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South Africa rides on Amla, de Kock tons in tall chase

Home side strolls to target with openers hitting centuries after Root’s hundred takes England to 318 for 8

South Africa rides on Amla, de Kock tons in tall chase - Cricket News
Hashim Amla raises his bat after reaching his century.
A top-draw show from Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla saw South Africa pull off a sensational seven-wicket win in the third One-Day International against England at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday (February 9).
 
When England put up a massive 318 for 8 after opting to bat first – powered by Joe Root’s seventh ODI hundred – it looked on course to clinch the five-match series at the first available opportunity. But a 239-run stand between the South African openers ensured the home team got to the target in just 46.2 overs.
 
De Kock made 135 from 117 balls, while Amla came up with 127 from 130. Both men’s efforts trumped Root’s 125 off 113 from No.3 for England.
 
England leads the series 2-1 going in the fourth ODI, and could still wrap up a series win at Johannesburg, but with this performance, South Africa has evened the scales somewhat after the visiting team had won the first two matches and put up a good total in the third.

England's batting held the team in good stead. Alex Hales and Root got going, and added 125 runs for the second wicket in 123 balls, after Jason Roy had fallen for 20.
 
There was a brief stumble, when Jos Buttler and Morgan were dismissed cheaply by Kagiso Rabada and David Wiese, to leave the side 187 for 4 in 34 overs. But Ben Stokes smashed 53 off 37 with two sixes and five fours to keep England going. At one point, a total of 350 was on the cards, but Root ran himself out in the 43rd over in a mix-up with Stokes.
 
Stokes carried on for longer, and the tail did enough to ensure that for victory, South Africa would need to mount the highest ever successful run-chase at the ground.
 
It was an uphill task, but the path was made a lot easier once de Kock and Amla got into their stride. De Kock was clearly the aggressor in the alliance, but even though he was speedy in getting runs, he didn’t take too many risks. De Kock’s century, his tenth in ODIs, came from 96 deliveries.
 
The wicketkeeper-batsman was also aided by the calming effect of Amla. This was Amla’s 23rd ton in the format.
 
South Africa did suffer a minor setback once de Kock and Weise fell within 10 runs of each other, but with Amla at one end and Faf du Plessis at the other, the game was still within the home team's grasp.
 
Sure enough, the pair added 62 runs for the fourth wicket to carry South Africa to 311 before Amla became Chris Jordan’s only victim on the day. Du Plessis (33 not out) and AB de Villiers, the skipper, completed formalities to ensure South Africa still had a shot at the series. 

For full scorecard, click here on ICC Match Centre.

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