At Centurion, February 13, 2005. South Africa won by three wickets. Toss: South Africa.
South Africa completed a 4-1 victory when Prince hit the winning runs from the last ball of the penultimate over. But the highlight came earlier when Pietersen rescued England from 68 for six with his third hundred of the series, during which he cleared the leg-side rope six times. His first fifty was a pedestrian affair, from 80 balls, but the second required only 24. Giles reached a one-day international best in support and the seventh-wicket stand of 104 ensured that another capacity crowd saw a contest not a capitulation. The result also meant that England went home from a tour - successful in its main purpose - with plenty of food for thought, both about their continuing problems in one-day cricket and Pietersen's potential challenge to the established Test players. South Africa were cruising in response to England's 240 until Smith and Gibbs fell in successive overs. Vaughan sought to attack, anticipating that a threatened storm would leave the result in the hands of Duckworth/Lewis. But the weather held out, and so did Prince, a whippet between the wickets. Having been booed from venue to venue, Pietersen received a more gracious ovation when he collected the man of the series award. In six innings he scored 454 runs from 430 balls at an average of 151.33; Flintoffesque and Bradmanesque all at once. He had also equalled Dennis Amiss's world record by reaching 500 runs in just nine innings.
Man of the Match: K. P. Pietersen. Man of the Series: K. P. Pietersen.