Category Archive: England Cricket

England Cricket News

May 26

County cricket: Essex v Surrey, Somerset v Hampshire and more – live!

1.06pm BST

Well Surrey went 70 minutes without losing a wicket there, which is something. Sanga looking good on 35, while Scurran – hit just before the break – has settled nicely. They need to bat til tea, really…

1.05pm BST

Right, here are your lunchtime scores.

Div One:

1.00pm BST

Shantry gets Levi. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!

Related: FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

12.58pm BST

Scurran’s been hit on the hand by a very good bouncer from Porter (glove up in front of the face) and he’s getting some attention. Couple of minutes til lunch. 65 for five.

12.56pm BST

Somerset on this morning!#WeAreSomerset

12.51pm BST

Hampshire are 81 for six! Ciderabad is back! Three for Leach, three for Bess.

12.47pm BST

Plenty going on at Ciderabad, where Somerset are having a good morning against Hampshire. Jack Leach got James Vince and then Rilee Rossouw in the same over; Rossouw is having a terrible time of it – he’s faced five balls across three innings without scoring. On for an Audi? Or even Olympic rings?

And now it’s 81 for five there as Bess gets Ervine!

12.46pm BST

So, Vernon Philander hjas just got Sam Northeast at Tunbridge Wells. Big wicket. 58 for three are Kent and, from afar, it looks like Sussex are on top.

12.23pm BST


Mark Cosgrove’s 188 is Leicestershire’s highest Championship score for 7 years (James Taylor 206 vs Middlesex on May 30th 2010)

12.12pm BST

Cosgrove finally goes for 188, but Leics bat on. 515 for four…

12.09pm BST


Here’s a look at that last wicket for Somerset! Great start for Dom Bess with a wicket and a stunning catch!#SOMvHAM

12.06pm BST

It’s 12 hours in, but feels worth mentioning that it’s Paul Collingwood’s 41st birthday.

12.05pm BST

Spin doing the trick at Taunton again! Bess gets Toby Carberry in his first over! 34 for two are Hampshire.

11.59am BST

500 up for Leicestershire. What an innings. Cossie has 184; double ton and declare?

11.58am BST

Duckett gets Tongued at Northants. 49 for two.

11.56am BST

First wicket at Taunton as Dawson goes to Leach! Sounds like a very fine catch by Bess. 34 for one.

11.52am BST

Wicket! And the biggest cheer of the day. This is the first bad shot from a Surrey batsman, I reckon. Foakes has looked in really good touch, but he’s had a big yahoo of a pull at Porter and he’s dragged on. 31 for five. Scurran joins Sanga.

At the other end, Wagner has replaced Quinn. Burns was his 100th first-class wicket in his 26th match.

11.47am BST

A wicket at Trent Bridge, where Mullaney blazes his way to a run-a-ball 35, but then Miles gets him. 53 for one, and in comes Pujara.

11.47am BST

The wicketkeeper-batsman Sarah Taylor has spoken for the first time since returning to the England squad for the women’s World Cup in July. Taylor announced last May that she was taking time out of the game to deal with her anxiety.

“I’m incredibly comfortable to be back playing, and the girls have been absolutely brilliant,” said the 28-year-old.

11.37am BST

A beauty.

DOUBLE WICKET | @jamieporter93 bowls Sibley and it is also caught by @SimonHarmerRSA off the off-stump! 17-4. #ESSvSUR

11.36am BST

Leicestershire are kicking right on at Derby and Eckersley becomes their third player to reach a ton. 471 for three. Declare before lunch, Cossie!

11.33am BST

Wicket! Surrey are in all sorts! Sibley’s been bowled by an absolute corker from Jamie Porter! He’s had it doing plenty all morning (has probably bowled better than Quinn, to be honest) and this one’s just shaped and taken the very top of off stump. The batsman looks very confused indeed. In comes former Essex man Ben Foakes, and it’s 17 for four.

11.29am BST

Here’s the third.

WICKET | @Quinny_Cricket is on fire! Borthwick edges one to Foster behind the stumps and departs for 3. Surrey 16/3. #ESSvSUR

11.27am BST

Wicket! Three for Quinn! Borthwick gone, caught behind by Foster (who actually spilled a couple of leaves last over). It’s that nagging line outside off again, Borthwick had to play, and he’s got a little tickle. 16 for three.

