South Africa edged England by one wicket in the fourth one-day international on Friday as a match-winning innings by tailender Chris Morris levelled the series at 2-2 in a thriller and set up a decider in Cape Town this weekend.
With South Africa apparently down and out on 210-8 chasing 263 to win, No. 8 Morris clubbed four sixes in his 62 from 38 balls to turn the game and give the Proteas a chance at winning the series after being 2-0 down.
Morris didn’t quite see South Africa home in a rollercoaster game at the Wanderers. He was bowled by Adil Rashid with the scores tied, leaving last man Imran Tahir to hit a four off the first ball he faced to secure victory in a hugely tense finish.
Tahir, who had earlier starred in South Africa’s bowling, cut the ball through point and skipped down the pitch in celebration, keeping England waiting to see if they can follow a test series victory with success in the one-dayers.
It’s 14 years since South Africa lost both the test and one-day series at home in the same tour.
England had some big chances to secure the series right at the end. Before he really started doing his damage, Morris was dropped by Rashid and soon after captain Eoin Morgan missed a relatively straightforward run out chance to get rid of him.
Joe Root earlier made 109 for England, rescuing the tourists’ batting effort from 108—6 to set a competitive total even though England would have hoped for more, and South Africa would have fancied its chances at the traditionally high-scoring ground in Johannesburg.
But South Africa appeared to have fluffed its chances when Hashim Amla was bowled for a duck as he played on to the returning Stuart Broad, and South Africa’s top and middle order all got going and suddenly got out.
Quinton de Kock made 27, Faf du Plessis 34, AB de Villiers 36, JP Duminy 31 and Farhaan Behardien 38.
Morris, primarily a bowler and recently a big money signing in the Indian Premier League, justified his allrounder potential with his match—turning innings. He really set South Africa on its way in the first three balls of Broad’s final spell as he swung a six over midwicket and then drove two fours through the covers.