About the Match
England registered an emphatic victory in the first ODI against South Africa to take a 1-0 lead in the 5-match ODI series; they will now face off in the 2n ODI at Port Elizabeth on 6th February. Batting first, England amassed a massive 399 runs on board with a strong performance by the top order batsmen; with D/L method in place in the 2nd innings, the match was reduced to 33 overs but the bowlers kept their cool and struck with regular wickets to stifle the hosts and win the match by 39 runs. The upcoming match is crucial for the Proteans if they want to draw level before it’s too late; on the other hand the English have been brilliant in all departments of the game so far and would be eager to continue with their winning momentum.
Chasing a target of 400 runs, South Africa started well with Quinton de Kock posting a brilliant unbeaten 138 runs from just 96 deliveries; however, apart from Faf du Plessis’ 55 off 44, the others failed to impress with the bat and crumbled under pressure for just 250 runs. Experienced players like Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and Rileee Rossouw found it difficult to face the combined pace and spin attack from the English; they will need to come out all guns blazing on Saturday to build a solid foundation whether batting first or during chase.
The bowlers put up a lacklustre performance as they gave away too many runs in the middle; although Chris Morris was effective 3-74 and Imran Tahir picked up two important wickets, they couldn’t restrict England to a low total. Merchant de Lange also picked up two wickets while Morkel and Behardien claimed a wicket each but they need to be more disciplined with the run-flow.
Proteas have a strong batting line-up and an in-form bowling squad but they need to come out with all the firepower in order to stop the rejuvenated English side.
Jos Buttler kept his nerves together to post a brilliant 105 off just 76 deliveries and help the team take the total to a massive 399; he played a beautiful innings to lift 5 sixes and smash away 11 fours, frustrating the opposition at will. Joe Root, Alex Hales and Ben Stokes posted well-made half centuries while Jason Roy started the innings well with 48 runs.
With a strong total to defend, Moeen Ali came back strong in the 2nd innings to claim 3-43 in 6 overs while Topley and David Willey took a wicket each to stifle the hosts. The victory has surely been morale booster for the team and they will definitely come out all guns blazing on Saturday.
With an in-form batting line-up comprising of talent and experience, England has recovered well from its horrific run in the recent past; they are a determined lot and will leave no stone unturned to win the match again.
The South African attack is looking strong and they will need to go back to their winning strategy with both bat and ball if they want to make a comeback. Although England has performed better in all departments, we feel that the hosts will fight hard and win the match on Saturday