Eoin Morgan scored 107 as England set the Proteas a target of 340 in the first ODI at Headingley.
After winning the toss, AB de Villiers backed the Proteas’ bowlers and fielders to restrict a dangerous England batting lineup to a modest total. South Africa did well to reduce England to 198-5 inside 35 overs. At that stage, they looked to be in sight of their goal.
However, the explosive batting of Morgan and Moeen Ali in the latter stages put paid to those ambitions. South Africa now find themselves in a position where they will need to break the ODI record at Headingley to win this game.
Jason Roy (0), Ben Stokes (25), and Jos Buttler (7) all failed to make meaningful contributions for the home side. Alex Hales (61) and Joe Root (37) both got starts before throwing their respective wickets away through poor shot selection.
Andile Phehlukwayo deserves credit for his part in those two dismissals, though. Hales and Root put on 98 for the second wicket before Phehlukwayo induced an edge from Hales’ bat. Four overs later, Phehlukwayo fired the ball in short and caught Root unawares. The England batsman mistimed the stroke and Hashim Amla took a comfortable catch.
England lost Stokes and Buttler during a crucial period. Thereafter, Morgan took it upon himself to hit his side towards a competitive score. The England skipper punished the likes of Phehlukwayo and Imran Tahir severely.
Morgan and Ali put on 117 runs in a partnership that altered the course of the innings. Ali reached his 50 off just 35 balls while Morgan passed the 100-mark after facing 90 deliveries.
South Africa should be disappointed with their fielding and bowling performance in the final 10 overs. The visitors leaked 102 runs during this period and claimed a single wicket.
England 339-6 (50 overs) – Eoin Morgan 107, Moeen Ali 77 not out, Alex Hales 61, Andile Phehlukwayo 2-59
South Africa need 340 runs to win
Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images