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Hales leads the way as England goes 2-0 up

Reece Topley’s four-for and stingy spells from Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali restrict South Africa before batsmen cross target in 46.2 overs

Hales leads the way as England goes 2-0 up - Cricket News
Hales played a crucial anchor role for England, scoring 99 off 124 balls.

Alex Hales fell one run short of a century but did enough to set up a five-wicket win for England over South Africa in the second One-Day International between the two sides at St George's Park on Saturday (February 6).

The victory gave England a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after batsmen from both sides struggled to play fluently on a slow pitch. South Africa made 262 for 7 and England needed a late flurry from Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali to reach the target in 46.2 overs.

AB de Villiers top scored for South Africa with an unusually sedate 73 in 91 balls, while Hales played a crucial anchor role for England before he was fifth man out for 99. Hales and Joe Root (38) put on 97 for the second wicket and made sure England was always up with the required run rate. 

Hales looked set for his second ODI hundred before he gloved an attempted pull against Kyle Abbott to Quinton de Kock with his side still 61 runs away from the target.

Buttler, who made a century in Bloemfontein, hit three boundaries in an over from Abbott, who finished with 3 for 58. Then he put the issue beyond doubt by hitting three sixes off successive balls from Imran Tahir. He made 48 not out off 28 balls, while Moeen was unbeaten on 21 off 15 balls.

A double strike early in the last ten overs of the South African innings prevented it from making a bigger total. De Villiers and JP Duminy were dismissed in the space of three balls after sharing a 107-run fourth-wicket partnership. The two were threatening to go an all-out assault when de Villiers was superbly caught in the deep by a running, diving Chris Jordan off Ben Stokes. In the next over, Duminy was lbw to Reece Topley for 47.

The normally free-scoring de Villiers took 72 balls to reach his slowest ODI half-century in eight years. He then edged another four and seemed finally to be taking control when he pulled Jordan for a six, only to fall in the next over. Duminy hit only two fours in a 66-ball innings.

Topley took 4 for 50, the best figures in his seven-match ODI career. Ben Stokes took 2 for 54 but England's two slow bowlers, Adil Rashid and Moeen, were mainly responsible for South Africa's innings becoming becalmed in the middle overs. Both bowled their allocation of ten overs in single spells and they conceded a total of only 84 runs.

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre

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