Eng v RSA, 1st ODI

That is the end of first ODI. It could have gone all the way down to the wire had South Africa not played rash shots. These two teams meet again on Saturday at the “Home of Cricket”. It’s a day game, beginning at 11:00 local time. We could be in for a thriller. Looking forward to your company then, goodbye!

Difference between the sides: Both England and South Africa lost an early wicket and then had a good second wicket stand. Both lost regular wickets in the middle overs, but England had the aggressive partnership going between Morgan and Mo Ali at the end, while South Africa had none.

Moeen Ali: “I had a good hit with Paul Farbrace indoors and it was a nice feeling. Today I tried to give myself a bit more time. I have been in that situation before and given away my wicket. It’s a good pitch to bat. Good bounce in it. The ball spun when the length was short. When players like Jonny (Bairstow), Sam Billings and Jake Ball can’t get in, it shows how good we are as a side.”

Moeen Ali is the Man of the Match

Eoin Morgan: “Very pleasing effort. Pretty good day at the office for us. We weren’t sure of what would be a good score on this surface after losing the toss. I thought that the partnerships that we built helped us get that score. It’s a nice feeling to continue to get runs. If he (Moeen) didn’t get any runs or wicket, I would still pick him. I have that much confidence in the guy. He had a fantastic day. Batting at No. 7 is never easy. They have a very strong batting line-up. We managed to get regular wickets. It’s in his knee (talking about Stokes’ injury). There is no significant swelling. He was good to bowl again, but we didn’t need to. I didn’t want to risk it given the stage of the game we were in. We want to win every game. May be a couple of bowlers might need a change at Lord’s given the travelling we have done in the build up to the game.”

AB de Villiers: “England played phenomenally well with the bat in hand. Credit to Morgs (Morgan) for the way he played. Probably they got 20-30 runs above par. We couldn’t get the partnerships going tonight. Two more games to go, a lot to look forward to. Losing Faf (du Plessis) and Hash (Amla) in quick succession stopped us a little bit, but we should have got a lot closer. England outplayed us. They played better tonight and hopefully we will be the better side in the next game.”

De Villiers was determined to fight at one end, but got no support from the rest. Woakes was outstanding with the ball and took four wickets. The spinners – Rashid and Mo Ali – did an excellent job – sharing four wickets between them. Liam Plunkett too bowled very well with his cross-seamers.

Smiles all around in the England camp. They have beaten the No. 1 ODI side quite comfortably and that too after being asked to bat first when AB de Villiers said at the toss that he expected the wicket to stay true to chase down whatever England set. He was spot on in his reading of the pitch, just that South Africa gifted their wickets away in the hunt. They were actually in a great position when Amla and Faf recorded fifties to negate the early loss of QdK. However, they lost 6 wickets for just 80 in the middle, post a 112-run association for the second wicket.

Woakes to Rabada, out Caught by Buttler!! Another toe-ender and that’s the end of the game. A 72-run win for England in the first of the three ODIs. This was a slower delivery wide outside off stump, Rabada backed away, had to reach out, the ball took the edge, keeper jumps to his left and takes a good catch. Rabada c Buttler b Woakes 19(21) [4s-1 6s-1]

Woakes to Rabada, THAT’S OUT!! Caught!!

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