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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 21:17 GMT
Pietersen ton in vain for England
Fifth one-day international, East London
South Africa 311-7 beat England 304-8 by seven runs

South Africa celebrate a wicket
Kevin Pietersen hit the fastest century ever by an England batsman in one-day cricket but South Africa won the fifth match of the series by seven runs.

Pietersen finished on 100 not out off 69 balls but was given too much to do after the hosts had hit 311-7, England finally totalling 304-8.

Graeme Smith (115 not out) and Justin Kemp (80 off 50 balls) were brilliant.

But England's reply got off to a desperately slow start and South Africa lead the series 3-1 with two to play.

The game swung South Africa's way early on when Kabir Ali's first over was hit for 20 by Jacques Kallis, who laced five boundaries off it.

Play had begun an hour late after an overnight deluge and though conditions remained overcast and humid, there was no movement on offer for the bowlers.

Kallis's assault on Ali allowed South Africa to coast along in the middle overs, and it did not really matter that the Worcestershire bowler had his revenge by having Kallis caught at fine leg for 49.

Ali also dismissed Herschelle Gibbs for just eight, but Smith and Ashwell Prince then added 62 runs in calm fashion.

Personally it is fantastic but I'm not happy to miss victory by eight runs
Kevin Pietersen

All the time, the stage was being set for Kemp's assault on the closing overs.

To accommodate the big-hitting all-rounder, Prince was run out for 34. But with 15 overs left, South Africa were 181-4 and a really big score was by no means a certainty.

Kemp, who might have been run out by Vikram Solanki when just seven, made use of the short boundaries to launch seven sixes.

Ali and Matthew Hoggard were the luckless bowlers taking most of the flak.

Ali's ninth over disappeared for 25 - giving him final figures of 2-66 in nine overs - and Hoggard ended up with 0-74, also from nine overs.

Justin Kemp was brilliant
Justin Kemp was brilliant

When England began their run chase with the floodlights in operation they knew they would have to make the highest score ever at Buffalo Park.

They started in the worst possible way as Trescothick, having hit four ponderous runs, fell to his 20th delivery faced when he edged Shaun Pollock to first slip.

Michael Vaughan was equally uninterested in hitting boundaries, leaving Geraint Jones with too much to do.

The wicket-keeper, after hitting 37, finally gave a catch to point, and Andrew Strauss was run out for 20 after a dreadful mix-up with Vaughan.

With Vaughan retaining his dogged approach, the onus was on Pietersen to see what he could do.

He finally got England's momentum going with three sixes off Nicky Boje and some fours thrown in against the seamers.

Vaughan fell to Boje, having taken 94 balls in reaching 70 but when Solanki joined Pietersen the scoring rate was lifted and a tantalising 99 were needed off the last 10 overs with six wickets in hand.

But Solanki was then run out and Paul Collingwood fell cheaply.

Pietersen got good support from the tail, however, but 31 runs were needed off the last two overs and that was too tall an order.

The Hampshire batsman did at least hit the last ball of the match for six for his second century of the series but his celebrations were muted.

South Africa: G Smith (capt), A de Villiers, J Kallis, H Gibbs, A Prince, J Kemp, M Boucher (wkt), S Pollock, N Boje, M Ntini, A Nel.

England: M Vaughan (capt), M Trescothick, G Jones (wkt), A Strauss, K Pietersen, V Solanki, P Collingwood, A Giles, Kabir Ali, D Gough, M Hoggard.

Report: BBC Five Live's Simon Mann

Interview: England batsman Kevin Pietersen

Interview: England captain Michael Vaughan

Interview: Man-of-the-match, South Africa's Justin Kemp

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