England, South Africa launch start of busy season

England, South Africa launch start of busy season

But something special never came, and another loss in Southhampton on Saturday will decide the series and ask uncomfortable questions about South Africa's readiness for next month's Champions Trophy.

AB de Villiers' had stifled momentum with judicious use of spin duo Imran Tahir and JP Duminy but, after the pair's first 46 balls failed to leak a single boundary, Morgan took the bull by the horns and produced three in the space of six deliveries.

South Africa have defeated teams like Australia and Sri Lanka with some ease, and such records will give them the self-belief to crush opponents, including England in this series. However, the seamers stepped into the breach with Andile Phehlukwayo picking up two of these wickets and Rabada and Chris Morris one each.

Morris claimed 2/61 and owned the only maiden of the innings.

Having only bowled two overs, Stokes was treated by the England physios as a precaution after feeling pain in his knee.

"This includes more firearms officers at key locations to provide community reassurance and we continue to work with our partners and other emergency services in these hard times".

Woakes was the stand out bowler for the hosts as he picked up four wickets giving away just 38 runs in his eight overs.

However, Morgan and Moeen Ali turned the game on its head with a sixth wicket stand of 117 in 13.3 overs.

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The partnership started after the home side had slumped to 198/5 in the fifth over and endured into the 48th.

I know the runs haven't always flowed for him since he moved down to No 7 in the one-day team after Jason Roy and Alex Hales cemented their opening partnership against New Zealand in 2015.

To beat England's total of 339 the Proteas needed to make their highest winning score when batting second and to match the eighth highest of all time.

Hashim Amla got South Africa off to a steady start with a succession of glorious drives but Quinton de Kock toiled a little, before sending a steepler into the night sky that Buttler caught after scampering down to fine leg and practically barging Mark Wood out of the way.

Du Plessis followed Amla in the next over, off Liam Plunkett, giving wicketkeeper Jos Buttler one of his four catches.

With those players having given up their global careers for the the county circuit in order to have more stable futures, De Villiers admitted that it is satisfying to see an inflow of young talent plug the gaps left by the players that departed.

But in this game he took his time, using up 20 balls for his first 12 runs, then shimmied down the pitch to launch Wayne Parnell over deep midwicket for six.