Anderson basks in the upswing of fickle form

South Africa 119 England 121-3

With the England one-day team it is impossible to be sure: millionaires one match, paupers the next. It makes for an eccentric concoction. In the fourth one-day international against South Africa yesterday they were once more living in the lap of luxury having been scrabbling round dustbins for scraps two days earlier.

It was an extreme that might even have surprised the tourists who are accustomed to extremes. England won by seven wickets after bowling out South Africa for their lowest ODI total at home. Jimmy Anderson, making light of concerns about the state of his right knee and the discomforture of a bruised toe, took 5 for 23 with an exhibition of fast bowling which grew in authority with each wicket.

The defence of 119 was implausible and although England's stroll to an unassailable 2-1 series lead in the afternoon sunshine was not as jaunty as it might have been, the formality of victory was barely in danger. It was accompanied throughout by the St George's Park brass band whose happy melodies always multiply the faults of the Barmy Army.

Jonathan Trott, rapidly becoming England's most dependable batsmen, made his fifth half century of the tour and second of the series. Kevin Pietersen, rapidly becoming the least reliable, was out limply, chipping to mid-wicket having already been dropped. He was given a hostile reception by the crowd, who seem oblivious to Trott's South African origins but appear unable to forgive or forget Pietersen's. Maybe he is not as resilient to the jibes as once he was, or maybe he is keeping his powder dry for the Test series.

England captain Andrew Strauss said: "The important thing is that you assess the conditions and exploit them. Our bowlers did that. They were very accurate, bowled in partnerships and bowled wicket-taking deliveries which is invaluable. In every game in this series one side or other seems to grab hold of the momentum and not give it back."

South Africa, who should have been inspired by their victory in Cape Town on Friday night, played with the wisdom of men jet-lagged after the 70-minute flight. Their innings lasted only 36.5 overs. This re-fashioned team, like England's, is taking time to bed in and a day-night match in Durban to draw the series on Friday is hardly ideal. England, if they can hang around in Millionaire's Row a while longer, have an opportunity of securing their first one-day series win in South Africa.

On another day, South Africa might have bowled on winning the toss with the sun still hiding behind light cloud, but there was nothing untoward about the conditions. On another day, too, Graeme Smith, their captain, might not have been given out leg-before to the ball from Stuart Broad in the second over of the match which he played around after it pitched on leg. It was a solid appeal but not irresistible.

Early wickets were essential for England and this was the acme of early wickets. If Smith gets 50, as he has done 49 times in one-day matches, South Africa usually win, as they have done on 40 of those occasions. Anderson, operating from the Duckpond End – though there is now no evidence of either ducks or ponds – then removed Hashim Amla with a smart piece of cricket which may have replenished his confidence. He took out his second slip, Graeme Swann, and moved him to short mid-wicket, specifically to ensnare Amla.

The batsman obliged swiftly by flicking a full length ball in Swann's direction. Anderson had JP Duminy gloving a slow bouncer shortly after and when Tim Bresnan, rigorously accurate, was granted another lbw verdict of the might be or might not be variety against AB De Villiers it was merely a case of retrenchment for South Africa thereafter.

Only Alviro Petersen, batting with sense and control, offered what amounted to resistance. He is a Port Elizabeth lad whose father is still a taxi driver in the town and this was his first international on his home ground. His third successive fifty of the series was as efficiently constructed as the first two but it was of limited consequence in terms of affecting the outcome.

Anderson became the 17th English bowler to take five wickets in a one-day innings, four men having done so twice. He bowled Mark Boucher with a beauty which held its own past the outside of the bat, persuaded Ryan McLaren to carve a wider one to point and gave Johan Botha little chance in avoiding one which lifted one from a length.

The quality of South Africa's batting was vapid to put it politely, thought Geoff Boycott, summarising for Test Match Special put it somewhat more impolitely when his off-air comment as McLaren was dismissed – to wit that he was "a fucking tosser" – had the BBC apologising within minutes, to listeners if not automatically to the batsman.

