ICC Live

CT 2017 - Buy Tickets - 300x250


What are your thoughts on this article?

Buttler blitz helps England go 1-0 up

Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 96-ball 138 goes in vain as rain-interrupted match goes in favour of the visiting team

Buttler blitz helps England go 1-0 up - Cricket News
With Behardien and De Kock in the middle, and 150 runs required in 16.3 overs, the match was all set for a thrilling climax before rain interrupted.
Rain ruined a potential thriller between South Africa and England in Bloemfontein, as the first One-Day International ended with the visitor being declared winner by 39 runs (D/L method) on Wednesday (February 3).

In pursuit of a steep 400-run target set by England, South Africa was 250 for 5 in 33.3 overs before the heavens opened up, Quinton de Kock’s unbeaten 138 off 96 balls, with 12 fours and six sixes, going in vain.

Jos Buttler's 76-ball 105 led England to the massive total of 399 for 9 in 50 overs – its highest ODI total against South Africa and second highest of all time – with Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jason Roy chipping in with key contributions. Buttler hit 11 fours and five sixes in his innings, which included a breathtaking variety of strokes.

Hales, Root and Stokes all hit half-centuries in an innings that included five partnerships worth 50 or more. No fewer than eight batsmen hit sixes, with a total of 15 hits clearing some of the biggest boundaries in South Africa.

All the South African bowlers were expensive, with four of them – Chris Morris, Marchant de Lange, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir – going for 70 runs or more, while Farhaan Behardien and JP Duminy, sharing fifth-bowler duties, conceded a total of 93 runs.

England's assault started in the first over when Roy hit two boundaries off Morris. De Lange was punished for 31 in three overs as Roy and Hales raced to 62 off the first seven overs.

Morkel's introduction into the attack brought the wicket of Roy, caught at cover, after he had made 48 off 30 balls in an opening stand of 68. Hales took over as the aggressor after that as he and Root put on 62 for the second wicket, with Hales making 57 off 47 balls before he sliced de Lange to wide mid-off.

With England scoring at over seven runs an over, Buttler was promoted up the order and he was quickly into his stride, pounding a half-century off 34 balls with six fours and three sixes. He reached his century off 73 deliveries, which, remarkably, was the slowest of his four ODI hundreds.

Chasing at an asking rate of eight an over, the South Africa batsmen had no other option but to go hammer and tongs at the English attack.

But the pressure of scoring quickly bogged Hashim Amla down and he chased a wide delivery from David Willey, the left-arm pacer, and edged it on to his stumps.

Faf du Plessis joined de Kock with the scoreboard reading 11 for 1 in 2.1 overs, and the two made sure they didn't let Amla's early exit slow them down, playing attacking shots at every opportunity the bowlers presented.

Du Plessis hit 55 off 40 balls before Moeen Ali sent him back in the 16th over, caught by Alex Hales at long-on. But, thanks to the partnership of 110 from 83 balls between the two, South Africa had reached 121 for 2 by then.

De Kock took charge from then on, but lost AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and Rilee Rossouw in quick succession as England got into pole position. De Kock reached his century off 67 deliveries, with the help of nine boundaries and four sixes, his brisk knock keeping South Africa in the hunt.

With Behardien at the other end, and 150 runs required in 16.3 overs, the match was all set for a thrilling climax before rain interrupted, forcing the umpires to take the players off the field.

Umpires Chris Gaffaney and Shaun George came back out for a number of inspections, the last one out of which, at 9:30 pm local time, led to them calling the match off.

The second of five ODIs takes place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

For full scorecard, please click here

Similar Articles