JOHANNESBURG. — Chris Morris bashed his way to a superb 50 to lead South Africa to a nail-biting one-wicket win over England in the fourth Momentum one-day international at Bidvest Wanderers in Johannesburg yesterday.
England had been bowled out for 262 off 47.5 overs despite 109 off 124 balls from Joe Root while fast bowler Kagiso Rabada picking up 4-45.
In reply, South Africa had looked dead and buried as they slipped to 191-6 and then 207-7 before Morris blazed his way to 62 off just 38 balls with three fours and four sixes as South Africa reached 266-9 off 47.2 overs.
Morris, who brought up his first ODI 50 off 30 balls, was eventually bowled by legspinner Adil Rashid with the scores level but last man Imran Tahir (4 not out) kept his cool to smash the first ball that he faced, from Rashid, in front of point for four to secure the win.
The victory meant that South Africa levelled the series at 2-2 with the last game to be played in Cape Town on Sunday.
Six of South Africa’s top seven batsmen all reached double figures but none of them built on decent starts with the best score 38 from Farhaan Behardien while AB de Villiers, who looked in good touch, was run out for 36.
The Proteas then slipped to 210-8 and England were comfortably in control before Morris took charge.
He dominated a 52-run ninth-wicket stand with Kyle Abbott, with Abbott scoring just three not out.
Root had earlier struck 10 fours and a six during his knock and he helped to add some respectability to the innings after England had been reduced to 108-6.
England won the toss and elected to bat and they made a decent start to their innings as they reached 87-1 after opener Alex Hales scored 50 off 56 balls.
But the tourists suffered a collapse as they lost five wickets for the addition of just 21 runs with legspinner Tahir and swing bowler Abbott at the heart of the collapse.
Tahir had Hales caught at deep midwicket before he had Eoin Morgan (2) caught at point and Ben Stokes (2) superbly caught by Hashim Amla at first slip.
Abbott then struck when he bounced out Jos Buttler (1) and had Moeen Ali (4) caught by Amla at first slip. Root and Chris Woakes (33) then dug England out of a hole with a fighting seventh-wicket stand of 95 off 16.4 overs.
Root brought up his 13th ODI ton, and his second in a row, off 119 balls before Rabada finally broke the seventh-wicket stand when he had Woakes caught behind by keeper Quinton de Kock.
Root was the next man to depart, caught at short fine leg off a delivery from fast bowler Morris to leave England on 233-8
Rashid blazed his way to 39 off 26 balls but Rabada wrapped the innings up with two wickets in an over when he dismissed Stuart Broad (6) and Rashid. Tahir ended with 3-46 while Abbott claimed 2-57. — SuperSport.