London - Jade Dernbach marked his return to England duty with three wickets, including the prize scalp of Hashim Amla, in a four-wicket win over his native South Africa in the third one-day international at The Oval.
Dernbach, recalled in place of Tim Bresnan, took three for 44 in nine overs on his Surrey home ground Friday as South Africa were dismissed for a below par 211 with 20 balls of their innings left.
Fellow seamer James Anderson took four for 44 in 9.4 overs, including a spell of three for one in eight balls that polished off the tail, to help set up a win - England's first over the Proteas this season in any format - that levelled the five-match series at 1-1.
England slumped to 64 for three in reply before a fourth-wicket partnership of 108 between former South Africa youth international Jonathan Trott (71) and ex-Ireland left-hander Eoin Morgan (73) punished the tourists for not making enough runs after winning the toss.
“A lot of character was shown there,” said England captain Alastair Cook.
“It was a really good bowling performance...Jade came in, we wanted a wicket-taker, and he took wickets for us.”
He added: “You wouldn't want to chase too many more on that wicket. Eoin and Jonathan played two very good innings.”
South Africa captain AB de Villiers said his top order had let the side down. “It wasn't a 210 wicket. The top order didn't take responsibility and we came up short. Most of our senior players got in and didn't make it count, including me - I played a very poor shot.”
Morgan, in the ongoing absence of Kevin Pietersen - still in England exile after sending “provocative” texts to South Africa players allegedly critical of his own team-mates, including former Test captain Andrew Strauss, who retired on Wednesday - entertained a capacity crowd with some typically bold strokeplay.
“I do feel responsibility in the middle order, but I enjoy that and I hope I can continue to help us win games,” said Morgan, named man-of-the-match.
South Africa made a steady start after winning the toss, with Amla and Graeme Smith sharing an opening partnership of 50.
But Smith was bowled by Anderson for 18 after the left-hander charged down the pitch.
Last month at The Oval, Amla became the first South Africa batsman to make a Test triple hundred and on Tuesday he struck 150 as the Proteas won the second one-dayer in Southampton by 80 runs to go 1-0 up following last week's washout in Cardiff.
But on Friday, Dernbach dismissed Amla for just 43 when a full length delivery nipped back and bowled him off the inside edge.
James Tredwell, replacing rested fellow off-spinner Graeme Swann, took two for 49 as both de Villiers and JP Duminy holed out when well set.
Dernbach, born in Johannesburg but who arrived in England as a schoolboy, deceived Dean Elgar (42) with a clever slower ball before hed had Wayne Parnell caught behind by Craig Kieswetter, a former South Africa Under-19 international.
In reply, Ian Bell was lbw to fast bowler Dale Steyn before Cook, now also the Test captain, carelessly holed out off spinner Robin Peterson on 20.
And 61 for two became 64 for three when Ravi Bopara was caught behind for a duck by wicket-keeper de Villiers off paceman Morne Morkel.
Trott took 86 balls over his fifty, with just two fours, but prevented further collapse.
Meanwhile Morgan, who lofted left-arm spinner Elgar for the first six of the match during a 54-ball fifty, ensured the innings did not stagnate.
Morgan, known as as one-day 'finisher', later cover-drove Lonwabo Tsotsobe for a six high over long-off before he skyed a return catch to Peterson.
Trott was out with five needed for victory when caught behind off left-arm quick Parnell before England won with two overs to spare.
The series continues across London at Lord's on Sunday. - Sapa-AFP