Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
24 Jul 2022
6:13 pm

Gale-force De Kock stymied by the rain; England-Proteas series drawn

Ken Borland

The left-hander played a couple of sumptuous cover-drives, but also showed a superb touch behind the wicket.

MASTERFUL: Quinton de Kock leading the South African batting in the 3rd ODI. Picture: Visionhaus/Getty Images

Quinton de Kock was ready to blow England away with a gale-force batting display when rain forced the abandonment of the third and decisive ODI at Headingley on Sunday, leaving the Proteas to share the series 1-1.

De Kock had produced an innings of enormous quality in reaching 92 not out off just 76 balls to steer South Africa to 159/2 in 27.4 overs when a second rain interruption proved terminal for a match that was intriguingly poised.

After a scratchy start, De Kock played some top-class strokes as he raced to a 39-ball half-century, showing a fine degree of judgement when he was not at his most fluent. Ever a threat through the off-side, the left-hander played a couple of sumptuous cover-drives, but also showed a superb touch behind the wicket, highlighted by a phenomenal boundary off Sam Curran, lifting a bouncer over the wicketkeeper.

Proteas blunted

The Proteas had surprisingly, given the weather forecast, elected to bat first and England’s opening bowlers, the new-ball pair of left-armers David Willey and Reece Topley, blunted South Africa’s desire for an aggressive start with some quality bowling.

Also read: England back to being darlings of white-ball cricket as they hammer SA

Janneman Malan (11) fell in the sixth over, trying to drive Willey on the up but skewing a catch to backward point.

Rassie van der Dussen then came in and 75 was added for the second wicket as De Kock got into his stride. Van der Dussen had made 26 off 38 balls when he slog-swept leg-spinner Adil Rashid into the hands of deep square-leg, leaving the Proteas on 99/2 in the 17th over.

Aiden Markram was getting himself in when the first rain interruption came with South Africa on 119/2 in the 21st over.

The teams were stuck in the changerooms for 110 minutes and De Kock and Markram (24* off 34*) then added 40 more runs in the 41 balls they faced before the rain returned and washed out the match.

The three-match T20 series starts on Wednesday in Bristol.

Also read: Proteas in action against England in ODI series — four talking points