|Third one-day international, Lord’s:|
|England 153 (31.1 overs): Bairstow 51, Rabada 4-39, Maharaj 3-25|
|South Africa 156-3 (28.5 overs): Amla 55, de Kock 34, Ball 2-43|
|South Africa won by seven wickets|
A dramatic batting collapse cost England against South Africa as they lost the final one-day international by seven wickets at Lord’s.
The hosts were reduced to 20-6 after five overs as Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell struck in overcast conditions.
Jonny Bairstow (51) offered some resistance but England were bowled out for 153 with 18.5 overs remaining.
South Africa briefly wobbled after losing Hashim Amla (55) but chased down the total with relative ease.
England, who sealed the three-match series in Southampton on Saturday, put in a valiant performance with the ball – but their batsmen lacked concentration in their final match before the Champions Trophy.
The hosts, who play Bangladesh at The Oval in the first match of the tournament on Thursday, remain the bookmakers’ favourites to secure their first 50-over title.
England switch off in final game
Although England lost the toss and were asked to bat in conditions suited to bowling, for a side that has scored more than 300 runs in 11 of their past 12 one-day internationals, batting should not have been as difficult as they made it look.
Opener Jason Roy, who has reached double figures just once in his past five international innings, was the first to fall as he edged Rabada to slip – and England’s top order followed suit.
A collapse of four wickets in seven balls, spearheaded by Rabada’s pace and clever seam bowling from left-armer Parnell, meant England made their worst start to a one-day innings at Lord’s.
Successive poor shots, with Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid falling to consecutive deliveries by playing almost identical shots, left the hosts facing an uphill battle by the fifth over.
There is no reason for Eoin Morgan’s side to make sweeping changes before the Champions Trophy, and the collapse at Lord’s seemed to be indicative of a lack of concentration rather than a side in decline.
However, it is a performance England could have done without just three days before the start of an international tournament on home soil.
How the collapse played out
- 0.5 overs – Roy c Amla b Rabada 4 (Eng 4-1) – England’s struggling opener is drawn forward and gets a thick edge that is taken at slip.
- 1.5 overs – Root lbw b Parnell 2 (Eng 7-2) – A plumb dismissal as Root plays around a delivery that swings back into his pads.
- 3.6 overs – Morgan c de Kock b Parnell 8 (Eng 15-3) – Morgan pokes forward with the bat and the ball skims off the outside edge and through to the wicket-keeper.
- 4.1 overs – Hales c Amla b Rabada 1 (Eng 15-4) – Opener Hales drives the second ball he faced to a diving Amla at first slip.
- 4.5 overs – Buttler c du Plessis b Rabada 4 (Eng 20-5) – On the drive again and this time Faf du Plessis has quick reactions to hold on at second slip.
- 4.6 overs – Rashid c du Plessis b Rabada 0 (Eng 20-6) – A golden duck as Rashid also goes for the drive and ends up edging into the slip cordon.
‘England looked like visitors’ – analysis
Former England captain Alec Stewart on Test Match Special:
“Taking the attack to the opposition is what has been successful, and is one of the reasons why England are one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy.
“What disappointed me was we looked as though we were the visitors, batting at Lord’s for the first time, not taking into account the slope. You still have to apply yourselves to the conditions.”
Bairstow pushes case for Champions Trophy appearance
England had opted to change their team before the first Champions Trophy match, with Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes all rested.
This gave Bairstow, who performed solidly in the two-match series against Ireland but was dropped when players returned from the IPL, a further chance to press for tournament inclusion.
Arriving at the crease with England 15-3, Bairstow stayed firm and played sensibly, anchoring England’s innings as they tried to rebuild.
He had a contained aggression, cutting and pulling in a 51-run partnership with Yorkshire team-mate David Willey as England crept to three figures.
When Willey fell he was ably supported by debutant Toby Roland-Jones (37 not out), who overcame an early blow to the head to strike pace bowler Chris Morris for six.
South Africa wobble in straightforward chase
South Africa’s chase, unsurprisingly, began easily, but there were some uncomfortable moments for the number one-ranked ODI side.
Openers Amla and Quinton de Kock (34) looked serene, guiding South Africa to 95-0 with some patient batting.
Amla became the fastest batsman to reach 7,000 ODI runs in international cricket in his 150th innings, surpassing the previous record by India captain Virat Kohli, who took 161 innings.
His dismissal – a swing at a Roland-Jones delivery that he edged onto his stumps – was the only real error in his 54-ball innings.
It was after the innings break, when it began to cloud over at Lord’s, that South Africa struggled as Jake Ball produced a fine display of swing bowling.
England had a brief flicker of hope as Ball forced Du Plessis to edge behind, but unlike the hosts, South Africa weathered the storm.
AB de Villiers (27 not out) and JP Duminy regrouped and crawled towards the total, before De Villiers struck Willey for back-to-back boundaries to win with 21.5 overs remaining.
‘Today was just a hiccup’ – view from the middle
England captain Eoin Morgan: “I think the batting was summed up in the first hour. A tinge of green and we seemed to nick everything this morning.
“They made us play a hell of a lot and managed to get the ball moving around. Certainly, it’s not down to a lack of trying. We’ve put in a lot this series but today was just a bit of a hiccup.
“We’ve gained a lot of confidence from this series and it’s important we take that into the Champions Trophy. It’s flattering to be favourites but today is a reminder not to get too carried away with us as a side. We’ll give it a good crack.”
South Africa captain AB de Villiers: “It’s looking a lot better now after winning a good game of cricket. We had a lot to play for today. We said it’s not all about the result but there were some encouraging signs in this last game.
“The boys hung on to almost everything that came their way. There’s still a few areas to work on in the field but the boys struck from the word go.
“All three grounds have been different, the conditions have changed from ground to ground. It’s all about the senior players adapting and communicating to the rest of the team what will work well.”