PROTEAS WIN FINAL ENGLAND ODI

Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell cut a swathe through the England top order, taking 6/20 between them in the first five overs, as the Standard Bank Proteas coasted to a seven-wicket victory in the final match of their ODI Series at Lord’s on Monday.

It came too late to affect the outcome of the series which England won 2-1 but the visitors made an important statement ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy tournament with their opening match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Saturday.

The other teams in their Pool are India and Pakistan.

Rabada, on his first international visit to Lord’s, had figures of 4/39 while Parnell took 3/43, the other three wickets falling to Keshav Maharaj.

What will have pleased the Proteas most, was their improved fielding with Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis – his first one was a special effort – taking two catches each in the slips at the height of the new ball onslaught on a surface that provided assistance to the seamers throughout the match.

Parnell also swung the ball effectively and his two wickets up front of Joe Root and Eoin Morgan were particularly important ones.

The recalled Jonny Bairstow stabilised the England innings with 51 before he walked down the pitch to Maharaj and was stumped by Quinton de Kock by a distance.

England’s total of 153 in 31.1 overs – the match in total only last 60 overs – was well short of par and that became evident when De Kock and Hashim Amla sharing an opening stand of 95 – easily the highest of the match. In the process Amla completed 7 000 ODI runs when he reached 23 and once again was easily the fastest to his latest landmark.

AB de Villiers, who completed the series by winning all three tosses, also achieved a landmark of 100 ODI captaincies and he and JP Duminy completed the facile victory.

Rain threatened throughout the day and the weather must be a concern for all the Champions Trophy participants. It is a very short tournament and no side will be able to afford a washout. Australia’s warm-up match against Pakistan only lasted a handful of overs and South Africa A again were only able to bat half an innings in their second warm-up match against Derbyshire.

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