England beat South Africa by two wickets in the third and final one-day international match of the ongoing ODI Series at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The visitors now have levelled the series 1-1.
In this match, England recalled Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. Their decision paid off as the spin duo continued displaying their value for the side.
Rashid ended his bowling spell with 3-51, while Ali (1-42) bowled tight to restrict the hosts to 256-7 despite resilient knocks by skipper Quinton de Kock and David Miller. Both batsmen scored 69.
Ali made his first international appearance ever since he took a break after the first Ashes Test in August. On his return, he showed brilliant control and eventually bowled Rassie van der Dussen. The dismissal took place shortly after the South African batsman's lbw dismissal off Rashid was controversially overturned.
Rashid, on the other hand, offered a constant threat, as most of the opponents' batsmen failed to pick his googly. Not only did he bowl the Proteas captain, but he also claimed the lbw dismissals of Temba Bavuma and Andile Phehlukwayo.
In reply, English openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow fuelled an aggressive start for the visitors. However, neither of them could convert their fine starts to a big score. Roy hit a run-a-ball 21, while Bairstow scored 43 off just 23 balls.
Thanks to Joe Root and Joe Denly's matured innings, England was able to stabilise the chase. Root missed out on a well-deserved half-century by one run as he was dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi. Denly, on the other hand, scored 66 off 79 balls before falling to Lungi Ngidi.
South Africa attempted to fight back as they claimed four quick wickets as the match became more tense. However, Tom Banton and Ali guided England home with 40 balls remaining in the match.
The World champions were beaten by the visitors by seven wickets during the first encounter before the second game was abandoned due to rain. The third match was a do or die game for England.
England is now preparing to face the hosts in a Twenty20 international series that will consist of three matches. The first match will be played in East London on Wednesday.