England beat South Africa


Johannesburg, January 30:

England won the first of the seven one-day matches against South Africa by 26 runs, courtesy of the Duckworth/Lewis method.

By the time the lashing rains washed away what remained of South Africa’s slim hopes, England were in a commanding position at 103 for 3, chasing a modest 176 for victory. The fourth-wicket unbeaten partnership of Kevin Pietersen (22) and Michael Vaughan (44) added 58. But matters could have been much worse for South Africa, who recovered from 90/7 to reach 175/9 in 50 overs. The eighth-wicket stand of 58 between Nicky Boje and Shaun Pollock offered some hope after a nightmare start had them reeling at 5/2.

Darren Gough was the pick of a tidy England attack, taking 2-27. Kabir Ali immediately struck gold, removing Jacques Kallis (5) and Ashwell Prince (22), as South Africa stumbled to 49/5.

Ashley Giles struck twice, removing first Justin Kemp (24) then Boucher (17). Gough removed Boje for 33 and Giles picked up his third wicket, when Vaughan tumbled forward at gully to scoop an aerial edge from Pollock (37).