Quinton de Kock marked his first game as South Africa’s one-day captain with a century and a seven-wicket win over world champion England on Tuesday.
Temba Bavuma was out for 98 after a 173-run partnership with de Kock but despite missing out on a hundred he also made a statement after he was contentiously dropped from South Africa’s test team in the recent series against England.
England won that Test series 3-1 but didn’t have the same success in its first ODI since the dramatic win over New Zealand in a Super Over in the Cricket World Cup final last July.
South Africa put England in to bat at Newlands in Cape Town and had the visitors in real strife at 131-6. England eventually posted 258-8 in its 50 overs. South Africa was 259-3 with two overs and two balls to spare.
Bavuma made a strong case for a long-term place in South Africa’s one-day team. A veteran of 40 Tests, he had only played in two previous ODIs, both relatively low-key games in which he made 113 against Ireland in 2016/17 and 48 against Bangladesh the following season.
Batting at number three, Bavuma was largely untroubled, hitting the ball crisply, while he and De Kock seemed to have an almost telepathic understanding in their rapid running between wickets.
Bavuma seemed set for a century until he went back to Chris Jordan and was trapped in front of his stumps by a ball which kept low.
“We understood it was pretty difficult to hit boundaries,” said De Kock. “It was a matter of finding a way to get momentum and we understood that running hard between the wickets was the way to go about it.”
Joe Denly was largely responsible for England reaching what appeared to be a reasonable total on a slow pitch. Denly made his highest one-day international score of 87 and helped rescue England from a precarious 131 for six. He and Chris Woakes, who made 40 in his 100th one-day international, put on 91 for the seventh wicket.
Left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi did the major damage for South Africa, taking three for 38.
“Every batsman apart from Joe Denly and Chris Woakes struggled to get on,” said Morgan. “South Africa bowled well, they bowled accurately and used the conditions with slower balls. (Then) the partnership between De Kock and Bavuma we couldn’t penetrate.”