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ANALYSIS: Proteas’ choking again after 2-0 slump to England?

By Marc Jacobson - May 29, 2017
ANALYSIS: Proteas’ choking again after 2-0 slump to England?

The Proteas slumped 2-0 and lost their three-match ODI Series, when England beat them by a mere two runs in Southampton on Saturday.

A game certainly in their foresight for victory in levelling the Series 1-1, the South Africans certainly blew in the closing proceedings of a nail-biting finish in the match at the Rose Bowl.

Heading the comparative run-rate to England right until 48.3 overs to be exact, the Proteas at the time unarguably looked to cross the line as winners chasing 331 (England 330/6), but a small and also major over-turn of events saw the Proteas closing in to a shock defeat by a whisker.

The final nine balls proved that difference and with Chris Morris and David Miller at the helm, the job sort to be done. This especially after the two smashed 49 runs from the 46th until the 49th over, at a pronounced 12.25 run-rate, excelling on their required rate.

Included in this run propel, was a six, followed by a four in the second-last over, which took the Proteas to need 10 runs off 10 balls, but weighted pressured tended to get the better of the pair in the middle.

With just three singles following in that same over, South Africa required seven runs off the last over for victory, which to their standards and their prior blowing finesse, seemed easily doable. It was not to be, as the two batters, specifically Morris, seemed to buckle in his frustration of achieving an easy required rate, while facing a plucky English bowling attack.

It was Morris who was on strike when the Proteas needed a mere four runs off the final three balls of the innings. The first two were dot balls as the pressure really mounted on Morris, who looked as though he was rather trying to defend and not attack.

They then needed a demanding boundary off the final ball for victory, which again, Morris could not execute, as he swiped to run two, just to lose the game by two (South Africa 328/5).

In the game’s assessment, the Proteas did the job to win, but were unable to finish, which once again deems the chokers tag, especially ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy commencing in a week’s time.

Instead of following their runs through, both Morris and Miller failed to really get behind the ball and move with the pitch of the strike, in attempts to really play attacking cricket. Instead, the balls attacked them, as they seemingly awaited strike and failed to take it to the English bowling attack – and that, only in the last nine balls.

Credit must be given to English bowler, Mark Wood, however as he managed to do the contrary, who bowled the final over and conceded just four runs from it.

Ben Stokes won man-of-the-match with his score of 101, while Jos Buttler backed him well up with his score of 65 not out. For the Proteas, Quinton de Kock stood out but unfortunately just missed a ton, as he scored 98.

Captain AB de Villiers scored a stern 52 to back that up, while Miller built on their side’s ascendancy scoring 71 not out right until the end with Morris’ 35 not out.  

The Proteas certainly need to look within and reflect on how they manage games, both in their bowling strides and run-chasing alike.

The bowlers for one, conceded 669 runs in their last two ODI innings’ against England, and one could debate as to why the batsmen have been required to chase so much runs in the first place. In their projections, England set totals of 339 and 330 respectively, while only losing six wickets in each as well.

The Series is already well and lost, but the third and final ODI, taking place on Monday at Lord’s in London, will prove decisive for the momentum South Africa carry in their transition to the Champions Trophy.

Image: David Miller (left) and Chris Morris (kneeling) showing their disappointment after their narrow two-run loss to England.