Cricket: South Africa back in hunt after agony of record tie

THE ONE-DAY circus departed Bloemfontein early yesterday and prepared to pitch its big top 500 miles south. Port Elizabeth craves more of the same tonight.

These two sides, England and South Africa, must be punch-drunk by now. They have spent the whole tour slugging it out and coming back for more, and at Goodyear Park (formerly Springbok Park) late on Wednesday they slugged it out to the highest-scoring tie in the history of international one-day cricket.

It was the second match of seven in the Standard Bank Series and it left the tourists still 1-0 up. That lead was disappearing before their eyes as South Africa, a team who are beginning to prove that chaos theory is not only real but works, pursued a formidable target of 271.

They came agonisingly close and in the end they should have won. The crowd knew it, the teams knew it. Michael Vaughan, England's captain, was off the field with a dose of something unattractive and most of the proceedings can only have made the stomach-churning symptoms worse.

"It was some game to watch," he said yesterday. "In the last over to see the game go and then get it back and get a draw felt like a victory. It felt like a loss to them, I'm sure."

Of the 2,218 one-day internationals, 20 have been tied and South Africa have now been involved in five of the last six, four of which they should have won. The other, polite way of looking at it is that the home side did well to get within touching distance.

They might have been impelled by the distinctive passion of their crowd, by the need to prove that their doubters were at best misguided, or by the urge to rebuff Kevin Pietersen's booming, rudimentary century. Pietersen, born and raised in KwaZulu/Natal, had seemingly put daylight between his native country and his adopted one, and had further rubbed noses in it by his ostentatious celebration of badge kissing to mark his hundred.

South Africa kept hunting down their prey. When Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs were together it had begun to look elementary as they shared a partnership of 134 for the third wicket. With them both removed, the game changed complexion but a brutally swift intervention from the inexperienced figure of Justin Kemp swayed matters.

It was time to call on Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher, with 403 one-day caps between them - more than England combined. The rate on a slow dog of a pitch was high but these two seemed to have the measure of it.

So they arrived at the last over needing eight to win. England prevaricated over who should bowl it and Marcus Trescothick decided on Kabir Ali, a bowler in his third match. He bowled an above waist height no ball, which went for four. Eight from six had become three from six.

Boucher then slogged the next to Ashley Giles at deep midwicket - "an unbelievable catch," Vaughan said.

Indecision gripped South Africa now, there was another run out and they still needed one off the final ball. England's fielders were hither and thither. "I didn't know what was going on, it was a bit of a lottery," Trescothick said.

Amid the shenanigans, Geraint Jones, the wicketkeeper, decided to stand up to the stumps. He made an excellent take off a full-length delivery and stumped Andrew Hall. All that was left was for Pietersen to scoop him up in his arms, not quite with the elegance of Astaire sweeping Ginger off her feet.

The third match is tonight. Stephen Harmison is in serious contention for England and Vaughan should be back. But South Africa have not gone yet.

South Africa (from): G C Smith (capt), A M Bacher, N Boje, M V Boucher, A B de Villiers, H H Gibbs, A J Hall, J H Kallis, J M Kemp, A Nel, M Ntini, S M Pollock, A G Prince, J A Rudolph.

England (from): M P Vaughan (capt), Kabir Ali, J M Anderson, G J Batty, I R Bell, P D Collingwood, A F Giles, D Gough, S J Harmison, M J Hoggard, G O Jones, K P Pietersen, V S Solanki, A J Strauss, M E Trescothick, A G Wharf.

Umpires: B G Jerling (SA) and S A Bucknor (WI).

FROM JAWS OF VICTORY THE FINAL OVER

As Kabir Ali prepared to bowl the last over, South Africa were 263 for 5, needing eight runs to win the game.

1 Mark Boucher swats waist-high no ball for four. Score goes to 268 for 5; three runs needed from six balls.

1 Boucher pulls another Kabir full-toss straight to Giles, who takes catch at deep midwicket. 268 for 6, three needed from five balls.

2 Pollock on strike as the batsmen crossed. Pollock drives at a full ball but misses. No run. 268 for 6, three needed from four balls.

3 Pollock carves ball to mid-off, scrambles a single. 269 for 6, two runs needed from three balls.

4 Ashwell Prince squeezes his first ball to extra cover. Batsmen cross but Prince is run out. 269 for 7, two runs needed from two balls.

5 Pollock scampers a single to point to bring scores level. 270 for 7, one run needed with one ball remaining.

6 Andrew Hall faces Kabir with Geraint Jones up to the stumps. Hall misses a full ball; Jones takes neatly and whips bails off to tie game.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee