Manchester: Marcus Trescothick rode to Englandís rescue once again on Thursday with a belligerent half century as his team reached 223 for seven in the triangular series one-day match against South Africa.
The left handed Somerset opener struck 60, his 14th one-day International half century, after England had been reduced to seven for two.
Following Trescothickís dismissal in the 31st over, England slumped to 176 for seven before Chris Read (30 not out) and Ashley Giles (20 not out) added 47 from 35 balls in an unbroken partnership.
Trescothick helped Anthony McGrath (52) add 114 for the third wicket before he was caught skying a sweep off part-time spinner Martin Van Jaarsveld.
McGrath was out shortly after reaching his first one-day 50 with four boundaries.
68th consecutive tie
The match was Trescothickís 68th consecutive one-day International, breaking Ian Bothamís previous England record.
England made an awful start on an overcast afternoon at Old Trafford with Vikram Solanki, who hit his maiden one-day century against South Africa at The Oval on Saturday, falling for four and captain Michael Vaughan succumbing for three.
Solanki was the first man out when in the fourth over, with as many runs on the board, he was caught by wicket-keeper Mark Boucher off pacer Makhaya Ntini.
He was followed in the next over by his skipper. Vaughan too was caught behind, but off former Proteas skipper Shaun Pollock with just three runs added to the English total.
Pollock bowled a remorselessly accurate opening spell of seven overs for five runs with four maidens and the wicket of Vaughan. He finished with figures of 10-4-21-1.
It was at this point that the surviving opener Marcus Trescothick and McGrath launched a mission to rescue the English innings.
Their carefully-cobbled together partnership yielded all of 114 runs before Trescothick finally fell in the 31st over, caught by Nicky Boje off medium-pacer Martin van Jaarsveld.
Trescothick took successive driven fours off Makhaya Ntini and McGrath followed suit with two square cuts to the boundary from paceman Andrew Hall.
After they were out England struggled with a series of soft dismissals. Andy Flintoff was caught for 12 and Jim Troughton failed again with five before Read and Giles batted brightly to lift their side past the 200 mark.