Captain De Kock bats Proteas to impressive victory over England

Captain De Kock bats Proteas to impressive victory over England

Captain De Kock bats Proteas to impressive victory over England

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (C/wk), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Kyle Verreyne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla.

Unlike the unforgettable World Cup final at Lord's six months ago, there was precious little drama in this series opener as a 173-run stand between De Kock and Bavuma broke the back of a record run-chase of 259 at Cape Town. And it's an era that began with an emphatic statement of intent. They had a horrendous performance at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The Proteas captain led from the front, batting in his usual free-flowing manner, ably supported by Temba Bavuma who found in white-ball cricket the mettle he was searching for in red-ball cricket.

"It is just like playing any other team", De Kock told reporters on Monday. It was the dedicated bowling line up which took the game to the 48th over.

Bavuma's dismissal two short of a century and with his team 25 runs from victory was the only real disappointment for South Africa.

There was early panic and a sense of deja vu when opener Reeza Hendricks went out cheaply for 6 with South Africa's score on 25.

De Kock and Bavuma were patient early on but rotated the strike well and as the partnership grew the pair made the most of the increasing number of opportunities they were given by the bowlers.

In his first match since being appointed South Africa's one-day captain, De Kock won the toss and asked England to bat first although when Jason Roy got off to a flyer, he may have briefly regretted his decision. But after bringing up their 50 the visitors floundered.

The game really turned in South Africa's favour with the introduction of Shamsi in the 16th over.

Rassie van der Dussen (38* off 45) then joined the fray, but by then the focus was exclusively on Bavuma's efforts at a second ODI ton following his 113 on debut against Ireland back in 2016.

Batting at number three, Bavuma was largely untroubled, hitting the ball crisply, while he and De Kock seemed to have an nearly telepathic understanding in their rapid running between wickets.

At 83 for 4 England were in heaps of trouble. England lost half their side at 108, with the loss of Tom Banton's wicket in the 22nd over.

Sam Curran was next to go, bowled around his legs by that man Shamsi in the 28th over, as the Proteas picked up regular wickets.

De Kock marked his first match since succeeding Faf Du Plessis as ODI captain with 107 from 113 balls and while Bavuma fell for 98, their efforts helped to overhaul England's 258 for eight with 14 balls to spare.

England badly missed the pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, who were both rested for the series, and were lacking the guile provided by Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid in the middle overs. Denly and Chris Woakes put on 91 runs for the 7th wicket.

This will be England's first match since the decider at Lord's in July.

Smuts (7* off 11) was there at the end with Van der Dussen to hit the winning runs.

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