Words by Ciaran Coyle

An impressive fight back in the field by the Proteas saw England bowled out for 271 chasing 299 to win, giving South Africa a 28 run victory in the first ODI of the series.

The tourists looked in control of what would have been a record run chase at The Mangaung Oval as they found themselves 146-0 after 19.2 overs but when Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook departed within the space of 11 balls, the momentum swung in favour of the hosts.

Jason Roy looked to steady the ship as he made an impressive 113 off 91 balls, his 11th ODI hundred of his career. However, when a great catch on the square-leg boundary from Wayne Parnell off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada saw the end to his stay at the crease, it left England 196-4 still needing 103 runs for victory.

Through a mixture of some excellent bowling and poor shot selection, Jos Buttler’s side lost their remaining 6 wickets for 75 runs as South Africa completed a stunning turn around with 34 balls left in the match.

Sisanda Magala picked up the Player Of The Match award with figures of 3-46, picking up the wickets of Malan and Brook that helped swing the momentum back in favour of his side at a crucial period of the game.

Anrich Nortje also had a standout game with the ball as the tall fast-bowler ended with figures of 4-62 from his 10 overs.

A first innings score of 111 off 117 balls from Rassie van der Dussen helped South Africa to what proved to be a winning total as the 2nd ranked ODI batsmen claimed his 4th ODI century of his career.

Whilst it proved to be in a losing cause for Buttler’s side, there were some positive performances in the field. Sam Curran was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-35 in his 9 overs which helped to restrict South Africa to a total under 300 in the back end of the innings.

Jofra Archer, who’s last game for England came 678 days ago struggled to find the rhythm and pace England fans have been accustomed to seeing from the 27 year-old fast bowler as he finished with figures of 1-81 from his 10 overs.

With this series being played over 5 days, both sides will not have much time to dust themselves down before they are facing off again. The 2nd ODI begins on Sunday 29th of January at 9 am UK Time.

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