Bowlers put England on top

England put in a much-improved bowling performance as they dismissed South Africa for 211 in the third match of their NatWest Series against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

After conceding 287 to go 1-0 behind on Tuesday, Alastair Cook's side put in a disciplined performance, with Ravi Bopara returning miserly figures of one for 31 in 10 overs.

James Anderson finished with England's best bowling figures of the match by sweeping up the tail to claim four for 44.

South Africa, as they did at the Ageas Bowl, won the toss and opted to bat first. Hashim Amla wasted little time getting into his stride, taking 11 runs off Anderson's third over including fours on both sides of the wicket. He went aerial for the first time when he lifted Steven Finn into the leg-side and Graeme Smith took his side to 50 with four and two off Anderson.

The Lancashire seamer took England's first wicket in the same over, clipping Smith's bails as the former captain took an ugly stride down the track. At the end of the 10-over powerplay, South Africa were 55 for one with Dean Elgar joining Amla.

Bopara slowed down the scoring with his medium-pacers but it was Jade Dernbach who took the crucial wicket of Amla, swinging a full delivery past the bat and knocking out leg stump with the in-form batsman on 43. The bowling powerplay was a success for England, costing just 21 runs and yielding the scalp of Amla as South Africa's progress slowed.

Elgar and AB de Villiers eventually cut loose with much-needed boundaries as James Tredwell's third over cost 13 but the off-spinner exacted revenge at his next visit. De Villiers was the man out for 28, chipping Tredwell straight to Ian Bell at wide long-on.

The tourists went from 120 for three to 122 for four when Faf du Plessis played all around Bopara to lose his leg stump for a single. Elgar almost holed out to Tredwell but managed to nudge his way to a less-than-fluent 42 before Dernbach deceived him with a trademark slower ball.

Number seven Wayne Parnell had a frenetic eight-ball stay, hitting one authentic four through mid-wicket and two edged boundaries before Dernbach had him caught at the wicket. But the batting powerplay was an understated affair, producing only 22 runs, and JP Duminy was out attempting to up the rate, caught at long on off Tredwell for 33.

Bopara completed his 10-over allocation with the first maiden of the innings to Robin Peterson, making him England's most economical bowler. Peterson's first boundary took the score past 200 but Anderson made light work of the lower order, removing Dale Steyn (one), Morne Morkel (seven) and Lonwabo Tsotsobe (nought) in the space of eight deliveries.