Stokes fit for second ODI against South Africa
- Author: Carolyn Briggs May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 10:51
De Villiers did his best to put a courageous face on a loss that saw the Proteas, top of the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings, drop six catches.
South Africa wasted at least a half-dozen catches with Stokes getting reprieves off his first two deliveries on 0 and 4 in Southampton. Towards the end, David Miller kept the visitors in the hunt with his unbeaten knock of 71. It was all down to a heroic last over from Mark Wood.
Two singles were followed by a dot ball, a single and another dot ball.
South Africa had an early success when Jason Roy was bowled trying to whip a Kagiso Rabada yorker legside.
Given he bowled just three overs following his batting heroics here he must surely now be rested for Monday's series finale at Lord's ahead of England's Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh at The Oval on Thursday.
His 79-ball innings, just his second century in 55 matches at this level, featured 11 fours and three sixes. But it was the 95-run partnership between skipper Eoin Morgan and Stokes which laid the platform for the upcoming batsman to free their hands without wasting much of their time.
The latter had 25 from 32 balls when Stokes was caught at long-off from the bowling of Maharaj, but went on to score 40 from his next 21 balls as England finished strongly.
But the 25-year-old managed to bowl just two overs in the win due to pain in his left knee - the same knee which needed surgery last summer, ruling him out for nearly two months, with Stokes' only major contribution on the field seeing him take the catch which dismissed David Miller.
To rub salt in the wound, Stokes edged the very next ball too but De Kock dropped the chance.
He unfurled a range of destructive shots, sending Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris for three massive sixes.
The game swung England's way when De Villiers and De Kock (98) fell shortly after one another leaving Miller and Farhaan Behardien at the wicket.
Amla was hit flush on the helmet grille by Wood before falling falling for 24 when he drove Stokes to Morgan at short extra cover.