England bounced back from their Champions Trophy exit with a crushing 9 wicket win against South Africa in their opening Twenty20 international.
A superb performance with the ball restricted South Africa to just 142 from their 20 overs and in response, Jonny Bairstow led the way with an brutal 60 not out as England won with 33 balls left.
After deciding to bat after winning the toss, the South African innings was restricted throughout by England’s skilled attack. Their total of 142 was underpinned by a record unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 110 between AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien.
David Willey got England off to the perfect start by clean bowling JJ Smuts for a golden duck with the first ball of the game. Mark Wood then got in the mix with two wickets ensuring that Reeza Hendricks and David Miller didn’t trouble the scorers.
At 32-3, Captain de Villiers was joined in the middle by Behardien and their stand ensured that South Africa posted a respectable total. De Villiers finished up 65 not out from his 58 balls and Behardien scored a career best 64 not out as the pair struggled to built serious moment against a tight English attack.
Debutant Mason Crane was superb, as the leg spinner finished up 0-24 from his 4 overs, and Liam Dawson performed on his home ground with a economical return of 0-17 from his 4 overs.
The response to the South African innings was superb from England, with Jason Roy getting his team off to a flyer with 28 off just 14 balls, in an innings that included 2 sixes and 3 fours.
The damage was done as Alex Hales and man of the match Bairstow shared an unbeaten stand of 98 with Hales finishing unbeaten on 47.
England dominated throughout their run chase and offered very little to the South African attack, with the boundary being found on a regular basis.
Up next is the second game of the series at Taunton on Friday evening, where we expect to see a few changes for England as they look to showcase their strength in depth.