Stokes gets all clear to bowl

England clinched victory in the one-day global series with South Africa as the tourists fell three runs short of victory despite an excellent partnership from David Miller and Chris Morris.

After they had been put in under heavy cloud cover, Jason Roy's lean run continued when he aimed across the line to Kagiso Rabada's extra pace and was bowled off-stump by a full-length 93mph delivery.

England seamer Liam Plunkett had spoken shortly beforehand about Stokes' importance to the team but his confidence too that others could step in if needed.

Wood (and Ball) went wicketless, but gave up 48 runs in his 10 overs.

At least Quinton de Kock returned to form with a fine, responsible 98 (103 balls) and found a good partner in captain AB de Villiers.

England's challenge, meanwhile, is to win their next seven matches - a sequence they managed last summer - in order to both beat South Africa and then win their first global ODI tournament.

Woakes had felt muscle tightness in his right leg and England made a decision to take no chances with him as the Champions Trophy looms next week.

During Friday s training session, Stokes had two long net sessions as a batsman but then, either side of adjusting the strapping on his knee, bowled just 12 deliveries in the edge of the square.

Moeen Ali thanks a last-minute tutorial with coach Paul Farbrace for helping him get back on track as a one-day worldwide batsman against South Africa.

Only New Zealand, who made 359-3 in 2013, have scored more in an Ageas Bowl ODI than either side.

BEN STOKES has been passed fit to play for England today - with team bosses insisting it is not a gamble.

Stokes, who briefly left the field with a knee injury in England's 72-run win in the series opener at Headingley on Wednesday, showed no discomfort with the bat, although he only bowled three overs.

The removal of the stuttering Farhaan Behardien (17 runs off 25 balls) changed the course of the match once more, but this time in South Africa's favour.

Maharaj will make his one-day worldwide debut.

  • Julie Sanders