England climbed to a final total of 258-8 in Tuesday’s first ODI against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town.
New captain Quinton de Kock’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss reaped early reward, as the tourists slipped to 108-5 inside 22 overs. A bowling attack minus the rested Kagiso Rabada delivered impressive performances from wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and debutant Jon-Jon Smuts.
Left-arm spinner Smuts was deployed as a first-change bowler – and had the dangerous Jason Roy hole out to long-on fielder Reeza Hendricks. Fellow opener Jonny Bairstow perished relatively soon thereafter, miscuing seamer all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo’s deceptive pace to mid-off fielder Lutho Sipamla.
Sipamla, like Smuts, is on ODI debut. The young fast bowler entered the attack as late as the fourth change, but proved ineffective and went without a wicket on a slow pitch. A late return came, though, when Sipamla ended half-centurion Joe Denly and all-rounder Chris Woakes’ rearguard alliance of 91 for the seventh wicket.
Shamsi exploited the conditions superbly, welcoming the second-best figures of a punctuated ODI career. Tuesday’s 3-38 are only bettered by the 4-33 he took against Sri Lanka in Dambulla two years ago. This latest haul comprised the key dismissals of opposition captain Eoin Morgan, the left-handed Sam Curran and debutant Tom Banton. All three are limited-overs stars and will play in the Indian Premier League later this year.
The experienced Joe Root, meanwhile, was the victim of an excellent run-out from point fielder Rassie van der Dussen. He put in a diving stop and a direct hit at the far end of the pitch to get rid of Root.
De Kock, who has succeeded former ODI captain Faf du Plessis on a full-time basis, was exemplary in rotating the bowlers. His rotation was particularly important after new-ball bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Beuran Hendricks were unable to initiate breakthroughs.
The enterprising Denly hit the only sixes of England’s innings en route to an ODI career-best 87, surpassing the 67 collected against Ireland in Belfast more than 10 years ago. Both sixes were struck off the bowling of Ngidi.
Prior to Tuesday, South Africa and England had contested 60 ODIs since the first in 1992. The former have won 29 and the latter 27, with one tie and three no-results.
England have never beaten South Africa in an ODI at Newlands. They did, however, beat Pakistan at this venue during the 2003 World Cup. South Africa’s last 20 ODIs at Newlands have yielded 16 victories.
England are the reigning World Cup champions and occupy first position in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for ODI teams.
Kingsmead in Durban and the Wanderers in Johannesburg will host the second and third ODI, respectively.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c; wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Jon-Jon Smuts, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Tabraiz Shamsi.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Joe Denly, Tom Banton, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Matthew Parkinson.
Photo: Gallo Images