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).


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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style