The fast bowler is well and truly back from a long-term injury after a stunning feat for England’s ODI cricket side.

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If there were any lingering doubts about how Jofra Archer would fare after his return from a long-term injury, the England fast bowler put them to bed in an emphatic display for England, in their third and final one-day international (ODI) against South Africa. 

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The fast bowler starred with the ball, taking six wickets as England romped to a 59-run victory in Kimberley.

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Jos Buttler (131 from 127 balls) and Dawid Malan (118 from 114) laid the platform with superb centuries after South Africa won the toss and sent the visitors in to bat.

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That decision by the Proteas initially looked to have been a smart one after they had England reeling at 3-14 before Buttler and Malan shared in a stunning fourth-wicket stand of 232, to catapult the visitors to a huge total of 7-346.

The home side were always up with the run-rate, but lost wickets at regular intervals. Heinrich Klaasen (80 from 62 balls) and opener Reeza Hendricks (52) top-scored for the Proteas, but a career-best bowling performance from Archer sealed victory for the English.

Archer finished with the staggering figures of 6-40 as the hosts were bowled out for 287. The remarkable feat represented the third best figures ever recorded by an England bowler in an ODI match. Archer’s devastating display left the cricket world in awe on social media.

England finish losing series on a high

South Africa won the series 2-1 to keep alive their hopes of automatic qualification for the World Cup in India later this year, though they may still have to win both ODIs against Netherlands in March and April to make sure. For England, the victory ended a run of five successive losses in ODI cricket as they build towards the defence of their World Cup triumph.

“It is nice to finish with a win today and bar 10 or 15 overs in the first ODI we’ve played some brilliant cricket in a hard-fought series,” Buttler said at the post-match presentation. “There were some really good strides, guys making hundreds is excellent and Jofra Archer’s performance tonight was excellent too. He broke the game open with wicket of Klaasen.

“We’ve got a strong squad and bar the recent results, we’re building nicely.”

England were in early strife when a triple early blow from Lungi Ngidi (4-62) had Jason Roy (1), Ben Duckett (0) and Harry Brook (6) back in the pavilion inside the sixth over. After a period of consolidation, however, Buttler and Malan took to the bowling and smashed the home attack to all parts. England struck more sixes (19) in their innings than fours (16) as batsmen opted for power over finesse.

The visitors scored a remarkable 217 runs in the final 20 overs of their innings for their second total above 340 in as many matches. A number of the South Africa batsmen got starts, but England kept finding wickets at regular intervals, with Archer easily the most impressive bowler as he begins to hit peak form following his long injury lay-off.

The sight of the frighteningly quick paceman in this kind of form will be a delight for England fans and a concern for Australia, with an Ashes series in England coming up later in the year. The Aussies will look to continue their impressive form at Test level in the upcoming tour of India, with the first of four matches getting underway in Nagpur on February 9.

By six6s