By BV Swagath
Hosts England have taken a crucial 2-1 lead by defeating South Africa comfortably by 6 wickets with 20 balls to spare in the Fourth ODI at Lord’s on Sunday. England now cannot lose the 5-match Series and the pressure is on South Africa to win the fifth and final ODI at Nottingham on 5th to draw the series 2-2.
After being asked to bat first under overcast conditions, South Africa got off to a watchful start of 68 for 1 in 19.1 overs. The innings failed to take off though for the visitors as off-spinner James Tredwell dented them with three wickets all coming via stumpings from Craig Kieswetter. Eventually, the Proteas were kept down to 220 for 8 with the top scorer being Hashim Amla with a slow 45 (from 73 balls).
James Tredwell bowled superbly for his 3 for 35 in 8 overs. Ravi Bopara contributed with the ball taking 2 for 34 in 9 overs which included the big wicket of Hashim Amla while Steven Finn bowled his 10 overs for just 33 runs along with a wicket.
England sealed the run chase through a huge 141-run stand for the second wicket between Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott. The pair took England to 143 for 2 in the 32nd over before Jonathan Trott (48 from 77 balls) got out lbw in an attempted sweep off part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar.
South Africa’s opportunity of coming back in the game was thwarted by Ian Bell (88 from 137 balls with 8 fours and a six) and the unbroken stand for the 5th wicket between Eoin Morgan (36* from 36 balls with 5 fours) and Craig Kieswetter (21* from 12 balls with 3 fours and a six).