Johannesburg - Chris Morris played the innings of his life to earn the Proteas a one-wicket victory over England to level the ODI at 2-2 in the Pink Drive ODI at the Wanderers on Friday evening.
It was a wonderful double for South African cricket as the Momentum National Women’s team earlier in the day beat England by 5 wickets, chasing an identical target of 263, to square their series as well.
Morris had a previous highest ODI score of 12 but he proceeded to pass every expectation with his innings of 62 (38 balls, 3 fours and 4 sixes) and, when he was dismissed the scores were tied, leaving last man Imran Tahir to hit the winning boundary.
It was also an important day for Tahir who regained his touch of taking important wickets in the middle of the innings. He took three wickets and played an important part in the England middle-order collapse that saw them lose five wickets for 21 runs and saw England plummet to 108/6.
In the circumstances they did well to recover to 262 thanks once again to Joe Root whose eighth ODI century (109 off 124 balls, 10 fours and a six) was another superb innings. He must wonder what he has to do to be on the winning side after scoring back-to-back centuries and ending up on the losing side in both instances.
Tahir finished with 3/46 while Kagiso Rabada took 4/45 for his best figures against England. It was his third four-wicket haul in only his 13th ODI.
The England total was probably between 30 and 40 short of par but they bowled themselves back into the match by chipping away with regular wickets with five of South Africa’s top six getting good starts but failing to kick on.
But Morris changed all that with his stand of 52 for the ninth wicket with Kyle Abbott who contributed only three runs. Morris benefited from a dropped chance by Adil Rashid that effectively cost England the match and he went on to be named man-of-the-match.
Both Root and Quinton de Kock have gone past the 300 runs aggregate in the series and one of them is likely to be named man-of-the-series at Newlands on Sunday.
South Africa 266-9 in 47.2 overs (Chris Morris 62, Farhaan Behardien 38; Adil Rashid 2-38) beat England 262 all out in 47.5 overs (Joe Root 109, Alex Hales 50; Kagiso Rabada 4-45, Imran Tahir 3-46) by 1 wicket.