Brilliant performances from captain Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan, followed by a brilliant comeback from the bowler Jofra Archer, helped England win the third and final ODI against South Africa by 59 runs, saving themselves from defeat.
South Africa won the toss and gave England a chance to bat first. The visitors suffered a heartbreak when they opened their innings as Lungi Ngidi took three quick wickets in the first six overs as England were reduced to 14/3. Jason Roy (1 for 7), Ben Duckett (0 for 5), and Harry Brook (6 for 9) were dismissed in quick succession as the visitors got off to a brisk start.
With the game in hand for South Africa, opener Dawid Malan and skipper Jos Buttler displayed great grit and determination as they steered the innings. The duo put on 232 runs for the fourth wicket, the fourth highest partnership for England in ODIs, and scored 2 centuries of their own.
They took the scorecard from 14/3 to 246/4 as the English team took a breather. Sisanda Magala finally got his team the much-needed breakthrough when he dismissed Malan (118 off 114) in the 41st over, but the visiting batsmen were impossible to contain. Moeen Ali joined Buttler in the middle and the duo added 67 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership, with Moeen (41 off 23 balls) carrying the firecrackers. Buttler scored 131 off 127 balls and England ended on 346/7.
Jofra Archer steps forward, starting with the ball
After a stellar performance with the bat, the English bowlers had an uphill task of defending the score against in-form South Africa. Which won the first two games and the series. Openers Temba Bavuma and Reeza Hendricks started well with a 49-run partnership, but Temba Bavuma was dismissed late in the ninth over. Rassie van der Dussen failed to make an impact and was dismissed soon.
A 50-run partnership between Hendricks and Aiden Markram, a 46-run partnership between Markram and Heinrich Klaasen helped South Africa keep alive their hopes of a 3–0 victory. But this was the Jofra Archer show. After taking the wicket of Van der Dussen, Archer added five more wickets to his name and recorded figures of 6/40 in 9.1 overs, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul.
The pacer, who was criticized for conceding 81 runs in 10 overs of his spell after his return in the first game of the series, shut down all his critics in style and led England to a dominant win. Adil Rashid was also crucial as he picked up three wickets in his quota of 10 overs. As a result, England bowled out South Africa for 287 in 43.1 overs to finally claim victory after losing their previous five ODI fixtures.