It was the sheer brilliance of new skipper Quinton de Kock as he scored his 15th ODI ton to help his team go one up in a three-match ODI series. England will be looking to bounce back so as to take the series into the decider. Whereas, on the other hand, the Proteas will be looking to seal the series in the second match itself when they host the world champions in Durban on Friday.
There is evidence of rain looming around Durban before the second ODI and on the evidence of the first game of the series, at Newlands on Tuesday, rain may be good news for the visitors.
The visitors were as flat as Table Mountain itself in all departments, blowing the advantage of an opening stand of 51 between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow as well as a recovery partnership of 91 shared by Joe Denly and Chris Woakes to finish with a mediocre 258/8. And then failing utterly to put a dent in South Africa’s reply, which reached its target with only three wickets down and 14 balls remaining. And, the South Africans won’t be best pleased if Friday’s game doesn’t go the distance.
It’s only one game and it’s only an ODI at that, but considering what went before it’s not difficult to understand why South Africans want to consider Tuesday’s triumph a turning point. They won’t be keen to remember that their team also won the first Test before their form plummeted, but that only means they will be even more intent on seeing how De Kock’s side go in Durban on Friday.
South Africa have gone 10 games without winning two in a row, a streak of inconsistency that started after they beat Sri Lanka and Australia at last year’s World Cup – by which time they had already been eliminated from the running for the knockout rounds.
So South Africa will want to keep doing what they did in Cape Town, which would earn them series honours. England will be bent on putting that game behind them. But if the weather has its way, all hopes will be on hold until the last match of the rubber at the Wanderers on Sunday.
“It looks a little bit dry, but Kingsmead always has that extra bounce and I enjoy that. I don’t feel like I need the ball to spin. Most spinner enjoy the extra bounce.” – Tabraiz Shamsi on the Durban pitch
“We’ve lost games of cricket before and come back to win the series, so I don’t think it’s a massive confidence knock. The boys are going to be training hard trying to level the series tomorrow.” – Tom Curran talks about a good practice session
South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w/c), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, JJ Smuts, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Beuran Hendricks, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Tabraiz Shamsi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Kyle Verreynne, Janneman Malan
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow(w), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Joe Denly, Tom Banton, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Matthew Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Saqib Mahmood
When: February 7, 4:30 PM IST, 1:00 PM Local
Where: Kingsmead, Durban