CENTURION: Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman went on a six-hitting spree as South Africa gained a crushing 84-run win over England in the second and final Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
Smith and Bosman shared a world record opening partnership of 170 off 81 balls in a South African total of 241 for six, the second-highest in Twenty20 internationals.
England, who won the rain-affected first match on Friday by just one run, struggled to 157 for eight in reply.
Stand-in England captain Alastair Cook had a baptism of fire as sixes flew into the crowd. A total of 17 sixes and 19 fours were hit in the innings.
Smith hit six sixes and eight fours as he made 88 off 44 balls, while Bosman cleared the boundary nine times and hit four fours in making 94 off 45 deliveries.
Only 14 runs were scored off the first three overs before Smith and Bosman went on the rampage, with 21 runs hit off Sajid Mahmood's first over.
Ironically, Smith was bowled off a free hit delivery after a no-ball, while Bosman was caught at mid-off in the same over off a second no-ball.
Another 72 runs were scored off the next four overs as Cook rotated his bowlers without success.
With his regular bowlers taking a hammering, Cook turned to part-time spinner Joe Denly, who had Smith caught at long-on off his first ball.
Three more batsmen, including man of the match Bosman, fell to catches in the deep as South Africa tried to maintain the momentum of the opening partnership.
Smith said he was pleased with a clinical performance by South Africa.
"I was disappointed on Friday night when the rain came down because I thought we could have got home there too. We started well with the bat and I was most impressed with the bowlers," he said.
Cook was leading England because Paul Collingwood was ruled out with a back injury.
"Smith and Bosman took the game away from us," said Cook. "The margins for error were very slim, especially the way they played."
But Cook said England would take heart from having shared the series 1-1, after winning by one run on the Duckworth/Lewis method in Johannesburg last Friday.
"We'll take that into another form of the game," he said of a five-match one-day series starting in Johannesburg on Friday.
Collingwood's injury meant an earlier-than-planned return to action for star batsman Kevin Pietersen, who had not been expected to play before a 50-overs match against South Africa A after joining the touring party late following heel surgery.
Pietersen made 29 off 19 balls, second only to Jonathan Trott, who top-scored with 51.
South Africa's total was the highest in a Twenty20 match between Test nations and second only to the 260 for six made by Sri Lanka against Kenya in the 2007 World Twenty20 in Johannesburg.