11.24am BST

Keaton Jennings is gone at Swansea, bowled by Marchant de Lange. 13 for one are Durham.

11.19am BST

Lovely Lloyds Leach already has a wicket at Northampton, with Max Holden the man (boy) to go. 12 for one.

11.17am BST

Wicket! Quinn again! Dan Lawrence has taken a brilliant diving catch in the gully to get rid of Burns, who drove hard outside off stump. Very well taken indeed, and Surrey are nine for two. Enter Kumar…

11.15am BST

Morning Stuie! How do we think the Glosters will get on at trent Bridge?

@willis_macp morning 🙂

11.11am BST

Here you go:

WICKET | Mark Stoneman edges to Tom Westley in the slips off the bowling of @Quinny_Cricket and departs for 4! #ESSvSUR

11.09am BST

And there’s a wicket at Tunbridge Wells! That man Jofra Archer again; he gets Dickson caught behind for quack.

11.08am BST

Wicket! Stoneman nicked Quinn through gully for four first ball but he’s gone two deliveries later! Tight line and he’s edged to second slip. Well bowled, rather than a terrible shot. 6 for one.

11.01am BST

The weather is absolutely magnificent here at Chelsmford, and there’s a very strong crowd in as Essex head out to field. Rory Burns, the Surrey captain (how good does that sound?!), and Mark Stoneman out to open the batting for Surrey. Pitch looks a bit of a belter.

10.55am BST

Somerset: Trescothick, Elgar, Abell, Hildreth, Davies, Trego, Gregory, Coverton, Joverton, Bess, Leach

Hampshire: Carberry, Dawson, Vince, Bailey*, Rossouw, Ervine, McManus+, Berg, Abbott, Crane, Topley

10.45am BST

Here’s this week’s edition of Gary Naylor’s talking points. Prescient as ever … Surrey have duly brought in a third seamer-style bowler in the sizeable shape of Rampaul.

Related: County cricket talking points: Kumar Sangakkara eyes a century of centuries

10.43am BST

Div One:

10.41am BST

Meet Amar Virdi.

Cricket, welcome to the beginning of the rest of your life #countycricketlive

10.41am BST

Gareth Batty has a broken toe!

10.36am BST

Surrey have won the toss and will bat! Rory Burns skippering. Think he’s done it once before, in a one-dayer at Taunton last year.

Essex: Cook, Browne, Westley, Lawrence, Bopara, Tendo, Foster, Harmer, Wagner, Quinn, Porter. [No Walter]

10.29am BST

Rory Burns is captaining Surrey! Batty must be injured, which explains why Virdi is playing…

10.17am BST

Amar Virdi is so fresh that cricinfo don’t know when he was born. Actually, he’s so fresh that – as Matt Nichols points out on Twitter – he has two cricinfo pages!

10.06am BST

At Chelmsford, both teams have had a clappy huddle. I reckon that means debutants on both sides … Amar Virdi and Paul Walter?

10.05am BST

Right, I’m going to be pestering you about this for the next four days. Vish Ehantharajah and I have a podcast and last week we went to speak to the great Jack Shantry in Worcester.

Please click, listen, comment etc!

Related: FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

8.16pm BST

Well good morning! Happy Friday! And what a Friday it is. I’m Will Macpherson and I’m at Chelmsford for a top of the table clash between Essex and Surrey. Who expected me to be saying that two months ago?! The weather is absolutely belting and will be all day. There are exciting rumours afoot that Surrey might play their young spinner Amar Virdi. He’s 18 and has been pulling up trees in second team cricket. Not literally. James Foster is back in the Essex side!

Through the quirks of the schedule, there’s only one other Division One game. The newly-crowned Hopeless Hampshire are at Taunton. Surely Mason Crane will play at Ciderabad? Lewis Gregory, one of the most underrated cricketers in the land, is back in the squad.

Continue reading…

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May 26

Ben Stokes fitness boost for England as all-rounder joins squad for training

• ECB expects Ben Stokes to take full part in Friday session
• All-rounder’s fitness to face South Africa will be assessed after training

Ben Stokes will take a full part in training for England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday before a decision is taken on whether he is fit to face South Africa in the second one-day international.

