But the Proteas came of so close to clinching an early series victory.
The T20 series between the Proteas and England will be decided in Centurion on Sunday after the visitors squared overall matters with a two-run victory at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday night.
A packed crowd was treated to a run fest that was ultimately decided by Moeen Ali’s stunning assault in the latter stages of the English batting effort.
The impressively bearded left-hander came to the crease in the 15th over with his team in some difficulty at 125/5.
Less than two overs later, he departed with England on 176/6 having smashed three fours and four sixes in a breathtaking 39 off just 11 deliveries.
Ali’s effort was indeed audacious, but South Africa’s bowling to him was disappointing.
England eventually set an imposing 204/7, with Ben Stokes narrowly missing out on a fifty with an almost anchoring 47 off 30.
There were useful contributions from Jason Roy (40) and Jonny Bairstow (35) too as the Protea bowlers suffered from a pronounced bout of inconsistency.
Lungi Ngidi, the hero of the first match in East London, was once again in the wickets, but his three victims came at a cost of 48 runs in four overs.
Home skipper Quinton de Kock did his utmost best to trump Ali, smashing a magnificent 65 off just 21 deliveries.
It was thrilling stuff from the opener, who’s clearly relishing the extra responsibility of leadership.
He hit eight sixes and reached his half-century in record time for a SA batter – a mere 17 balls.
However, Mark Wood (2/39) struck a critical blow when De Kock failed to connect properly with a full toss, which De Kock hoped would be called a no-ball.
A middle order wobble, with Chris Jordan (2/31) prominent, proved detrimental to South Africa’s chances, before the irrepressible Rassie van der Dussen (43 off 26) and Dwaine Pretorius (25 off 13) showed great fight to put their side within sight.
Yet Tom Curran (2/45) held his composure well in the latter part of the final over, snaring two wickets.
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