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Old Trafford: England registered a massive 118-run victory against South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester in a rain-shortened 29-over match to level the ODI series 1-1.

With the game reduced to 29 overs per side, England got off to a flyer despite losing Jason Roy to Anrich Nortje early on. Phil Salt and Jonny Bairstow pushed the scoring rate up with the former racing to 17 off just nine balls with the help of three fours in a Lungi Ngidi over.

At 49/1 after six overs, England looked set for the launch when Dwaine Pretorius stepped into the attack and swung things South Africa’s way with a slew of variations. Pretorius had the aggressive Salt trapped in front and then furthered South Africa’s advantage by dismissing Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in his next over.

At 62/4, England had lost their early momentum and Pretorius, who had played a part in every dismissal up until that stage, was on fire for the visitors. He would go on to finish with impressive figures of 4/36, his career-best in ODIs. Keshav Maharaj added to England’s woes by sending back Moeen Ali soon afterward and Jos Buttler couldn’t do much damage either as England ambled along at run-a-ball to 101/6.

With the shortened game posing challenges in terms of scoring rate, England needed quick runs and Liam Livingstone stepped up. He found Sam Curran for company as England picked up the scoring rate in the next few overs with Curran smashing sixes off Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.

Livingstone then went on to hit Anrich Nortje for a hat-trick of sixes followed by a four but chipped the pull shot to mid-wicket to be dismissed off the next ball in the same over. Livingstone’s 26-ball 38 was compounded by Curran’s entertaining knock of 35 off 18 balls as he hit two fours and a six off Shamsi in the 24th over before being dismissed by the same bowler. David Willey found a few runs as did Adil Rashid, and England managed to push their total past 200.

England’s left-arm quicks Reece Topley and David Willey quickly put the hosts on top with Topley sending back Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen in the same over. While Malan struggled with his timing from the beginning and chipped a simple catch to mid-on, van der Dussen, fresh off a hundred from the last game, was unfortunate to nick one down the leg side through to the wicket-keeper.

Things turned sour for South Africa as Quinton de Kock fell on the first ball of the next over, a leading edge off David Willey settling in the hands of the cover point fielder. What was a shocking start already spiralled down further as Aiden Markram attempted a risky single only to be run out by a brilliant pick up and throw from wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. At 6/4, South Africa were in dire straits and needed to rebuild their innings.

David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen tried to lift up the visitors, but the promising partnership was broken by Sam Curran. The left-arm quick bowled David Miller with a sharp cutter that seamed back in to castle the stumps. At the 10-over mark, South Africa were 39/5 and the result appeared all but given when a slight drizzle dismayed England.

It didn’t last for long, though, and Klaasen and Pretorius soon tried to stitch together a partnership for South Africa. But that didn’t last long either as Moeen had Klaasen stumped and Adil Rashid cleaned up Keshav Maharaj next over. Rashid went on to dismiss Dwaine Pretorius next over as South Africa were reduced to 76/8 which soon turned into 83 all out and a massive loss.

Courtesy: ICC

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