Proteas beat England in first demolition innings

To be frank, it was a crushing blow when South Africa hit a mighty 333/5 first in the first ODI against England at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday, with Rassi van der Duessen in the lead with an amazing century.

After losing the toss in sweltering heat conditions in Durham, North East England, the home team were ill-prepared to deal with the Proteas’ clinically effective ball composition, flat field and high temperatures reaching over 35°C, requiring additional breaks for beverages.

Quinton de Kock (19) and Janneman Malan got off to a good start, scoring 35 over the first six and a half overs before De Kock underestimated cutter Sam Curran’s bottom bounce and lost by trying to pull.

This pushed Van der Dussen to the breaking point and he immediately went into business building significant opportunities. Never seemingly unhurried, he drove through cover beautifully and used back sweeps to good effect as he ended his half-century with just 45 balls.

Malan himself spent half a century at ease, but began to lose steam in his innings and fell on 57 of 77 balls in the 26th over, scoring in the barn at Moen Ali.

The real destruction came when Aiden Markram joined Van der Dussen and the pair made 151 runs for the third wicket, scoring just 123 balls.

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It took some time for Markram to find the right pace for his innings, perhaps overzealous with the ball at first, but once he let his class take over, he was almost unstoppable as he hit 77 of 61 balls.

Markram fell in 46th as South Africa looked to build on their lead by pitching the ball to spinner Liam Livingston and Van der Dussen dropped two balls later into the same bowler bowled by another pitch that slid through the low.

But by the time Van der Dussen had stolen 133 of 117 balls, his ODI stats skyrocketed as he now scored 1,498 points over 30 innings with a 74.90 average and a 90.56 field goal ratio.

David Miller scored a rather clumsy 24 out of 14 goals and the pushy Brydon Carse, who came from South Africa, got some reward when he sacked Heinrich Klaasen (12).