Buttler calls for self-belief after England hammer South Africa to level ODI series

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Jos Buttler urged England to back themselves and take risks after they hammered South Africa by 118 runs to set up a one-day international series decider.

The Proteas beat Buttler's side by 62 runs in a high-scoring match at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday, but they were brought back down to earth in a rain-affected contest at Old Trafford three days later.

England posted 201 all out in a game reduced to 29 overs per side due to rain, Liam Livingstone top-scoring with 38 and man of the match Sam Curran making 35 off only 18 balls.

The tourists were then skittled out for only 83 – their joint-second lowest ODI total – in reply after slumping to 6-4, Reece Topley (2-17) and David Willey (1-9) setting the tone with the new ball.

Spinners Adil Rashid (3-29) and Moeen Ali (2-22) then came to the fore as England gave themselves an opportunity to win the series at Headingley on Sunday.

It has been a disappointing start to his reign as captain for Buttler, but the wicketkeeper-batter is confident England can build on a commanding performance in Manchester.

He said during the post-match presentation: "I'm delighted with the win, the guys played in the fashion we want to play with as a team. Can we do it better? Absolutely.

"I tell the guys to back themselves, take the risks, impose themselves on the opposition. Me and Liam tried to get a rebuild going, Liam and Sam Curran had the bravery to take on the options.

"The guys are bowling brilliantly, Topley and Dave with the early wickets. Jonny [Bairstow] said batting in the powerplay wouldn't be easy if we held our lengths. We haven't fired with the bat in white-ball cricket, but we know how dangerous we can be when we do."

South Africa captain Keshav Maharaj said his side must learn from a poor display with the bat.

The spinner said: "It was a score that could be chaseable, but we never adapted. We needed a good foundation, some questions about some dismissals, but it's back to the drawing board.

"I enjoy the captaincy, but [dealing with defeat] it's part and parcel of the job."

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