London: England beat South Africa by four wickets in their third one-day International at the Oval on Friday, levelling the series at 1-1 and reclaiming the No. 1 ranking they lost to the Proteas earlier in the week.
Eoin Morgan hit 73 and Jonathan Trott added 71 as England finished on 212 for six, in reply to South Africa’s 211 all out with 12 balls to spare.
“I enjoy it. It’s a great feeling,” Morgan said, after his pivotal 67-ball innings, which included two sixes and seven fours. It also earned him the Man of the Match award. “I’ve been in the side for quite a while now and I enjoy taking on the reins and responsibility in the middle order.
“Hopefully I’ll continue to make contributions that help us win games.”
Robin Peterson had South Africa’s best figures with two for 39, but the hosts seldom looked flustered.
Earlier, England’s James Anderson took four wickets for 44, while paceman Jade Dernbach vindicated his selection ahead of Tim Bresnan with three for 44 as the Proteas’ middle order squandered a promising start.
Dernbach’s victims included Hashim Amla — the visitors’ top scorer with 43 from 51 balls — and Dean Elgar, the next highest scorer with 42.
Spinner James Tredwell, who replaced the rested Graeme Swann, took two for 49.
“It was a really good bowling performance today,” England captain Alastair Cook said. “From 50/1 to restrict them to 210, we fielded better and bowled better and you wouldn’t want to chase too many more on that wicket.”
Cook also had a good word to say for his batsmen.
“I thought the way Eoin Morgan played and Jonathan Trott, they were two such very good innings to see us home there,” he said. “Jade came in, we wanted a wicket-taker and he got some wickets at crucial times for us.”
Cook’s opposite number AB de Villiers admitted his side’s total was short.