It is understood that the all-rounder was due to have a scan in Southampton on Thursday evening on the same left knee that required surgery to address a cartilage tear last year.

Related: FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

Continue reading…

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May 25

County Championship: Leicestershire pile up the runs on day one at Derby

Centuries from Colin Ackermann and captain Mark Cosgrove put Leicestershire in command on day one against Derbyshire.

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May 25

FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

Will and Vish meet Jack Shantry to talk about his unusual bowling action, the way he deals with fans and the day he took 10 wickets and scored a century

By Will and Vish, for Freelance Cricket Club, part of the Guardian Sport Network

As a wannabe professional cricketer aged 14 or 15, Jack Shantry was “diagnosed with a mixed bowling action.” “It sounds terminal, doesn’t it?” he laughs. As a canny and unorthodox left-arm swing bowler for Worcestershire, Shantry has developed a reputation as one of cricket’s most interesting and quirky characters, for both his peculiar bowling action and the way he engages wittily with fans – and detractors – on social media.

Shantry joins us as we return to the podcast after a rather accidental six-month absence. Artistic differences behind us, we travelled to Worcester to meet Shantry. “I’m sure you’ll bring up my lack of pace…” he says, as first up on the agenda is Shantry’s slightly unusual route into the game and how he developed that bowling action.

Continue reading…

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May 25

Ben Stokes set for scan after injury scare against South Africa

• All-rounder injured left knee in victory against South Africa
• India captain Virat Kohli identifies England as Champions Trophy threat

Ben Stokes has given England an injury scare with less than a week to go until the Champions Trophy, and is due to have a scan on his left knee on Thursday night.

The all-rounder was injured during Wednesday’s ODI win over South Africa and though he returned to the field, he did not bowl again and appeared uncomfortable at the conclusion.

Related: Doug Bracewell blames killing of pet cockatoo by dogs for drink-driving

Continue reading…

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May 25

Corey Anderson: Somerset sign New Zealand all-rounder for T20 Blast

Somerset sign New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson for the entirety of this season’s T20 Blast campaign.

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May 25

Jacques Rudolph: South African felt ‘burden’ of Glamorgan captaincy

Glamorgan captain Jacques Rudolph says form and family considerations are behind his decision to retire from cricket at the end of the season.

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May 24

Eoin Morgan century sets up winning start for England against South Africa

First ODI: England 339-6; South Africa 267. England win by 72 runs
• South Africa undone by soft dismissals after Morgan and Moeen sparkle

If this is a taste of things to come over the next month we are in for a treat. A sunlit Leeds evening, which rendered the floodlights redundant until 8.30pm, was decorated by a one-day international that had most of the components of a cracker although a late flurry of wickets denied us the luxury of one vital ingredient, a thrilling finish.

In the end England, having chalked up 339 for six, won by 72 runs, a surprisingly comfortable margin given the firepower in the South Africa side. The pursuit of 340 was always going to be tricky for the visitors but it was only out of the question in the final half hour.

Related: England v South Africa: first ODI – as it happened

Related: Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

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May 24

State-school cricketers can rise to the top | Letters

To make it into the England team one doesn’t have to go to private school or come from South Africa, write Mike Stein and Steve Smart

Matthew Engel’s insightful historical analysis of cricket in post-apartheid South Africa rightly highlights that social class, not race, “is the main determinant of opportunity” and that South Africa “hardly provides fewer chances than exist in England” (35 years since the rebel tour. What has changed?, 20 May).

However, in identifying the main routes into the English team, including private education and family connections, he fails to recognise the positive contribution of league cricket. For example, virtually every Yorkshire player, including those who have made the Test side, from Len Hutton to Adil Rashid, has appeared for a league team. And league cricket has also been at the vanguard of women’s and disability cricket.

Continue reading…

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May 24

Adam Milne: New Zealand fast bowler to join Kent after Champions Trophy

New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne will play for Division Two side Kent after the Champions Trophy finishes next month.

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May 24

Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

• Australia captain says: ‘we certainly want to be playing in the Ashes’
• Australian Cricketers Association negotiations currently deadlocked

The Australia captain Steve Smith has stressed he and his teammates are “sticking really strongly together” in the dispute between their board, Cricket Australia, and their union, the Australian Cricketers Association.

