Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott shared a second-wicket partnership of 141 to lift England to a comfortable six-wicket win over South Africa in the fourth one-day international (ODI) at Lord’s on Sunday.
South Africa were restricted to 220 for eight, but when England captain Alastair Cook was bowled LBW by Dale Steyn for just two that total looked a long way off for England.
However, Bell and Trott, who was struggling with a hand injury, recorded their fourth century partnership to set England on their way to reach their target with 20 balls to spare and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
South Africa’s Dean Elgar broke the partnership when he trapped Trott LBW on 48. The original appeal was turned down, but South Africa reviewed it and were vindicated.
Ravi Bopara only survived 14 balls, scoring six, before he was sent back to the pavilion after edging behind off the bowling of Ryan McLaren.
The Essex batsman has only scored a total of 22 runs in three innings this series.
Bell survived a dropped catch when his attempt to hit Lonwabo Tsotsobe over the top went all wrong, but fortunately for the batsman Robin Petersen was off balance and the ball slipped through his fingers.
Bell went on to make 88, his 23rd one-day half century, before falling to Steyn, edging behind, with England needing 35 off 40 to win.
Eoin Morgan (36) and Craig Kieswetter (15) wrapped up the victory with the latter hitting a six off Steyn to clinch it and delight the Lord’s crowd. A seventh-wicket partnership of 40 between Petersen and Elgar helped South Africa salvage a respectable total.
Petersen came to the crease with the visitors on 174 for six and little over six overs remaining but the 33-year-old hit a quickfire 31 off 20 balls to lift the touring side.
An 51-run partnership between captain A.B. de Villiers and Elgar had steadied things for the South Africans after they were reduced to 115 for four in the 29th over.
James Tredwell continued to make the most of his chance in the team, finishing with figures of three for 35, and Bopara did considerably better with the ball than the bat by claiming two wickets in three overs, including that of Hashim Amla.
The opener scored 45 having been dropped on five by Tredwell, who also failed to hold on to an edge by Graeme Smith on 26, but England did not pay too dearly for those missed chances.
England extended their lead at the top of the ODI rankings with the win and South Africa, the world’s top-ranked test teazm, slipped to third.
The final match of the series is at Trent Bridge tomorrow.