Memories of England’s last one day international around seven months earlier hung over the build up to the one day series as another four year World Cup cycle began. With key men in the likes of Buttler and Stokes rested for the series the three matches would provide an excellent platform for the young guns of the squad to showcase their talent.
The hosts South Africa were perhaps in a similar place as fresh new faces were being led by a new captain in Quinton de Kock who won the toss and elected to bowl under the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
The familiar opening pair that tore through bowling attacks in the summer of Roy and Bairstow made their way out and early indications were that the pitch was slightly slower than expected. The pitch being slightly slow did seem to contribute to a lot of the early wickets that England lost as they found themselves 83-4. With hindsight the top order perhaps could have given themselves more time to work out conditions as some of the dismissals did look a tad soft, especially Root’s run out.
The clatter of wickets did provide England fans a first glimpse of Tom Banton in an ODI shirt who was making his debut but it didn’t last long as he was given out LBW on the sweep. Joe Denly who some before the match had questioned his inclusion in the team was left to try and work with the all-rounders to get England up to a competitive score.
The Kent man made a well composed 87 with some big blows towards the backend of the knock and with some good support from the likes of the Curran brothers and Woakes got England to 258-8 from the fifty overs. At the break that seemed to be fairly competitive considering how many of the World Cup matches unfolded but South Africa would still have been seen with having their noses in front.
It’s not been often in the last five years that we’ve seen a poor fifty overs for England from so many players but that’s exactly what happened in the second half of the day. The seamers apart from Woakes failed to respond quickly enough to the conditions and South Africa took the game away from them.
Captain de Kock and number three Bavuma put on over 150 runs together as they broke the record for a 2nd wicket partnership by South Africa against England in ODI cricket. De Kock in the process of going to a hundred went past 5000 ODI runs in double quick time and had the game won before he missed a sweep slog to Root and was bowled.
His partner in Bavuma looked also set for a century until Chris Jordan got one to keep low and strike the South African on the shin in front of middle on 98.
In the end the much needed win for South Africa came with relative ease as they went one up in just a three match series. The result will certainly help lift some of the gloom that has been hanging around South African cricket the last few months. For England they will hope today was just a bad day at the office and not the start to a post World Cup hangover.
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England 1st Innings
|J J Roy||c Hendricks b Smuts||32||32||5||0|
|J M Bairstow||c Sipamla b Phehlukwayo||19||25||3||0|
|J E Root||Run Out van der Dussen||17||21||0||0|
|E J G Morgan||c Bavuma b Shamsi||11||18||1||0|
|J L Denly||c Hendricks b Hendricks||87||103||6||2|
|T Banton||lbw b Shamsi||18||23||3||0|
|S M Curran||b Shamsi||7||18||0||0|
|C R Woakes||c Miller b Sipamla||40||42||2||0|
|T K Curran||15||18||0||0|
|C J Jordan||1||1||0||0|
|Extras||2lb 0 8w 1nb||11|
|Total||for 8||258||50.0 overs|
|B E Hendricks||8||0||46||1|
|J T Smuts||10||0||43||1|
|A L Phehlukwayo||8||0||47||1|
|L L Sipamla||7||0||40||1|
South Africa 2nd Innings
|Q de Kock||b Root||107||113||11||1|
|R R Hendricks||c Bairstow b Woakes||6||14||1||0|
|T Bavuma||lbw b Jordan||98||103||5||2|
|H E van der Dussen||38||45||3||0|
|J T Smuts||7||11||1||0|
|Extras||2lb 0 1w||3|
|Total||for 3||259||47.4 overs|
|C R Woakes||9||0||36||1|
|S M Curran||5||0||28||0|
|J E Root||7||0||35||1|
|T K Curran||7||0||38||0|
|M W Parkinson||8||0||48||0|
|C J Jordan||5||0||31||1|
|J L Denly||6||0||41||0|
South Africa won by 7 wickets
Man of the match- Quinton de Kock