Edgbaston, NatWest Series

England v South Africa

At Birmingham, July 8 (day/night). England won by four wickets.
England 6 pts. Toss: South Africa.

The dress rehearsal for the final was also the match of the tournament. Set a modest 199 to win, England collapsed to 30 for three, before Vaughan, at last transferring his commandingly stylish Test form to the one-day arena with a career-best 83, and Flintoff shared a memorable century stand in 104 balls. Clarke, relishing the limelight, then made a 34-ball 37 that was rich in promise to set up victory with 11 overs to spare. South Africa had talked up their desire to score some valuable psychological points ahead of the final, and their aggressive approach was clear when Smith took 19 off Anderson's first over. Anderson later responded with a spell of three for none in nine balls to derail the innings, but it was Flintoff who removed the dangerman Kallis with a superlative diving catch in the floating-slip position. Tottering at 104 for seven halfway through their innings, South Africa managed to bat out their overs thanks to spirited knocks from van Jaarsveld and Adams. But it was not quite enough, and there was worse news for South Africa when Boje, on as a substitute fielder, broke a shin bone after falling awkwardly.

Man of the Match: A. Flintoff. Attendance: 20,504; receipts £523,819.

© John Wisden & Co