Having won the first ODI comfortably England probably thought that their 262/9 would be more than enough to get them another two ICCWC points and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match ODI series.
Even as the Proteas got themselves to 113/0 with half-centuries for 16 year old Laura Wolvaart (55) and the much more experienced Trisha Chetty (66), England probably still felt in control as nearly 28 overs had been used up getting there. True Katherine Brunt had had to leave the pitch with a back spasm, which meant England were down to five bowlers, but the run rate was climbing to nearly seven an over from an original 5.26 and the spin of Dani Hazell and Heather Knight seemed to be doing the job for England. When Wolvaart departed, followed shortly afterwards by Chetty and then skipper Du Preez, South Africa were 134/3 with only 17 overs left to play. Initially Lizelle Lee (69 from 56) and Marizanne Kapp (44 from 34) seemed unable to break the shackles and the required run rate rose to 9.5 with 11 overs left. But in the 40th over (the last in the batting powerplay) Lee smashed three consecutive 4s off Jenny Gunn, taking 14 off of the over. The chase was on. Danni Wyatt's next went for 10 more; Shrubsole took the next and also went for 10; Knight's next for 12; Gunn's next seven and the 45th over of the game from Knight 18 (including four 4s from Kapp). South Africa suddenly needed just 33 from the last six overs. The game for England was gone. Both Kapp and Lee perished in the final three overs, but their beautifully paced 123 run partnership allowed South Africa to record their first win over England in the last 15 ODI games between the two sides. And they thoroughly deserved it.
As for England Charlotte Edwards may well rue her choice to bat first on a wicket that Mignon Du Preez was not unhappy to bowl on. It is Edwards' way to like runs on the board, but at 16/3 in the 7th over England made a horrible start. Winfield and Jones both edged behind, and Sarah Taylor on her 100th ODI appearance was dropped by keeper Chetty first ball, only to be bowled next ball by the impressive Ismail (3/32). But to their credit England built a decent score based on Knight's 61, Edwards 45 and Wyatt's 27 ball 40, and an excellent finish from the tail taking 51 off the last five overs despite being down to their last pair for the last four overs. And it could have been more had it not been for three screaming catches from Sune Luus, Wolvaart and Du Preez. But perhaps those last few overs showed what a good pitch this had now become.
The win takes South Africa back above England in the ICCWC table (see here) with 13 points to England's 11. The final game of the series is on Sunday. England could well be without the injured Brunt, for whom Cross is likely to come in. If the management are true to their word then no other changes are likely, and neither is a change in style. South Africa will truly believe they can win the series. England have a fight on their hands and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
[full scorecard here]