CENTURION: Joe Root hit an assured century as England went in search of a series-clinching win in the third one-day international against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.
England, leading 2-0 in the five-match series, made 318 for eight after winning the toss.
Root made a career-best 125 off 113 balls with ten fours and five sixes, scarcely playing a false stroke.
Root shared a second wicket partnership of 125 with Alex Hales, who made 65 off 73 balls and 82 for the fifth wicket with Ben Stokes, who slammed 53 off 37 balls.
A mix-up with Stokes caused Root to be run out and South Africa came back into the match by taking another three wickets, including that of Stokes, in quick succession.
But David Willey and Adil Rashid scored 27 runs off the last 15 balls of the innings as England finished strongly.
Hales and Root, who put on 97 for the second wicket in England?s win in the second match in Port Elizabeth, again played England into a strong position
Hales hooked Kagiso Rabada to Morne Morkel on the fine leg boundary.
The in-form and quick-scoring Jos Buttler was promoted to number four but was out first ball, flicking Rabada to JP Duminy at leg gully.
The momentum of the innings slowed as England captain Eoin Morgan struggled to find his timing, labouring to eight off 24 balls before he was caught at midwicket off all-rounder David Wiese, who had been selected in place of batsman Rilee Rossouw.
But Root continued to bat with controlled skill, reaching his seventh one-day international off 95 balls.