After a training session at Lord’s, where his team are preparing for their first Champions Trophy warm-up game against Sri Lanka at the Oval this Friday, Smith spoke publicly for the first time to say that the Australia players are “backing what the ACA is doing back home”. But he downplayed David Warner’s suggestion that there could be a strike unless CA agree to meet some of the ACA’s demands.

Related: Picket fences or picket lines: is an Ashes strike really likely to happen? | Sam Perry

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May 24

Sussex v Durham: Vernon Philander helps hosts win by innings and 177 runs

Sussex’s bowlers claim the final six Durham wickets at Hove to seal victory by an innings and 177 runs.

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May 24

England beat South Africa by 72 runs in first ODI – as it happened

England win the first ODI by 72 runs after Morgan’s 107 and Woakes’ four wickets prove too much for the Proteas

9.58pm BST

Related: Eoin Morgan century sets up winning start for England against South Africa

9.53pm BST

We’re back again on Saturday. Join us then as England and South Africa ring the changes ahead of the Champs Trophy. Bye!

9.44pm BST

“If he scored no runs and took no wickets, I’d still pick him again. I have that much faith in him!” A strong statement from Eoin Morgan on Moeen Ali, who many felt should have missed out for Jonny Bairstow. Ali’s 77 from 51 balls gave Morgan support and allowed England to kick on to that 30 or 40 more that de Villiers thought was crucial. The two for 50 sealed the man-of-the-match cheque.

England’s 72 run win is their second biggest win in terms of runs v SA & SA’s second biggest run defeat since the 2015 World Cup. #EngvSA

9.41pm BST

“I was very excited at that time,” says AB de Villiers when South Africa had dismissed Joe Buttler. This was at the beginning of the 25th over, with England 198-5, having been 101-1. “I think they got about 30 or 40 too many.”

9.35pm BST

MOM Speculation time. Probably Eoin Morgan? It’s already 9:30pm so it’ll be one less interview to do. Shame he isn’t South Africa skipper, too. Moeen Ali (77* & 2-50) and Chris Woakes the rivals

Woakes 8-0-38-4

Took 3-20 off his 20 back-of-a-length deliveries
0-8 from 18 good-length balls#ENGvSA

9.29pm BST

WICKET! Rabada c Buttler b Woakes (South Africa 267 all out)

Wider, quicker and Rabada chases a delivery that he toes through to Buttler. Good catch, stretching to his left. Woakes has four and England have first blood!

9.27pm BST

“A good old-fashioned hack” says Bumble. That’s exactly what it was. Parnell pulls high and too straight allowing Mark Wood at mid off to get under it.

9.22pm BST

44th over: South Africa 266-8 (Parnell 19, Rabada 18) Oooo Rabada starts with a swipe through midwicket for four. Then finishes with a six over long off! What a strike.

9.19pm BST

43rd over: South Africa 253-8 (Parnell 18, Rabada 6) Plunkett’s back on to bowl his remaining two overs. He’s been the best on show, in my opinion. Found movement off the pitch when others couldn’t. Just as I finish typing that, Parnell plants his front foot and biffs over mid off (up in the circle), for four.

9.14pm BST

42nd over: South Africa 245-8 (Parnell 11, Rabada 5) Ali darts, Parnell reverse sweeps. Four to the score. Singles see out the over, including a lovely looking chip, right over Moeen Ali.

9.11pm BST

41st over: South Africa 236-8 (Parnell 4, Rabada 3) Joe Root comes into the attack to some underwhelming cheers. Think the Western Terrace are on the comedown. They may have perked up had Parnell hit his drive a bit harder and found Plunkett on the full, but it wasn’t to be. Neat over to start from Rooteh.

9.08pm BST

40th over: South Africa 232-8 (Parnell 2, Rabada 1) Ermmm.. Ben Stokes has dropped a catch. An easy one, too. Moeen Ali pitches one above the eyeline of Parnell who clears the front leg and hammers down the ground. Stokes is there, rushing, but is done by the flight and ends up chesting it down. Lovely touch for a big-ish man.

