Du Plessis hopes Proteas have 'blown away England cobwebs'

South Africa hope to live up to their reputation as the world s top-ranked one-day worldwide side at Southampton on Saturday after blowing away "cobwebs" in their series-opening defeat by England. But medium-pacer Jake Ball conceded only three runs off his last four deliveries, and Wood gave up only four singles in a tense last over to register a thrilling victory for the home side.

Stokes, cleared to play after a knee injury scare in the series opener, was dropped twice before going on to equal his career-best 101, hitting 11 fours and three sixes from 79 balls.

The left-handed Miller was classy in making his unbeaten 71 off 51 balls while his partner was powerful during his 36 off 22.

England leads the series 1-0 after winning the first game at Headingley by 72 runs.

England, who host the eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy, next play the third and third final ODI at the Lord's on May 29.

AB de Villiers (52) looked positive from the outset and brought the 50-run stand with de Kock off 52 balls.

Yet in a match where the Proteas dropped six chances in all, they were still on course for a morale-boosting win ahead of the start of next week's Champions Trophy ODI tournament in England.

Plunkett was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Moeen and Stokes claimed one wicket each. Stokes received reprieves off his first two deliveries.

Stokes shared stands of 95 with skipper Eoin Morgan and 77 with Jos Buttler. By the end of 30 overs, South Africa were positioned 174 for two, needing another 157 run to win.

England also made a change from the first match, but it was Chris Woakes - suffering from a tight quad - rather than Stokes who was rested.

To say Stokes rode his luck early in his innings was an understatement. "I can't be unhappy, we fought right to end and probably had it in the back for most of that last half hour".

South Africa, the world's top-ranked ODI side, dropped six catches during a sloppy fielding display, with left-arm spinner Keshav Mahraj three times denied a wicket in his debut at this level. England and South Africa are in different groups in the eight-team competition.

  • Julie Sanders