South Africa might feel that they were hard done by the rain in the first ODI but they can have no such excuses for the second ODI after they were comprehensively defeated by the new-look England side. This English side is completely different from the one that got knocked out in the group stages of the World Cup. South Africa too look a completely different side. No one would believe that it was this Proteas side that almost reached the finals of the World Cup last year They look down and out even on their home turf and the future doesn’t look too promising for the South Africans.
South Africa made two changes to their team in the second ODI with Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott coming into the team in place of Marchant De Lange and Chris Morris. The changes were expected after the South Africans bowlers took a beating in the first ODI which saw England pile up 399. The victorious England team did not make any changes to their XI.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat but they were off to a nightmarish start as Hashim Amla fell for just 4. Last match’s centurion Quinton De Kock was also dismissed cheaply and both the openers were back in the hut inside 11 overs. Faf Du Plessis and captain AB De Villiers steadied the ship and after Du Plessis’ dismissal AB De Villiers and JP Duminy were threatening to take the game away from England but after a 107 run partnership both the batsmen fell in the space of 4 balls. The lower order could not muster anything apart from the 10s and 20s and South Africa managed a respectable 262 in their 50 overs for the loss of 7 wickets.
For England, the pick of the bowlers was Reece Topley who took 4 wickets and he was ably supported by David Willey and Ben Stokes.
The pitch wasn’t a batting paradise and 262 could have proved to be a tricky score for the English batsmen but turned out to be a cakewalk in the end. England won the match by 5 wickets with 3.4 overs to spare. For England, the stars with the bat were Alex Hales and Jos Butler. Man of the Match Alex Hales played a brilliant innings but was extremely unlucky to have got out on 99. Hales was involved in 2 half-century partnerships with Joe Root and Eoin Morgan but after his dismissal, the tide had turned in favour of South Africa. The match looked certain to go down the wire but Jos Butler had other ideas. The England keeper was perhaps celebrating his new IPL contract as he smashed 48 runs of just 28 balls to help England take a 2-0 lead in the 5-match series.
South Africa have to put behind this loss at Port Elizabeth and must win the next ODI at Centurion on Tuesday if they are going to have any chance of winning the series.