At the end of the ODI series between England and South Africa, England’s right-arm fast bowler Jofra Archer scored a career-best of six for 40. Before this match, Archer had never recorded a five-for in one-day internationals.
Archer achieved his career-best score from 9.1 overs. With his score, England managed to bowl out South Africa for 287 and ended with a 59-run victory. As a result of this victory, England brought an end to a run of five successive ODI losses ahead of their World Cup title defense later this year.
This match was the 27-year-old’s second England appearance since spending 17 months out with serious back and elbow injuries. Initially Archer was set to return in May 2022. However, due to a back fracture, he was ruled out for another campaign.
Archer made his comeback in the first ODI between England and South Africa on January 27 and took 1-81. Before making his return, Archer was spending large spells on the mend in Barbados.
In the last ODI match, Archer was brought in the eighth over, and by the 11th over, he dismissed Rassie van der Dussen. During his time on the field, Archer regularly exceeded 90mph. According to reports, Archer was also confident that he could have “bowled another 10” overs. When the right-arm fast bowler sealed his first five-wicket haul in ODIs, he punched the air and roared in celebration.
🔥 Jofra Archer's career-best haul
🏏 232-run fourth wicket partnership
🏆 Blow to South Africa's direct World Cup qualification hopes
Plenty of talking points from the third #SAvENG ODI ⬇️
— ICC (@ICC) February 2, 2023
Other than Archer’s contributions, Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan staged a fourth-wicket stand worth 232 runs to take their side to 346 for 7.
In the aftermath of the match, Archer’s teammates had plenty of praise to give him for his performance in the game. When interviewed about Archer’s performance, England captain Jos Buttler said, “It was fantastic and probably deserving of the player of the match award. When the game was in the balance, to come back there and take the wicket of Klaasen broke the game open for us.”
There were several people pleased with Archer’s return. Plenty of fans were cheering for Archer’s performance. One fan even wrote, “Archer showing what a game-changer he is. One warm-up performance, the next world-class. Phenomenal.”
While England had won the last ODI, they lost the overall ODI series 2-0. On the other hand, they avoided a second consecutive clean sweep.
The coming months will see Archer return to the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians, where he has said he will bowl extra overs in the nets to build his fitness for the Ashes.
Following this ODI series, England will begin a two-match series in New Zealand on February 16. In March, the team will have three one-day internationals followed by as many T20 internationals. The ODIs are on March 1, 3, and 6, with the T20Is, then taking place on March 9, 12, and 14.
Meanwhile, South Africa will have a Test series against the West Indies starting on February 27. After this, the team will face the West Indies again for an ODI series on March 16, 18, and 21.