Ian Bell top-scored for England as it beat South Africa by six wickets in the fourth one-day international to take a 2-1 lead in the cricket series with one match to play.
Bell struck 88, while Jonathan Trott scored 48 at Lord’s in London as England reached its victory target with more than three of its 50 overs remaining. The hosts finished on 224-4 after South Africa made 220-8.
England has now won two straight matches. It defeated South Africa by four wickets two days ago after losing by 80 runs on Aug. 28. The series opener was abandoned Aug. 24 because of rain in Cardiff.
The hosts had to recover today from an early blow in their reply when captain Alastair Cook was trapped leg before wicket at the end of the first over. Bell and Trott then combined for 141 runs before Trott was also lbw.
“We hung in there,” Cook said. “We kept the pressure building all the time.”
The players left the field for a brief period at 150-2 because of rain, with Ravi Bopara dismissed for 6 soon after the restart. Bell was dismissed in the 44th over, leaving Eoin Morgan, 36 runs, and Craig Kieswetter, 21 runs, to guide England to victory.
Earlier, Hashim Amla top-scored for South Africa with 45, with AB de Villiers hitting 39 runs. Amla was dropped on 4 by spinner James Tredwell, who was England’s best bowler with 3-35. Bopara took 2-34.
The series concludes at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Sept. 5. The teams then meet in three Twenty20 matches. South Africa won the three-match Test series 2-0.
Today’s victory means England will keep the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings until at least January.
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