ball reached him at shoulder height, fumbled a chance he made more awkward than it might have been. England have been dropping Amla throughout the summer and have given him more than 500 additional runs since the start of the Test series. Here they also lose their review in attempting to have an lbw call overturned.

Ravi Bopara, who was unfortunate not to have Amla lbw, belatedly removed him for 45, seaming the ball back a little into the stumps as he defeated a loose drive. It was the sort of classically English late-season day when Bopara's wobbly medium pace had an influential role to play. But Bopara's batting was again found wanting, an unfocused innings ending cheaply when Ryan McLaren defeated a lethargic drive.

Tredwell, the latest addition to a rickety England close-catching cordon, also missed Graeme Smith at slip off Finn when Kieswetter dived across him and unsettled his view, the ball striking him on the body; they were a happier couple when they were a length of the pitch apart. Smith's reprieve was not too costly for England as Dernbach surprised him with a bouncer which he top-edged through to the keeper.

Once he and Amla departed, many who followed lacked the same threat. De Villiers, with 39 from 45 balls, got himself into a position to play a decisive innings before Tredwell pushed one a little wider for the stumping, but Faf du Plessis is horribly out of form as he proved when he unwisely tried to run a ball from Bopara against the Lord's slope.

Elgar is another South Africa batsman who has been inhibited in English conditions. His 35 occupied 59 balls before he tried to pull Finn's slower-ball bouncer and gloved to the keeper. Ryan McLaren was run out the next ball, Finn's disappointment when a good appeal for lbw was refused turning to delight when Dernbach dashed around the boundary at third man and hit the stumps direct.

That South Africa made as many as they did was largely thanks to a highly-imaginative unbeaten 31 from 20 balls by Robin Peterson, the highlight of which was a reverse hit over extra cover for six into the Grandstand. But South Africa's one-day side lacks the balance and certainty that the Test XI displayed so emphatically.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo