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Vaughan cool about match-winning innings

Michael Vaughan downplayed his match-winning 83 against South Africa at Edgbaston in the NatWest series day/night on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2003 11:53 IST

England captain Michael Vaughan downplayed his match-winning 83 against South Africa at Edgbaston in theNatWest series day/night one-day international here Tuesday.

"I played and missed at balls which over the past few weeks I've nicked," said Vaughan after his career-best one-day international innings guided England to a four-wicket win and ended a run of low scores for the Yorkshire batsman.

"You've just got to keep on an even level. Cricket is a funny game. But an 83 is bound to do me a load of good," Vaughan added.

England gave themselves a boost by winning what was a dress rehearsal for Saturday's Lord's final with 11 overs to spare.

They were on top early in the match, restricting South Africa to 198 for nine after Proteas captain Graeme Smith won the toss.

England fast bowler James Anderson took four for 38 even though Smith took 19 off his first over.

"The character Jimmy Anderson shows time and time again amazes me," said Vaughan of the 20-year-old Lancashire quick."

Anderson's county colleague Andrew Flintoff made 54, sharing a stand of 100 with Vaughan for the fourth wicket.

"Freddie came in and played well. But when you're chasing 198 you should get them. But he's taking it on and it's good to have him in your team," Vaughan insisted.

All-rounder Rikki Clarke, who plays for county champions Surrey, posted his one-day international best score of 37, putting on 64 with Vaughan to take England to the brink of victory.

"Rikki played really, really well. In front of 20,000 people, under lights and against a good South African attack he was very cool. He's got that Surrey kind of strut about him," Vaughan said.

But he warned England supporters to expect a South African backlash. "If we play 90 percent as well on Saturday we'll have a good chance but South Africa will fight back. They are a very experienced side."

Meanwhile a disappointed Smith said: "Today we lost the plot again," a reference to his team's second series defeat by England, separated by the Proteas' seven-wicket victory over the hosts at Old Trafford on Thursday.

"But we can still get it back. We bowled too many bad balls up front. Maybe it was because we felt we needed to take a wicket every ball."

"The only good thing is that we've got the best part of a week to put it right," Smith added.

Before the final, South Africa face Zimbabwe at Hampshire's Rose Bowl ground on Thursday and Smith said: "This is a young side, we need outings in the middle and a win over Zimbabwe can only boost our confidence.

"If we play to our potential we can win the final."

First Published: Jul 09, 2003 11:53 IST