South Africa go level
CAPE TOWN, Jan 27: South Africa held off a late charge by England to gain an exciting one-run win in the Standard Bank triangular series limited-overs international at Newlands here on Wednesday, reports AFP.
South Africa struggled to 204 for seven, with Darren Gough undermining their top order for the second successive match.
England seemed well set when Nick Knight and Graeme Hick put on 69 for the second wicket but the two batsmen fell within three balls of each other and England were unable to mount another substantial partnership as South Africa's all-pace attack thrived on a bouncy pitch.
England's cause seemed hopeless after Chris Adams went for a fine 42 and they needed 29 off the last 13 balls with three wickets left but Mark Ealham and Chris Read went on the attack.
Ealham slammed a four off Jacques Kallis' last ball of the 48th over. Read then smashed a six over long-on off Shaun Pollock.
A single and a four by Ealham followed before Ealham on 25 skied a catch to Jonty Rhodes at backward point. Read hit another four and a single to keep the strike and England started the last over needing nine to win.
It proved just out of reach, with Andrew Caddick being yorked by Kallis. Four were needed off the last ball but Gough, England's last batsman, could manage only two.
Gough, who was man of the match in England's nine-wicket win over the same opponents in Bloemfontein on Sunday, took three top order wickets for 36 runs as South Africas batting again failed to catch fire. He took four for 29 in Bloemfontein.
Gough dismissed both opening batsmen, Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs, in his opening spell. Then he came back to end a promising innings of 39 by African captain Hansie Cronje, who was caught behind.
Kallis was the main contributor to the South African innings, making 43 off 70 balls, including a majestic straight six off medium-pacer Ealham before being run by a direct hit from Ealham when he attempted a risky single to mid-on.
South Africa's big hitter Lance 'Zulu' Klusener added some impetus late in the innings when he made an unbeaten 42 off 48 balls.
Andrew Caddick provided excellent back-up to Gough, conceding only 23 runs in an eight-over opening spell and finishing with one for 29 off ten overs.
Craig White also bowled steadily, taking one for 36.