Joe Root struck a century in a losing cause for the second successive match as Chris Morris’ brutal maiden one-day international fifty helped South Africa edge to a one-wicket victory at the Wanderers that set up a series decider on Valentine’s Day in Cape Town.
The Yorkshireman held England’s innings together with 109 from 124 balls, adding 95 in 100 deliveries with Chris Woakes, after a middle-order collapse of five wickets for 21 runs left them struggling on 108 for six.
Root struggled for fluency at the start of his knock, suggesting the pitch was slightly two-paced, before advancing through the gears to hit 10 fours and the only six to lift England to 262 all out.
But the Proteas reeled in that target, albeit not as convincing as on Tuesday at Centurion when Root also compiled a career-best 125, with 16 balls remaining following Morris’ heroics.
In the side for the rested Morne Morkel, the all-rounder cracked three fours and four sixes and dealt out particular punishment to Woakes and Stuart Broad at the death until he was dismissed for 62 off 38 balls with the scores tied.
Imran Tahir then hit the winning runs to ensure the Proteas continued their 100 per cent winning record in their annual pink kit, worn in support of breast cancer awareness.
More to follow