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.
Victory would have taken England’s winning ratio to 13 out of 14 completed matches this year, and an eighth consecutive home series success.
Instead, after a string of batsmen had contributed to their own downfall with regrettable shots in England’s 182 all out on a perfectly viable surface, 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 with 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.
England captain Alastair Cook said: “It was a disappointing day. 180 on that wicket was nowhere near enough.”