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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 20:32 GMT
Smith inspires South Africa win
Third one-day international, Port Elizabeth: England 267-8 lost to South Africa by 270-7 by three wickets
Seven-match series level 1-1
Graeme Smith and Matthew Hoggard
Smith took to the England attack in a great batting display

Graeme Smith scored his first one-day ton as South Africa levelled the series against England with a three-wicket win in the third match in Port Elizabeth.

England had set the hosts 268 to win after Vikram Solanki celebrated his return to the side with a fine 66.

South Africa hit their target in the final over, with Smith stroking 105 off 131 balls and sharing in a 107-run stand with Herschelle Gibbs (50).

It was the first ever century by a South Africa captain in one-dayers.

In a see-sawing run-chase, South Africa looked in trouble on 89-3 before the blazing fourth-wicket stand, during which Smith was dropped on 53 and escaped a run-out on 58.

But the hosts, who had won only one of their previous 14 one-dayers, lost three wickets for 18 before Mark Boucher came to the rescue with 33 off 21 balls.

England made a promising start after winning the toss, with Marcus Trescothick and Geraint Jones helping themselves to sixes off successive Shaun Pollock overs.

Trescothick, standing in as captain after Michael Vaughan failed to recover from a stomach bug, farmed the strike and had faced 43 balls when he was caught off Andre Nel (3-49) for 33 on the last ball of the 10th over.

Vikram Solanki
Solanki was England's best batsman in a good return to the side

Jones, having survived two clear run-out chances, moved swiftly to 39 before spooning a full-toss straight back to Nicky Boje.

At 99-2 in the 20th over, a period of consolidation followed as Solanki and Andrew Strauss picked singles at ease.

The third-wicket pair put on 57 in 13 overs before Strauss failed to get hold of a pull shot and was caught off Pollock, who was surprisingly brought back in the 29th over - and bowled out in the 35th.

With Jacques Kallis becoming expensive and Smith turning to the likes of Justin Kemp, England enjoyed enjoyed their most productive period courtesy of Solanki and Kevin Pietersen.

Both indulged in a glut of boundaries to share 51 in 44 balls before Solanki dished a drive to long-off, reducing the visitors to 207-4 in the 40th over.

South Africa's lack of options led to Smith using his bowlers in one-over spurts - Nel had three of them.

The ploy worked to some effect, with England scoring just 58 runs in the final 10 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Andre Nel
Nel kept South Africa's spirits high in the field with an energetic effort

Nel had Pietersen caught pulling for 33, and Makhaya Ntini weighed in with three late wickets, including Paul Collingwood, who counted a huge six off Kallis in his 21-ball 22.

South Africa set off in spritely fashion with Smith and De Villiers playing their shots to England's new-ball attack.

Smith indulged in brace of glorious cover-driven boundaries off Matthew Hoggard (1-66), who hit back with the wicket of De Villiers in the 10th over, caught behind off a faint inside edge.

Pinch-hitter Boje made 20 before picking out Ashley Giles at third man off the impressive Kabir Ali (1-39).
England emerged as the likely winners three overs later when Collingwood had Kallis caught for three to reduce the hosts to 89-3.

But the pendulum swung violently back towards the hosts as Smith and Gibbs feasted on the offerings of Collingwood, Giles, Trescothick and the returning Hoggard.

Collingwood should have had Smith's scalp in the 24th over, but Trecothick spilled the chance running around from mid-off.

South Africa's task looked simple enough with an asking rate of just over six per over approaching the final 10.

But winning has not come easy in recent times, and their mini-collapse started with Gough's lbw dismissal of Gibbs.

Collingwood then slipped a yorker under Justin Kemp's defences, and England were right back in the game when Giles trapped Smith in front.

But Boucher played a priceless knock prior to falling to Gough late on, leaving Ashwell Prince with the simple task of hitting the winning run on the first ball of the last over.


South Africa: G C Smith (Capt), A B de Villiers, J H Kallis H H Gibbs, A G Prince, J M Kemp, M V Boucher (Wkt), S M Pollock, N Boje, M Ntini, A Nel.

England: M E Trescothick (Capt), G O Jones (Wkt), V S Solanki A J Strauss, K P Pietersen, I R Bell, P D Collingwood, A F Giles, Kabir Ali, D Gough, M J Hoggard.

Umpires: S A Bucknor and B G Jerling




WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Radio Five Live's Simon Mann


Interview: South Africa captain Graeme Smith


Interview: England's Marcus Trescothick



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