Buttler and Hales extend England’s lead


England extended their lead over South Africa to two game to nil on Saturday when they won the second ODI in Port Elizabeth by five wickets, with Alex Hales doing the bulk of the job with the bat.

The Proteas had recorded a middling 262 for seven in their 50 overs, with AB de Villiers top-scoring, and Reece Topley taking four wickets. While England's chase was slow, Hales' 99 and Jos Buttler's quick 48 not out saw them home with 22 balls to spare.

South Africa had won the toss and opted to bat on what is traditionally a tricky deck, somewhat slow and low. Hashim Amla felt the effects of that early on, out for four to a Topley jaffer.

Quinton de Kock was next to depart, having made 22, before Faf du Plessis and old friend De Villiers picked up the effort. They went along well, putting on 45 together, before Du Plessis was dismissed for 46, superbly caught by Chris Jordan.

De Villiers and JP Duminy then took the score from 98 to 205, and it looked like the hosts would get close to 300, but a flurry of wickets, starting with De Villiers out for 73 to Ben Stokes, slowed things down.

The Proteas were already past 200 in the 41st over, but ponderous batting from the tail, Farhaan Behardien in particular, meant they were unable to accelerate. England's bowlers must be given credit though, as they bowled a disciplined line and length.

England's chase was relatively trouble free even though it was slow. Jason Roy departed for 14, bowled by Kyle Abbott, but Hales kept battling along at the other end. Hales' knock was not pretty, but it was the backbone of the chase.

Joe Root contributed with 38 and Eoin Morgan with 29, and when Stokes was out for a duck it gave the hosts a glimmer of hope. But then Buttler arrived, and continued his for from the first game, smashing his 48 off just 28 balls to wrap things up.