De Kock, Bevuma inspire South Africa to clinical win over world champions
Inspiring performances from the pair of Quinton de Kock and Temba Bevuma helped South Africa hand England a sobering seven-wicket defeat of their first ODI match since being crowned the new world champions of this format last year.
The pair combined for a partnership of 173 runs and made the tourists’ under-strength attack look toothless. While de Kock smacked 107, Bavuma fell just two runs short of a century, as the hosts quite comfortably chased down England’s 258-8 with 14 balls left.
Earlier on, after South Africa elected to bowl first after winning the toss, the visitors got off to a quick start, thanks to a fifty-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy. However, a collapse of six wickets for 80 runs followed, and at one point they were tottering on 131 for six before Joe Denly’s industrious 87 off 103 balls took them to a fighting score.
It was Denly’s first ODI fifty since September 2009.
The decision to include the 33-year-old Denly in the team at a time which marks the beginning of the following World Cup cycle was questioned in some quarters however he vindicated his choice after Tabraiz Shamsi’s three for 38 left England floundering
Apart from Denly, only Woaked (40) looked confident as the Three Lions build for the T20 World Cup in October and their defence of the 50-over World Cup in 2023.
Considering the unforeseen troughs that South African cricket has seen in the recent past, this clinical win over the world champions was a much needed one for the Proteas. This win at Cape Town was like a breath of fresh air for South Africa, something that they will like to carry for the remainder of the series.
England 258-8 (50 overs): Denly 87, Woakes 40; Shamsi 3-38
South Africa 259-3 (47.4 overs): De Kock 107, Bavuma 98
South Africa won by seven wickets.