Batting first after winning the toss, hosts South Africa put up 298 for 7 on the board as Rassie van der Dussen smashed 111 off 117 balls, while David Miller contributed 53. In response, England got off to a terrific start, adding 146 runs for the opening wicket as Jason Roy whacked 113 off 91 balls, while Dawid Malan contributed 59 off 55.
Magala, Anrich Nortje (4/62) and Kagiso Rabada (2/46), however, combined to restrict England to 271 all-out in 44.2 overs. Speaking after the win, Bavuma commented, "The man of the match, that's where the game changed for us, got us some momentum, the guys after him rode the momentum. After Quinny got out I thought it was a good wicket, wicket got slower, ball got soft. We felt a little below par but it was enough,”
The Proteas skipper also praised Nortje for bowling with pace and claiming four crucial wickets. He added, “Got to keep staying in the game, they played well, did it for longer periods than Quinny and myself. Magala was a threat, they haven't seen much of him. But I was expecting one of our bowlers to do something special.
“Anrich showed his quality and raw pace. We'll take the win, we need the points. The conversation will be, are we happy with how we went about our business?" he added.
After England’s opening partnership was broken, Ben Duckett (3) and Harry Brook (0) fell cheaply. England captain Jos Buttler got a start, but was dismissed for 36. The middle and lower-order then completely fell apart.
Reflecting on the defeat, Buttler said, “Disappointing, we played excellent cricket for a majority of that game. To be in a position like we were after that opening stand, it's disappointing not to finish it off. Wicket didn't play as well as we thought it would, still was a great wicket. The way SA started, to keep them to 298, we were really happy.”
The second ODI of the three-match series will also be played at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Sunday, January 29.
--By A Cricket Correspondent