Lord's, NatWest Series

England v South Africa - Final

At Lord's, July 12. England won by seven wickets. Toss: England. One-day international debut: M. N. van Wyk.

England, demonstrating a ruthlessness many felt beyond them, inflicted a recordbreaking defeat upon South Africa in an unexpectedly - and gruesomely - one-sided final. In their first one-day appearance at Lord's, South Africa were asked to bat and were promptly bowled out for 107, the lowest score in 34 one-day internationals at the ground. Not one of their batsmen reached 20.

The obvious conclusion, that the toss decided the match, was unfair on the head groundsman, Mick Hunt, who produced a pitch which had a little moisture to start with, but displayed even bounce throughout. The fault lay instead with a sequence of flat-footed strokes from South Africa, some of them batting on the Lord's slope for the first time. Read benefited to the tune of five catches, while England's discipline with the ball was exemplified by Gough, whose opening burst of seven overs cost just nine runs.

In the circumstances, the 50 conceded by Anderson felt almost indecently expensive, but he was the only man to bowl his full quota, and he took three wickets, including the ball of the innings - a full-length off-cutter that came back sharply to bowl the debutant Morne van Wyk. The wicket that symbolised England's dominance, however, was that of Kallis, who came into the match with a tournament average of 164.50, but was out for a 12-ball nought when he edged Gough through to Read. Kallis flew home to Cape Town immediately after the game to be with his dying father.

The South African innings lasted just 32.1 overs, and England's reply was even quicker. After Trescothick edged to slip in the second over, Solanki overcame a cautious start to hit a 58-ball half-century and take England to the brink of victory with the help of Vaughan. Both men fell in successive overs, but McGrath and Flintoff supplied the finishing touches. At the end of the match Smith gathered his players around him on the outfield, a sight more usually associated with winning teams. He told his players to "remember the hurt" of this defeat. It was a neat way of converting humiliation into motivation and, as far as England were concerned, it worked all too quickly.

Man of the Match: D. Gough. Attendance: 26,369; receipts £800,407.
Man of the Series: A. Flintoff.

© John Wisden & Co