9.06pm BST

39th over: South Africa 230-8 (Parnell 1) Phehlukwayo survives an LBW appeal – umpire and the subsequent video assistance has it pitching outside leg – before sweeping Rashid hard for four. Tries to repeat the trick again and, you know what happens next… Rashid finishes with 2-69 from his 10.

9.05pm BST

Bowled around his legs, off his pads. Been that sort of day for South Africa…

9.00pm BST

38th over: South Africa 225-7 (Phehlukwayo 0, Parnell 1)As soon as de Villiers strikes that, he knows he’s not got long left. Nor have South Africa.

8.58pm BST

As I was saying… bit of flight from Moeen and, well, I suppose de Villiers has to try and go for it himself. Not a clean contact and Plunkett steadies himself at square leg to take a regulation catch.

8.56pm BST

37th over: South Africa 224-6 (de Villiers 45, Parnell 0) OK, so de Villiers has flicked a switch and I think we might be approaching that point in time when he just decides he’s going to win this. All hands, no feet, and Woakes is pumped to wide mid on for four. The bowler corrects his line but de Villiers skips down and gives it a slap shot through extra cover!

8.53pm BST

36th over: South Africa 216-6 (de Villiers 37, Parnell 0) Shambolic shots at one end and a confused AB de Villiers at the other. Wayne Parnell, who impressed with bat and ball for Kent earlier this season, is in for his audition of AB’s Next Top Partner.

8.50pm BST

Typically, Moeen Ali gets Chris Morris out on the reverse sweep, as he has done many times in the past*.

*There’s no real evidence for this, but it is scientific fact.

8.48pm BST

35th over: South Africa 212-5 (de Villiers 37, Morris 1) Not a bad comeback over from Woakes. Ideal, really – grubbiest ball of the lot picks up a scalp. Chris Morris joins AB de Villiers, needing to start strongly like a car full of chips.

8.42pm BST

Haha again! A loosener from Woakes is heaved to square leg and, once again, straight to the only fielder in the deep.

8.40pm BST

34th over: South Africa 208-4 (de Villiers 34, Miller 11) Bit of bite for Moeen means Miller can’t, or won’t, skip down to him. Two from the over.

“Gosh, it’s a small world. My knee has been playing up today too,” writes Damian Clarke. “Although it has been my right knee, so maybe the world is not quite that small.” I went for a run today so both of my knees ache. Does this count as an epidemic?

8.37pm BST

33rd over: South Africa 206-4 (de Villiers 33, Miller 10) And just like that, AB de Villiers is into the thirties. I didn’t notice and I’ve been glued. Flight outside off and de Villiers can get power Rashid, classily, through extra cover for four. Millers signs off the over with a six down the ground which has a spectator hurling himself into the black tarpaulin for the catch. Shelled, in emphatic fashion…

8.33pm BST

32nd over: South Africa 192-4 (de Villiers 27, Miller 2) Cheeky little reverse, dab-sweep from AB gets him three (Rashid hurls himself into the sponge to save the extra one). Like Rash, Moeen decides to finish with a long hop. However, AB doesn’t make JP’s mistake and finds four into midwicket. The asking rate is over eight, but de Villiers and go big and David Millers is, well….

David Miller in with SA 182/4. In a matter of minutes, you will hear him described thus: “Such a good, clean striker of a cricket ball.”

8.29pm BST

31st over: South Africa 182-4 (de Villiers 19) “I too have had a sore left knee all day,” writes Phil Sawyer,” empathising with Stokes’ plight. “Sadly, England don’t miss my batting and bowling skills half as much. And yes, I’m using the word ‘skills’ there in its very loosest possible sense.” Rashid’s “skills” did for Duminy. There’s always a time and a place for “skills”.

8.27pm BST

Oh, JP. Rashid drags one short – really short – and Duminy’s eyes light up. Head to the skies, he slaps firmly across the line… and finds the only man out on the leg side!

8.24pm BST

30th over: South Africa 176-3 (de Villiers 17, Duminy 11) Five from the over mean it’s a fairly comfortable T20 chase of 164. Even with the absence of Stokes, England do of course have five who can bowl their straight 10. Joe Root might be able to burgle a couple of over, too.

