Dazzling De Kock helps South Africa ease to victory against England

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Cape Town – Captain Quinton de Kock smashed a sparkling century as South eased to a seven-wicket victory against world champions England in the opening One-Day International at Newlands on Tuesday.

After being put into bat, England overcome a -order wobble to post 258 for eight in 50 overs, helped by a well-constructed 87 Joe Denley in the side’s first ODI outing since lifting the World Cup at Lord’s last July.

But De Kock (107) and Temba Bavuma (98) put on 173 for the wicket as South reached 259 for three to secure victory with 14 balls to spare.

The ODI will be played in Durban on , with the three- series ending in Johannesburg on Sunday.

England fielded just five who featured in last year’s World Cup final having rested Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for this series, with seamer Chris Woakes the only survivor the bowling attack.

South lost Reeza Hendricks for six early in chase, caught by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow off Woakes.

But De Kock and Bavuma played risk-free cricket, rotating the strike superbly, while hitting boundaries when presented with the to do so.

De Kock reached his 15th ODI century in 106 balls before he was bowled by the part- spin of Joe Root.

Bavuma, playing in only his third ODI, was trapped leg before wicket by Chris Jordan just two runs short of what would have been a deserved maiden ton, but played a crucial role in sealing the win.

England started innings brightly, reaching 51 without loss in the 10th over, but lost five wickets for the addition of another 57 runs as -order crumbled.

Jason Roy (32) looked in good touch before he picked to Hendricks at long-off the bowling of spinner Jon-Jon Smuts, and Jonny Bairstow (19) fell to Andile Phehlukwayo.

Root (17) was brilliantly run- by sharp work from Rassie van der Dussen at backward square-leg, and when Captain Eoin Morgan (11) was caught by Bavuma at slip from leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3-38), the side was on .

Shamzi also picked the wickets of debutant Tom Banton (18) and Sam Curran (7) to leave England reeling, but Denley and Woakes (40) put on 91 for the seventh wicket to help the visitors post a sizeable total for the side to chase.