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Archer, Buttler, and Malan guide England to 59-run win against South Africa in 3rd ODI

Kimberly, Feb 2 (IANS) Returning pacer Jofra Archer and white-ball specialists Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan combined to guide England to victory against South Africa in the third and final One-day International though the hosts took the series 2-1.

Archer collected his best ODI bowling figures of 6-40 in just his second international appearance back from a long injury break, while Buttler smashed his 11th ODI century as England registered a 59-run victory over South Africa on Wednesday night. Buttler’s superb innings of 131 was well supported by Dawid Malan, who struck 118 at the top of the order, with the duo combining to put on 232 for the fourth wicket after the hosts had reduced England to 14/3 in the sixth over.

England went on to post a massive 346 for 7 in their 50 overs, with all-rounder Moeen Ali blasting a 23-ball 41 and Sam Curran and Adil Rashid contributing 5-ball 11 runs, Rashid remaining unbeaten with Chris Woakes (9 off 8 balls).

Pacer Lungi Ngidi was the best bowler for South Africa with 4-42 off his 10 overs, while Marco Jansen claimed 2-53 in the match played at the Diamond Oval, Kimberley, on Wednesday night.

In reply, South Africa made a decent start with skipper Temba Bavum and Reeza Hendricks adding 49 runs for the opening wicket before Chris Woakes removed Bavuma for a 27-ball 35. Hendricks went on to score his half-century, getting out for 52 off 61 before he was bowled by Rashid.

Archer sent back Rassie van der Dussen for 5 and though Aiden Maakram got a start and scored 39, he was caught by Moeen Ali off Archer as South Africa slumped to 158/4 at the halfway mark.

Heinrich Klaasen waged a lone battle after that as he scored a 62-ball 80 to keep South Africa in the hunt but he kept losing partners at the other end. He was sent back by Archer, caught by Ducket near the deep backward square boundary. Wayne Parnell kept the fight going with a 29-ball 34 but his efforts too went in vain as South Africa were bowled out for 287 in 43.1 overs.

While South Africa claimed the three-game series 2-1, the loss in the final match left them precariously placed as teams jostle for the eight automatic qualification spots for this year’s 50-over World Cup that is scheduled to take place in India at the end of the year.

Brief scores:

England 346/7 in 50 overs (Jos Buttler 131, Dawid Malan 118, Moeen Ali 41; Lungi Ngidi 4-42) beat South Africa 287 all out in 43.1 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 80, Reeza Hendricks 52, Aiden Markram 39; Jofra Archer 6-40; Adil Rashid 3-68) by 59 runs.