LONDON Seamers Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell wreaked early havoc to set the platform for an easy South African victory in the third and final one-day International against England at Lords’ on Monday.
South Africa won by seven wickets but lost the series after defeat in the first two games as both countries prepared for the start of the Champions Trophy this week.
Rabada and Parnell decimated the English top order in the opening five overs and rendered the contest effectively over with England teetering at 20 for six. It was the first time six wickets had been taken inside the opening five overs of an ODI.
England, who rested Ben Stokes and made four other changes after Saturday’s narrow victory in Southampton, were eventually dismissed for 153 after 31 overs to which the South Africans replied with 156 for three.
Hashim Amla scored 55 before being bowled by debutant Toby Roland-Jones and Quinton de Kock (34) fell in the next over to Jake Ball.
But JP Duminy (28 not out) and AB de Villiers (27 not out) saw their side through to victory with 20.1 overs to spare.
South Africa’s bowlers used the seamer-friendly conditions to maximum effect as England’s batsmen fell like skittles, the first six wickets all coming from pitched-up deliveries.
Rabada had out of form Jason Roy caught in the slips by Amla in the opening over and Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler followed in quick succession to catches.
Jonny Bairstow’s 51 saved England from the possibility of a worst ever ODI score. He struck eight fours off 67 deliveries, putting on 62 for the seventh wicket with David Willey and a further 52 with Roland-Jones, who was 37 not out at the end of the innings.
Bairstow was stumped off spinner Kershav Maharaj and England still had just under 19 overs to bat when Steven Finn chipped the ball to midwicket and was the last man out.
Hosts England get the Champions Trophy underway against Bangladesh at The Oval on Thursday while South Africa play Sri Lanka at the same venue on Saturday.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Ed Osmond)