Lee fires SA to victory in Taylor's 100th ODI
South Africa 265 for 5 (Lee 69, Chetty 66, Wolfvaardt 55) beat England 262 for 9 (Knight 61, Ismail 3-32) by five wickets
A century opening stand and some rapid hitting from Lizelle Lee saw South Africa to a five-wicket win in Centurion and levelled the series with England at 1-1. Sarah Taylor, playing her 100th ODI, made a two-ball duck as England lost ground in the ICC Women's Championship.
England's total of 262 for 9 might have looked challenging on the basis of the first match in Benoni, when South Africa were dismissed for 196, but they put on a much improved batting display to win with more than an over to spare.
Much of that was down to Lee, who cracked 12 fours in 69 off 56 balls just as the chase appeared to be getting close. Lee added 112 in 14 overs with Marizanne Kapp and had taken South Africa to the brink of victory, with two runs required, when she was caught off Danielle Wyatt.
England had been forced to call on Wyatt after a back spasm prevented Katherine Brunt from bowling more than five overs. Laura Wolfvaardt and Trisha Chetty gave South Africa the perfect start to their chase, putting on 113 for the first wicket, and although the spin of Danielle Hazell and Heather Knight reined things in, Lee banished any fears of falling short.
Having chosen to bat, England were quickly in trouble at 16 for 3. Taylor, who became the seventh woman to play 100 ODIs for England, was third out, bowled by Shabnim Ismail, after openers Lauren Winfield and Amy Jones both made single-figure scores.
Captain Charlotte Edwards (45) helped revive England, adding 78 with Knight. Knight's 61 was their top score but although Wyatt hit 40 off 27 balls from No. 7, England's total was not challenging enough. They now lie fifth in the Women's Championship, two points behind South Africa in fourth, with one match of the series to play.