England deny South Africa 3-0 sweep as Jofra Archer takes six wickets after Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan hit hundreds | Cricket News

Jofra Archer picked up six wickets after Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan hit innings-reviving centuries as England denied South Africa a 3-0 ODI series sweep and dented their opponents’ hopes of qualifying directly for the World Cup.

Buttler (131 off 127) and Malan (118 off 114) rescued England from 14-3 with a 232-run partnership, propelling their side to 342-7 in Kimberley as 217 runs came from the final 20 overs, before South Africa were dismissed for 287 in 43.1 overs.

Fast bowler Archer (6-40), playing just his second game for England since returning from 17 months out with serious back and elbow injuries, then dismissed Aiden Markram (39), Rassie van der Dussen (5) and David Miller (13) as South Africa slipped to 193-6 in the 31st over, before Heinrich Klaasen (80) and Wayne Parnell (34) shared a stand of 85 from 54 balls.

Archer broke that partnership when he had Klaasen caught in the deep in the 40th over with 67 runs required, and he then cleaned up Parnell and Tabraiz Shamsi (1) to clinch England’s win and his best ODI figures.

England snapped a five-match losing streak in one-day internationals, with their victory on Wednesday keeping South Africa out of the top eight in the World Cup Super League as things stand.

The Proteas have two more matches to try and force their way into that group – against Netherlands in late March and early April – or be forced to enter a qualifying tournament.

England are the reigning 50-over World Cup champions and showed their character with the bat after Lungi Ngidi (4-62) had struck three times inside the first six overs, with Jason Roy (1), Ben Duckett (0) and Harry Brook (6) the South Africa seamer’s wickets.

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England slumped to 14-3 inside six overs of the third and final ODI against South Africa as Lungi Ngidi dismissed Jason Roy, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook

They were then grateful for Archer’s intervention with the ball as the 27-year-old displayed his full range of skills to show how pivotal he could be in a year in which England will look to defend the 50-over World Cup and regain the Ashes from Australia.

Buttler and Malan rebuilt initially – the skipper taking 14 balls to get off the mark – with England 20-3 after the first powerplay and 130-3 when the second drinks break was taken at the 30-over mark, only for them to run amok from that point as Buttler scored his 11th ODI ton and Malan his third.

Malan had struggled for fluency on what started off as a two-paced pitch, reaching his fifty from 79 balls, but took just a further 27 to score his century, with highlights including skelping Marco Jansen for two sixes and a four in the 34th over and then hitting two maximums off Ngidi in the 40th.

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Watch the best bits from Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan’s hundreds against South Africa in the third and final ODI

Malan had been dropped on 28 by a leaping Reeza Hendricks at midwicket and then on 46 by Shamsi as the wrist-spinner leapt to his right in his follow through, with South Africa finally removing Malan when he skied a Sisanda Magala slower ball in the 41st over.

Buttler, who was eventually caught off Jansen at long-on in the 48th, matched Malan’s 106-ball ton and when his partner was out he proceeded to add 67 from 38 deliveries with Moeen Ali (41 off 23) – the latter’s eventful knock including an eye-catching one-handed reverse swat.

South Africa, without the pace of the rested Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, found it difficult to contain England, with spinners Markram (0-35 from four overs) and Shamsi (0-61 from eight) and recalled seamer Magala (1-76 from nine) particularly leaky.

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Moeen Ali surprised everyone with this attempt at a shot against South Africa

England hammered 19 sixes all told to go with 16 fours as they rallied from a dismal start which saw Roy chip Ngidi to mid-off and Duckett and Brook then slash the same bowler behind on the cut.

Ngidi picked up his fourth wicket late on when he bowled Moeen leg stump, one ball after doing the same thing off a free hit, while Jansen (2-53) knocked back the off stump of Sam Curran (11 off five) leaving Adil Rashid (11no off five) and Chris Woakes (9no off eight) as the not-out batters.

South Africa’s batters enjoyed a much better opening powerplay than England’s – Temba Bavuma following his 109 in the second ODI in Bloemfontein with a sprightly 35 as he punished Woakes and Reece Topley every time they erred in line and length.

However, the South Africa captain then chipped Woakes tamely to Topley at mid-off at the end of the ninth over and when Roy snaffled a low catch at backward point to dismiss Van der Dussen off Archer in the 12th, the Proteas slipped to 62-2 in the chase.

Heinrich Klaasen batting against England (Getty Images)
Heinrich Klaasen gave England a fright in the closing stages

A fifty partnership between Markram (39) and Hendricks (52) – which ended when Rashid bowled Hendricks through his legs – was followed by Markram adding 46 with Klaasen as South Africa reached a promising 158-3 in the 26th over.

Archer then dismissed Markram with a slower-ball bouncer before finding Miller’s inside edge with a sizzling 90mph delivery and forcing the latter to snick behind to Buttler two overs later – South Africa were 174-5 at that stage and then 193-6 when Rashid had a sweeping Jansen (12) caught by Buttler.

Klaasen gave England a fright – he was particularly punishing on the spin of Moeen and Rashid – but Archer had the final say.

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Archer put England in firm control when he dismissed Klaasen for 80 in Kimberley

‘Archer is perfect – he has effortless grace’

Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain: “Bowling fast is not easy and he’s got that Michael Holding effortless grace. Everything is perfect, in line – he’s just a graceful fast bowler and it’s so good to see him back in international cricket.”

Sky Sports Cricket’s Michael Atherton: “This was a wonderful day for him. He proved his value because South Africa had a bit of a charge on. You need wicket-takers and England have got those in Archer and Rashid.”

What’s next?

England’s white-ball side are back in action in Bangladesh in March with three one-day internationals followed by as many T20 internationals. The ODIs are on March 1, 3 and 6, with the T20Is then taking place on March 9, 12 and 14.

Ben Stokes’ Test team begin a two-match series in New Zealand from February 16, looking to build on a run of nine wins in 10 matches since Stokes became captain and Brendon McCullum head coach.

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