England could not lose. Trott and Strauss flourished immediately and had put on 74 by the 16th over when Strauss was deceived by Botha. That was the first of three wickets to fall for nine runs with Paul Collingwood following Pietersen.

But Trott never looked anything less than assured – as he never has done since resuming his England career last August. There were seven fours in his 52, and five for Eoin Morgan, two of them sublime, as England got home with 112 balls remaining. The pity was that it prevented the band playing on.

Wins and roundabouts: *England's fluctuating recent limited-overs record v South Africa

2008
20 Aug T20 (Riverside) Abandoned
22 Aug ODI (H'gley) Won by 20 runs
26 Aug ODI (T Bridge) Won by 10 wkts
29 Aug ODI (Oval) Won by 126 runs
31 Aug ODI (Lord's) Won by 7 wkts
3 Sep ODI (S Gdns) No result

2009
11 June T20 (T Bridge) Lost by 7 wkts
27 Sep ODI (Centurion) Won by 22 runs
13 Nov T20 (Jo'burg) Won by 1 run
15 Nov T20 (Centurion) Lost by 84 runs
20 Nov ODI (Jo'burg) Abandoned
22 Nov ODI (Centurion) Won by 7 wkts
27 Nov ODI (Cape Town) Lost by 112 runs
29 Nov ODI (Port Eliz) Won by 7 wkts

Port Elizabeth: Scoreboard

South Africa won toss

England beat South Africa by seven wickets

SOUTH AFRICA

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

H Amla c Swann b Anderson......... 11......... 0......... 2......... 22

*G Smith lbw b Broad......... 2......... 0......... 0......... 4

A de Villiers lbw b Bresnan......... 22......... 0......... 4......... 36

J Duminy c Prior b Anderson......... 6......... 0......... 1......... 10

A Petersen c Wright b Broad......... 51......... 0......... 5......... 79

†M Boucher b Anderson......... 13......... 0......... 2......... 23

R McLaren c Collingwood b Anderson......... 0......... 0......... 0......... 5

J Botha c Prior b Anderson......... 1......... 0......... 0......... 8

W Parnell c Strauss b Collingwood......... 1......... 0......... 0......... 14

M Morkel lbw b Collingwood......... 7......... 0......... 1......... 15

C Langeveldt not out......... 0......... 0......... 0......... 5

Extras (w 5)......... 5

Total (36.5 overs)......... 119

Fall: 1-6, 2-24, 3-35, 4-55, 5-78, 6-78, 7-83, 8-92, 9-113, 10-119.

Bowling: J Anderson 10-3-23-5, P Collingwood 4-0-20-2, T Bresnan 8-3-15-1, S Broad 9.5-0-30-2, L Wright 5-0-31-0.

ENGLAND

......... Runs......... 6s......... 4s......... Bls

J Trott not out......... 52......... 0......... 7......... 77

*A Strauss lbw b Botha......... 32......... 0......... 7......... 59

K Pietersen c de Villiers b Botha......... 3......... 0......... 0......... 6

P Collingwood c Boucher b McLaren......... 2......... 0......... 0......... 6

E Morgan not out......... 28......... 0......... 5......... 40

Extras (lb 1, w 3)......... 4

Total (3 wkts, 31.2 overs)......... 121

Fall: 1-74, 2-80, 3-83.

Did not bat: †M J Prior, L J Wright, S C J Broad, G P Swann, T T Bresnan, J M Anderson.

Bowling: J Botha 8-0-22-2, R McLaren 6-1-25-1, M Morkel 6.2-1-19-0, C Langeveldt 5-1-24-0, W Parnell 6-0-30-0.

Umpires: B G Jerling (Aus) & R J Tucker (Aus).

TV replay umpire : J D Cloete.

Match referee: M Erasmus.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most