8.20pm BST

29th over: South Africa 171-3 (de Villiers 14, Duminy 9) Rashid returns and it’s loose. Wide and down the legside to start. AB could let it go but he decides to put a bit on it for four in front of fine leg. Duminy then reads the googly, smoking it over cover. 10 off the over.

8.18pm BST

28th over: South Africa 161-3 (de Villiers 9, Duminy 4) Really seeing the value of Plunkett, here. Nowt in the pitch, but a combination of cross seam deliveries and Nordic shoulders is extracting a little extra from the ether. Duminy defends onto his foot and nearly pops a catch in the air. That kind of stuff

8.13pm BST

27th over: South Africa 159-3 (de Villiers 9, Duminy 2) Another expensive over from Mark Wood, albeit through searching for something extra rather than, say, being a bit rubbish. An attempted yorker is bunted down the ground by AB de Villiers. The Wood shuffle – running in straight then jumping wide of the crease – is picked off for four through wide midwicket.

8.09pm BST

26th over: South Africa 151-3 (de Villiers 1, Duminy 2) Weird one, that. The shot, that is. Plunkett’s work has probably deserved one in the wicket column. Have a look yourselves:

WICKET! @Liam628 gets Du Plessis caught behind for 67!

SA 149-2 #ENGvSA


8.06pm BST

Two in two overs! Faf tries to work the ball on the leg side when Plunkett’s putting it outside off with a bit of shape away from the right-hander. A slight leading edge through to Buttler and that’s two new batsmen at the crease…

8.04pm BST

25th over: South Africa 145-2 (du Plessis 64, de Villiers 0) Good news: Amla’s out. Bad news: AB’s in.

8.01pm BST

From nowhere! Mark Wood with the breakthrough: full and a bit of movement off the surface traps Amla in front. The umpire originally says not out but Morgan reviews and the digital stumps are disturbed.

7.57pm BST

24th over: South Africa 143-1 (Amla 72, du Plessis 63) Five runs off the over from Moeen Ali – just about his economy rate for the last couple of years – but it’s looking quite easy for South Africa. They’re able to play him off the pitch and trust the bounce enough to play square.

7.53pm BST

23rd over: South Africa 128-1 (Amla 68, du Plessis 62) A graphic comes up showing that Faf du Plessis is averaging over 80 in ODIs this year, just as England fans start to fret. Morgan turns to Mark Wood for a bit of incision, but Faf’s fours through square leg and a skipped slash through third man bring up the hundred partnership from 98 deliveries with Amla. Not great when you’ve just lost a bowler and one of your openers goes for 12…

7.50pm BST

Latest news on Ben Stokes

ECB confirm Stokes off the field with a sore left knee

7.49pm BST

22nd over: South Africa 126-1 (Amla 67, du Plessis 51) Moeen Ali takes over from the departed Stokes. Bit of loop, mixed in with a few flatter deliveries keeps both Amla and Faf watchful. Still, a single brings up Faf’s 27th ODI fifty.

7.46pm BST

21st over: South Africa 122-1 (Amla 65, Faf 49) That’s eight overs to find for Morgan. Luckily for him, Rashid is looking like he could give him a neat 10. However, without having to risk much, Faf and Hash get seven from this over.

7.43pm BST

20th over: South Africa 115-1 (Amla 60, du Plessis 47) Hmmmm… Stokes continues and it’s not great. The over itself is fine, apart from a short ball that Faf dispenses to deep midwicket for four. The pace is a good few MPH short and, at the end of the over, Stokes trudges off the field. Jonny Bairstow on as a sub.

7.38pm BST

19th over: South Africa 106-1 (Amla 57, du Plessis 41) Stokes is out on the boundary chatting to the England team doctor, stretching out his left leg. He’s popped a couple of pills so should be fine. Or distracted. An edge from du Plessis to Rashid falls just short of Joe Root at first slip.

7.32pm BST

18th over: South Africa 102-1 (Amla 55, du Plessis 39) Ah, here we are. The Million Dollar man Ben Stokes. Looks like a regulation field for him as he ushers third man back. That man is immediately in the game as a skewed edge – deliberate, to be fair – takes us to drinks.

PS: Ben Stokes is grimacing a bit here. Will keep a keen eye on any physio intervention in this mini interval.

