The returning Reece Topley sparked a dramatic collapse as England hammered South Africa by 118 runs in the second one-day international at Old Trafford on Friday to level the three-match series at 1-1. South Africa, chasing 202 for victory in a match reduced by rain to 29 overs per side, were bowled out for just 83, with Topley sparking a top-order slump to 27-5 during a spell of 2-17 in four overs.
The in-form Topley, rested from England’s 62-run defeat in the first ODI at Durham on Tuesday, removed Janneman Malan and Rassie van der Dussen for ducks just three days after they had scored a fifty and a hundred respectively.
Malan chipped to mid-on attempting to flick one off his pads and Van der Dussen feathered a thin edge through to wicketkeeper and England captain Jos Buttler.
And South Africa were 6-4 when Aiden Markram was run out without facing a ball by Buttler.
And there was no way back from there for the Proteas against 50-over world champions England, for all that Heinrich Klassen made 33 — one of just three double-figure scores in the innings — against a disciplined England attack.
Earlier, Dwaine Pretorius marked his return to South Africa duty by taking four wickets as England were dismissed for 201.
Only all-rounders Liam Livingstone (38) and Sam Curran (35) managed more than 30 for England with Willey adding a useful run-a-ball 21 late on before he became Pretorius’s fourth wicket.
But, as it turned out, England had more than enough runs to play with as they levelled the series ahead of Sunday’s decider in Leeds.
England, sent into bat by South Africa captain Keshav Maharaj, slumped to 62-4 inside nine overs.
Pretorius, in for the concussed Andile Phehlukwayo in the only change to the side that won on Tuesday, then struck twice in his second over to remove Root and Bairstow.
Star batsman Root, who had made just one, charged down the pitch only to top-edge the ball high into the air, with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock making no mistake with the catch.
He then fooled Bairstow (28) with a slower ball the batsman tried to drive.
And 62-4 became 72-5 when Moeen Ali fell for just six, swinging left-arm spinner Maharaj straight to deep square leg.
But England’s lower order, as it turned out, gave the hosts more than enough runs to defend against the Proteas.
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