South Africa came from behind to beat England 3-2 in a closely contested five-match series. Here’s a look at the top performers in the series from the two teams.
Alex Hales: England may have finished up on the losing side, but Hales was clearly the most consistent performer in the series, and was rightly adjudged the man of the series. He ended the series with 383 runs at a stupendous average of 112 with one hundred and four fifties. The numbers reveal that Hales did not fall before fifty even in a single match, a rare achievement. Hales finished the series with an impressive strike rate of 89.48. Hales’ numbers in the series tell a tale in itself – 57, 99, 65, 50 and 112. With better luck, the opener could have finished with two tons.
Kagiso Rabada: The youngster came up with another excellent show. In four games, he claimed nine wickets at an average of 19.88, a very good economy rate of 4.73 and a strike rate of 25.2. Rabada picked up big wickets throughout the series, thus putting England under constant trouble more than once. He rose to the occasion in the last two matches, with 4 for 45 at Johannesburg and 3 for 34 at Cape Town. South Africa will be keen for Rabada to continue his impressive form in the future games as well.
Kyle Abbott: The other South African pacer also made an impression with eight wickets in four games at an average of 24.12, an economy rate of 5.21 and a strike rate of 27.7. He picked up 3 for 58 at Port Elizabeth, 2 for 50 at Centurion, 2 for 57 at Johannesburg and 1 for 28 at Cape Town. He went for a few runs, but when not claiming too many wickets, he ensured the runs were kept down to a premium, like at Cape Town, when he tied the opponents down.
Joe Root: Like Hales, Root was also unlucky to end up on the losing side. He amassed 351 runs in five games at an average of 70.20, a strike rate of 91.40 with two hundreds and a fifty. Unfortunately, both of Root’s hundreds in the series came in a losing cause – 125 at Centurion and 109 at Johannesburg. His other scores in the series were 52, 38 and 27. Another fine series for the talented English batsman.
Quinton de Kock: The South African opener played a major role in the team’s fightback. He scored two hundreds in the series, totalling 326 runs at a brilliant average of 81.50 and a strike rate of over 100. De Kock began the series with a sizzling 138 not out at Blomfontein in a losing cause. He made a superb 135 in the Centurion ODI as South Africa stayed alive in the series. He couldn’t do much in the other games although he got starts at Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, getting into the 20s. de Kock again proved when he gets a hundred, he makes it big.
--By A Cricket Statsman