South Africa rallied around another masterly innings of 82 not out by Jacques Kallis to beat England by seven wickets in a tri-series one-dayer at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Kallis and Jacques Rudolph, 71 not out, shared a match-winning 145-run stand as South Africa regrouped from 37 for two to score 227 for three and win with 15 balls to spare. England made 223 for seven.
It was the biggest successful run-chase under lights since Zimbabwe successfully chased West Indies' 232 and won by six wickets in Bristol in 2000 -- the first floodlit match in England.
The victory put South Africa at the top of the table with two wins (11 points) from three games, while England (10 points from four) and Zimbabwe (9 points from three) have one win each.
It was another mature innings by the 27-year-old Kallis, who has now scored 314 runs in the three innings including two hundreds.
Continuing from where he left off in the 107 against England at The Oval, and 125 not out versus Zimbabwe in Canterbury, Kallis paced his innings to suit the needs the of the team.
Kallis didn't score the century that would have put him among an elite company. Nevertheless, the innings should rate among his best. It helped South Africa erase the bitter memories of the six-wicket hammering at The Oval.
Rudolph, South Africa's newest batting find, came good after two promising innings of 20 and 32, to score his second half century in his eighth match and complimented Kallis' efforts.
Like South Africa's seam attack, James Anderson and Darren Gough were effective in helpful conditions and kept South Africa in check.
Gibbs failed again, this time brilliantly run out by Vikram Solanki. He has managed 11 runs in three innings so far.
Smith was beaten and bowled by an Anderson delivery that swung late, and when South Africa was 37 for two, the anticipation of another England win was growing.
But Andrew Hall, 29 off 39 balls, Kallis and Rudolph deflated England and the capacity crowd's hopes with measured innings to mark South Africa's timely return to form.
"Definitely it wasn't a revenge game," said Smith. "We wanted to come here and perform to our potential, and I think we did."
Smith was impressed by maturity and the calmness with which Kallis and Rudolph took South Africa to victory.
"The calmness with which we dealt with the run-chase was unbelievable. The way the guys kept calm and took control ... it was terrific to see the guys with such calmness."
Kallis said the team's needs took priority and was impressed with the contribution of 22-year-old Rudolph throughout the 179-ball stand.
"I was very impressed with the way he handled," said Kallis. "He was calm, and that doesn't always come with a youngster. He's got a really bright future."
Skipper Michael Vaughan said England had an off day after posting what he thought was a challenging total.
"We tried different options, bowling changes and different field, it didn't work," claimed Vaughan. "Full credit to them. They bowled well and put us under pressure, and batted well.
South Africa's batting followed the workmanlike efforts when it bowled and fielded, snatching the initiative after England had decided to bat first.
England's batting was once again left broken between two partnerships that gave the innings some respectability.
After Marcus Trescothick, 60 off 92 balls, and Anthony McGrath, a career-best 52 off 98, had shared 114 for the third wicket, England lost five wickets for 26 runs.