Stokes ton leads England to victory

England beat South Africa by just two runs to win the second one-day global at Southampton on Saturday to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

But sixth-wicket pair David Miller (71no) and Chris Morris fell two runs short after opener Quinton de Kock (98) and De Villiers himself had worked hard too in response to 330-6 - a total in which England all-rounder Ben Stokes equalled his one-day worldwide career-best of 101. After butchering two sixes, Morris (36 not out) also had the opportunity to be the hero as the game went down to the final ball with four runs needed.

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.

While Alex Hales laid a solid platform with a 60-ball 61, Moeen Ali gave the late impetus to the team with a quickfire 77 as England scored more than 100 in the last 10.

And it was Plunkett who did the trick a second time, with a short ball which followed the South Africa captain as he tried to leave and ran over his glove for a second caught-behind.

The departure of Faf du Plessis, feathering Plunkett to Buttler, brought de Villiers and de Kock together, and the pair combined to take South Africa to a position of control, as they added 96 for the third wicket.

England were 81 for three in the 17th over when their talisman was dropped by Hashim Amla at slip from the first ball he faced, bowled by spinner Keshav Maharaj.

As if that was not bad enough for the tourists, de Villiers thought he might be accused of ball-tampering during England's innings.

Despite losing Hales and Root in quick succession, captain Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes stabilised the innings with a 95-run partnership, during which Stokes brought up his fifty, before Morgan was caught behind off the bowling of Rabada for 45.

England won the series with a match to spare.

England were faltering at 80 for three when Stokes came into bat. Get live cricket score of England vs South Africa here.

De Kock was finally snared by Moeen but Miller stood firm and hit a superb half-century from just 34 balls. Stokes received reprieves off his first two deliveries.

Ben Stokes has been passed fit to play the second ODI.

  • Julie Sanders