South African opener Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 92 went in vain as rain dashed hopes of a result in Sunday’s third and final one-day international against England, ending the series 1-1. The Proteas were 159-2 in the 28th over, with de Kock scoring 92 off just 76 balls, including 13 fours, when rain stopped play for the second time at Headingley.
For rain-affected white-ball games, a result declared under the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method required both sides to bat for a minimum of 20 overs.
But the umpires recognized that this would not be possible when they called off play shortly after 4:00 pm local time (1500 GMT), as a series that began during a nationwide heatwave, the more familiar English circumstances ended.
The abandonment meant that left-hander de Kock was just eight runs away from his 18th ODI century.
“He looked in really good touch, it’s a pity he didn’t get the magic mark,” said South Africa captain Keshav Maharaj of de Kock’s innings.
“But there is still a lot of cricket left, and hopefully he can repeat this performance in the future as well.”
England captain Jos Buttler said: “It was a good wicket and it can be a tough ground to defend at times.
“The game was pretty much geared up. It would have been great to have a full game.”
England went on to avoid a third successive white-ball series defeat in this match under new captain Butler, most recently after losing Twenty20 and ODI matches against India to 50-over World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan. had retired.
South Africa won the toss after England’s 118-run victory in a rain-hit match at Old Trafford, with both sides winning the toss, followed by a 62-run victory for the Proteas at Chester-le-Street.
England found an early breakthrough when Janman Malan (11) hit left-arm quick David Willey straight to Jason Roy and stunned the Proteas 24-1.
But de Kock was in fine touch as he completed his maiden half-century off just 39 balls, reaching the landmark by hitting 29-year-old leg-spinner Adil Rashid for fours in successive deliveries.
South Africa gained momentum after Malan’s defeat and were 89–1 ahead until wicketkeeper de Kock reached a half-century.
Rassie van der Dussen, who scored a career-best 134 in the series opener, shared a 75-run stand with de Kock before being dismissed for 26 while sweeping against Rashid.
When South Africa scored 119-2 in the 21st over, rain stopped play first.
When play resumed after a two-hour delay, de Kock deployed a reverse sweep to good effect, reducing the match to 45 overs per side.
South Africa added 40 runs from 47 balls in 20 minutes of play to end the match before the rain returned.
The three-match T20I series between England and South Africa is going to start in Bristol from Wednesday.
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