Quinton De Kock played arguably the best knock by a South African batsman in an ODI since Herschelle Gibbs’ 175 in the famous 438 match but it was not enough to get the Proteas across the line in the opening ODI against England at the Mangaung Oval on Wednesday. England won by 39 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method after rain stopped play with the Proteas on 250/5 in 33.3 overs in pursuit of the massive victory target of 400 after England had posted 399/9 in their 50 overs. De Kock finished unbeaten on 138 (96 balls, 12 fours and six sixes) for his ninth ODI century in a match that was made memorable by the wicketkeepers on either side.
Jos Buttler had played a major role in setting up the England total with his innings of 105 (76 balls, 11 fours and five sixes). Buttler finished with a strike rate of 138 and De Kock with one of 143. De Kock reached the landmark of 2 000 ODI runs and is the youngest South African to do so. England won the toss and dominated the South African attack from ball one with Alex Hales,, Joe Root and Ben Stokes all scoring half-centuries in support of Buttler.
When South Africa batted, De Kock and Faf Du Plessis get the Proteas in the chase with a second-wicket partnership of 110 in 13.5 overs. But Moeen Ali played a key role for England in a high-scoring match by taking 3/43 in six overs. His wickets included the key one of AB De Villiers who fell to a brilliant one-handed boundary catch by Stokes.
De Kock was named Man of the Match.