Eoin Morgan ton leads England to opening win over South Africa

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

England captain Eoin Morgan moved to allay concerns over the fitness of Ben Stokes as the hosts launched their one-day worldwide series against South Africa with a convincing 72-run win at Headingley on Wednesday.

Wednesday's success saw England go 1-0 up in a three-match series against South Africa, top of the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings.

South Africa were briefly in the hunt when Hashim Amla (73) and Faf du Plessis (67) combined but fell well short and were dismissed for 267 with five overs remaining.

"But we both got out in quick succession".

The Yorkshire venue of Headingley welcomed the world's visiting number one ranked ODI team with bright sunshine before Morgan's 107 from 93 balls put the spine in England's total.

"We couldn't get a partnership going [with the bat] and at the end of the day we were outplayed".

As England wait to hear whether Stokes will be fit for the second match, in Southampton on Saturday, Moeen could be forgiven for a personal interest in how his team-mate recovers from a sore knee which restricted him to just two overs.

"We're only 1-0 up with two games to go, but it's a great start to the summer". They dominated the bowling and manipulated us, probably 20-30 above par and we didn't bat well enough.

England captain Eoin Morgan is unsure of the extent of Ben Stokes' knee injury but says "a couple of days with ice on it will do him good".

England had all its big guns fresh from their Indian Premier League stint with Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and captain Eoin Morgan.

And when Proteas skipper AB de Villiers was caught in the deep for 45 off Moeen Ali, there was no way back as England cruised home by? runs.

"I feel in good form", he said.

"We re planning for all eight teams to be here", Elworthy said. I've never gone through a period as long as this where I have been able to keep it up.

If England were hoping to crank up the pressure with the new ball Amla quickly disabused them of the notion, laying into Mark Wood with some elegant strokes.

The match ended when Rabada was caught behind off Woakes, who took four for 38.

Both teams paid their respects to the victims of the Manchester attack before the day's play by holding a minute's silence and wearing black armbands.

But de Villiers, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, has opted out of the Test series in a bid to reduce his workload after being a mainstay for the Proteas in all three global formats - Test, ODIs and Twenty20s.

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