SA set England the moderate target of 257 to win the Pink Day ODI at the Wanderers

09 February 2020 - 14:31 By Liam Del Carme
South Africa's batsman Quinton de Kock plays a shot. File photo
South Africa's batsman Quinton de Kock plays a shot. File photo

South Africa set England the moderate target of 257 to win the Pink Day ODI here on Sunday.

For most part South Africa underwhelmed with the willow before David Miller delivered some lower order impetus and respectability to the batting card. Miller 69 off 53 balls‚ while captain Quinton de Kock scored 69 at the top of the order.

South Africa were invited to bat first in overcast conditions with the potential of rain in the afternoon.

It was a frustrating innings that ebbed and flowed with the bat very rarely establishing its authority. Not even De Kock could unleash his wrath as he had to mix aggression with a liberal amount of caution throughout his innings. The shot he got out to however was a betrayal of the restraint he showed earlier in his innings.

He tried to go over the top to an Adil Rashid delivery that spun towards his body and hit leg stump. Rashid stunted much of the South African momentum with two crafty spells that saw him return figures of three for 51.

De Kock’s 69 came off 81 balls and his dismissal further blunted the South African batting effort.

Earlier England quicks Tom Curran and Saqib Mahmood settled into a tidy line and length forcing De Kock and Reeza Hendricks into a measured approach upfront.

Although they went about their business cautiously it didn’t mean they were beyond peril. Mahmood clipped the top of Hendricks’ off stump in the eighth over with South Africa on 23 and soon the Wanderers was aflutter as Temba Bavuma strode to the crease. The 98 he scored at Newlands served as a reminder of his batting prowess and his home crowd was desperate to bear witness to the same stroke play.

When Bavuma clipped the fifth ball of the ninth over through midwicket for four off Curran he already looked in the groove. Bavuma and De Kock settled as the England bowlers increasingly lost their sideways shape. The pair put on 50 off just 58 balls as the hosts started pressing the accelerator.

It‚ however‚ came as a hammer blow when Bavuma was trapped lbw by Rashid for 29. Bavuma took the decision upon review and although no Ultra Edge was available the onfield decision stood.

Like Bavuma‚ Rassie van der Dussen was also a man desperate to impress in front of his home crowd but rather farcically his actual stay on the field by far exceeded his stay at the crease. He too fell lbw to Rashid and with a review seemingly lost he set off towards the change room only to be told to hang tight before he crossed the rope.

Because Ultra Edge wasn’t available for Bavuma’s dismissal it wasn’t considered as a review lost. When the Van der Dussen dismissal was put to review the ball missed the stumps and the right hander had a stay of execution.

He‚ however‚ failed to cash in and was bowled by a fine delivery that snuck between bat and pad by Moeen Ali in the next over.

Jon-Jon Smuts had looked entirely untroubled and was in fact delivering the odd lusty blow by the time he reached 31. A mix up with Miller however saw the chunky Smuts short of his crease with the former appearing more culpable in the confusion.

Whether Miller who determinedly strode towards the departing Smuts offered an apology isn’t clear. Smuts didn’t look particularly interested in what was said to him and maintain his gaze on the steps leading up to the change rooms.

Miller‚ perhaps feeling the need to atone for the Smuts dismissal set about the England attack‚ while shepherding the ling South African tail. He reached his 13th ODI 50 off just 45 deliveries having smashed two sixes and three fours. His low pull off Chris Jordan into the bleachers on the east side of the ground was a shot of a man swelling with confidence.

Miller brought a sting to the tail and put on an unbroken 52 with Lutho Sipamla for the eighth wicket.