SOUTHAMPTON, England beat South Africa by just two runs to win the second one-day international at Southampton on Saturday to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

South Africa set 331 to win, finished on 328 for five, with Quinton De Kock making 98.

The world’s top-ranked ODI side needed 20 off the last two overs when David Miller (71 not out) struck Jake Ball for a six and a four off successive deliveries.

Yet with a mere 10 now wanted off as many balls, South Africa often accused of ‘choking’ in pressure situations, saw Miller and Chris Morris fail to score the runs they required as Ball and fast bowler Mark Wood both held their nerve.

Earlier, Ben Stokes made 101 and Jos Buttler a dashing 65 not out as England posted a total of 330 for six after losing the toss.

The series, a warm-up for the Champions Trophy tournament in England and Wales that starts next week, concludes at Lord’s on Monday.

Brief scores:

England 330-6, 50 overs (B Stokes 101, J Buttler 65 no)

South Africa 328-5, 50 overs (Q De Kock 98, D Miller 71 no, AB De Villiers 52; L Plunkett 3-64)

Result: England won by two runs

Series: England lead three-match series 2-0.