England hammered as Proteas level series

The Bolton News: South Africa's AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla (right) walk off after their partnership helped beat England by seven wickets South Africa's AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla (right) walk off after their partnership helped beat England by seven wickets

England's highly successful 2012 one-day international campaign ended in chastening anti-climax, and a drawn NatWest Series, as South Africa trounced them by seven wickets at Trent Bridge.

A string of batsmen contributed to their own downfall with regrettable shots in England's 182 all out on a perfectly viable surface, and even James Anderson and Jade Dernbach's new-ball burst could not turn the tide.

From 14 for three in the fifth over, South Africa were hastened home by Hashim Amla (97no) and AB de Villiers (75no) in an unbroken stand of 172.

The end came predictably swiftly, an astounding 15.3 overs to spare illustrating the ease of victory and depth of defeat, as De Villiers hit his first 50 of the summer against England after Amla had coasted past the same milestone for the fourth time.

South Africa's ODI opener duly finished another prolific series as his team's top scorer in every match, and with 335 runs in all.

Only captain Alastair Cook (51) and Chris Woakes had done themselves any justice with the bat for England.

The hosts lost their first two wickets for the addition of one run, in the fourth and fifth overs, after choosing to bat on a glorious afternoon for this day-night fixture.

They made an encouraging start until Ian Bell missed a delivery that came on with the arm from Robin Peterson (three for 37) and was lbw pushing forward, Kumar Dharmasena's decision confirmed after the batsman invoked DRS.

Cook, who had done so much of the hard work on his way to his first half-century in his last 10 Test and ODI innings, eventually lost his famed concentration against Faf du Plessis' part-time leg-spin and pushed a low full toss back for a routine return catch and an unsatisfactory end to his 72-ball stay.

England then soon began what should have been the last 10 overs on an unpromising 165 for seven - but the tail folded to Peterson, who took two wickets in two balls - and not even Woakes' career-best 33 not out could salvage much worthwhile before Dernbach was last out in just 45.2 overs.

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