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England go 1-0 up in rain curtailed game despite Quinton de Kock century

Quinton de Kock celebrating his century in the first ODI in Bloemfontein.
Quinton de Kock celebrating his century in the first ODI in Bloemfontein.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 399-9 (Buttler 105) beat
South Africa 250-5 (de Kock 138no) by 39 runs (D/L)
First One-Day International in Bloemfontein

Quinton de Kock's unbeaten 96-ball knock of 138 runs went in vain as England managed to defeat South Africa by 39 runs (D/L) in the rain curtailed first One-Day International in Bloemfontein.

Chasing an improbable target of 400, de Kock's brilliance brought down the target to 145 off 99 deliveries for South Africa when heavy rains lashed out allowing no further play possible.

Earlier, England's total of 399 was set by a 76-ball 105 from Jos Buttler while Alex Hales, Joe Root and Ben Stokes contributed with fifties.

England won the toss and opted to bat first on a sunny day. Jason Roy (48) got the scoreboard moving with a couple of boundaries in the first over and followed it up with four more in the next three.

Roy took the wind out of the South African bowling attack as he struck two fours and a six in the sixth over, while bringing up the 50-run opening stand with Hales (57) in just 5.4 overs.

Two runs short of his fifty, Roy was caught in the covers off Morne Morkel (1-70) in the eighth over. After the end of the first powerplay, England were placed at 75 for one.

Root (52) gave good company to Hales and the duo added 62 runs for the second wicket. Hales brought up his fifty in 40 balls but was soon dismissed by Marchant de Lange (2-87) who had him caught in the covers.

Buttler (105) was promoted to number four and the move paid rich dividends as he raced away to a 34-ball fifty.

Root soon followed with a 52-ball half-century but was bowled by Chris Morris (3-74) as England reached 227 for three at the end of 30 overs.

Eoin Morgan (23) batted positively in his 21-minute stay at the crease but holed out to long off in the 35th over giving Imran Tahir (2-71) his first wicket.

Soon after the 50-run stand with Ben Stokes (57) Buttler brought up his hundred, taking just 73 balls to get to the landmark.

Buttler fell in the next over, chipping a catch to AB de Villiers in the covers. There was hardly any respite for the South African bowlers as Stokes raced away to a 36-ball fifty but was soon out, castled by Morris.

Despite losing Stokes, Moeen Ali (19), Adil Rashid (2) and Chris Jordan (14) in successive overs, England managed to score 57 runs in the last five overs to post 399 for nine.

Morris had three scalps while de Lange and Tahir picked two wickets each.

South Africa were rattled early in the chase when Hashim Amla (6) played a David Willey (1-30) delivery onto his stumps.

However, Faf du Plessis (55) struck five fours and a six while de Kock (138 not out) hit two boundaries and a maximum to push South Africa to 72 for one in the powerplay.

Du Plessis brought up his fifty in 37 balls and survived as he reviewed an lbw decision successfully after the replays confirmed that the delivery was missing leg.

In the 16th over, de Kock brought up his own fifty which also came up in 37 deliveries but South Africa lost du Plessis in the same over, caught in the deep mid-wicket region off Ali (3-43).

De Villiers’ (8) stay at the crease was cut short thanks to a stunning one-handed catch from Stokes (0-31) at long on. With a boundary to square leg, de Kock brought up his 67-ball hundred as South Africa reached 188 for three at the half-way mark.

JP Duminy (13) fell in the next over, caught by Reece Topley (1-43) off his own bowling. De Kock kept playing positively at one end and after a short stay, Rilee Rossouw (19) holed out to long off giving Ali his third wicket.

A few moments later, the rain came down and the players were taken off the field with South Africa 40 runs behind the D/L par score.

The rain failed to relent and the game was eventually called off with a 39-run victory to England who now have a 1-0 lead in the series. De Kock was named the man of the match for his unbeaten century. 

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