Well, not many expected that from South Africa in the first ODI. England were stunned, to say the least, and going into the second match of the three-match series, it’s the home side that are in with a chance of securing a much-needed series victory.
Quinton de Kock couldn’t have asked for a better start as South Africa’s new ODI captain. And he starred in it as well. He scored a 113-ball 107 as South Africa chased down a 259-run target in Cape Town. What will please him more is how Temba Bavuma, for long considered one of the big hopes but failed to deliver, finally came good in a timely fashion.
Most of his 98 runs came in a 173-run association with de Kock, and all in all, the batting seemed a lot more solid than it did during the Tests, in which England mauled them 3-1. There was cheer for the bowlers as well with Tabraiz Shamsi’s leg-spin yielding three wickets for 38 runs, and the fact that a line-up without Kagiso Rabada restricted the mighty world champions to 258/5 was commendable.
However, England themselves were without a few big names, including Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Even accounting for their loss, this is still a fine limited-overs side, packed with punch, and South Africa will do well to remember that. The visitors will be poised to hit back, and that should make this an exciting encounter.
Head to head
The clash in Cape Town was the 61st ODI encounter between these sides. South Africa have won 30 of these tussles, with England winning 27. There’s been one tied encounter too.
Quinton de Kock (South Africa): De Kock performance in the first ODI underlined just how important he has become to this side. His captaincy helped bring an excellent result for the start of a new era,but there are still doubts surrounding the side should he fail with the bat. He should ensure he doesn’t.
Jason Roy (England): What England missed in the first ODI was one of those typical Roy knocks, an explosive innings that would have given England the ideal start and sucked the hope out of the opposition. If he can do that on Friday, England may yet emerge with victory.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c/wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, JJ Smuts, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Simpala, 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
England to hit back and make it 1-1.