Quinton de Kock sparkles:After an effortless, fluid inning, Quinton de Kock was left stranded on 92 not out from 76 balls, but his dreams of scoring his 18th ODI hundred were crushed when two heavy bands of rain washed out the third ODI and tied the series at one game each.
Before two rain interruptions, De Kock hit the first 69 of his runs from 55 balls in a 90-minute window. He then added 23 runs from 14 balls when play briefly resumed at 2.15 pm. But 33 balls later, a harder downpour arrived, just as his partner Aiden Markram had reached 24 not out from 34 balls and reached exactly 1000 ODI runs.
De Kock, in particular, who had used the dry run-filled deck first, had been in the mood to fulfill his skipper’s aspirations. 13 of the 13 fours in his chanceless innings were the result of impeccable timing and placement, including a push-over the covers from Reece Topley at an angle that split two fielders in half.
Although the nearly two-hour play break came at an unfavorable time for de Kock, he resumed without fuss with three more fours: a pair of well-timed reverse sweeps off Adil Rashid and a lashed drive through the covers off Liam Livingstone. His delicate ramp through deep third off Sam Curran was no less impressive. He stood tall to the short ball and deflected it without fuss beyond the keeper’s reach.
De Kock’s batting partners didn’t have as much success because England’s seamers, in particular, kept up the excellent work they’ve been doing all summer to keep their side competitive even when their batters weren’t playing with the same ease they usually do.
Janneman Malan was held to two runs from his first 13 balls before switching tactics with two off-side fours in three balls from Topley, giving David Willey the first opening of the day to dismiss him. However, the excitement quickly ended when Willey held a firm line across the right-hander from over the wicket, and Jason Roy took an open-faced drive to the backward point.
With four fours, including a dinky ramp over the keeper off Moeen Ali, Rassie van der Dussen, a centurion at Durham in South Africa’s convincing triumph in the first ODI, looked brilliant once more for his 26 from 38 balls. The legspinner tightened his line to the right-handed van der Dussen after de Kock had profited from Rashid’s unusually loose first over, and Jonny Bairstow at backward square leg held onto a lofted sweep.
Following England’s series-leveling victory in yet another game marred by weather at Old Trafford on Friday, both teams chose unchanged starting lineups.