7.30pm BST

7.28pm BST

17th over: South Africa 97-1 (Amla 53, du Plessis 36) Ooooo a whiff for England as Rashid gets Faf du Plessis to offer a leading edge… but through cover for four! Ah well…

7.25pm BST

16th over: South Africa 89-1 (Amla 52, du Plessis 31) Too straight from Plunkett and Amla steps across to tickle one down to fine leg for four to take him to his half-century. 49 deliveries for it, eight fours in there.

7.21pm BST

15th over: South Africa 82-1 (Amla 47, du Plessis 29) Four from the over, all in singles, as the run rate sticks about five and the required rate nips above seven…

7.18pm BST

14th over: South Africa (Amla 45, du Plessis 27) While Faf’s not picking Rashid, Amla seems to be having trouble picking up length from Plunkett. Extra height a factor? Mars’ two moons out of sync?

7.15pm BST

13th over: South Africa 74-1 (Amla 44, du Plessis 25) Excellent from Rashid as he does a number on du Plessis with the last five. Atherton reckons Faf is not picking him, retracting cut shots and not leaving the crease with any real purpose.

7.12pm BST

12th over: South Africa 73-1 (Amla 43, du Plessis 25) Proper Buddy Movie bowling partnership with Rashid and Plunkett. Twins is the one that springs to mind. Plunkett’s hitting the bat hard but looks to be waiting for one of these two to try and take him on.

7.08pm BST

11th over: South Africa 69-1 (Amla 41, du Plessis 23) Proper leggie’s over that, as Adil Rashid comes on immediately after Power Play. Starts beating the outside edge, drops one short that Amla punishes through square leg, then does him with the googly for an inside edge away to the fine leg fence. Ten off the over and yet the England fielders and fans “ oooo” then applaud as Rash finishes up. Imagine not loving leg spin?

7.06pm BST

WICKET! @chriswoakes gets de Kock, good catch @josbuttler

SA 33-1 #ENGvSA

More live clips:

7.04pm BST

10th over: South Africa 59-1 (Amla 32, du Plessis 22) Good one to follow from Plunkett. Sends a couple down at around 85mph, hitting the splice and stunning Faf’s palms. Just three from it.

7.02pm BST

9th over: South Africa 56-1 (Amla 30, du Plessis 21) Eeesh. Think I made a bit much of Woakes’ frugality. Mother Cricket’s given a bit back. Three wide deliveries are sent to midwicket, cover and point. Woakes scorned, Faf motoring…

6.59pm BST

8th over: South Africa 42-1 (Amla 30, du Plessis 7) Change in the bowling: North East quick for North East quick as Wood makes way for Liam Plunkett. Immediately, Faf whips him behind square but good work from Moeen saves two. He’s got a lot on his plate at the moment, does Mo. Can’t rest on his laurels after a handy 77* and the 10 overs he’s about to send down…

@MichaelVaughan Yes you did. Which is why you deleted your tweet !

6.52pm BST

7th over: South Africa 38-1 (Amla 29, du Plessis 4) A wicket to start and then a first boundary off his bowling to end Woakes’ fourth over. Ah well. Faf du Plessis, number three, hairless, finds a gap through cover point to get off the mark with a four.

6.50pm BST

Well he went for it, did de Kock. Woakes, though, wasn’t moving from his length. High and away to fine leg the ball goes… watch and taken well but Jos Buttler with the mitts.

6.47pm BST

6th over: South Africa 33-0 (Amla 28, De Kock 5) Amla doesn’t mind a bit of pace on the ball, it seems. Wood goes through midwicket twice and finishes in the covers (steady).

6.43pm BST

5th over: South Africa 21-0 (Amla 16, De Kock 5) Woakes yet to concede a boundary, or a two as it happens. Just managing to sustain a length that’s not conducive to driving. Get the feeling that soon de Kock is going to go: “hello, my name’s Quinton de Kock, and this is a ping over square leg for six”.

6.37pm BST

4th over: South Africa 18-0 (Amla 14, De Kock 4) Oh Mark. Full on the pads so Amla cocks the wrists and pulls the trigger through midwicket. Bread and butter. Wood moves to the posh side and Amla does the same through cover.

6.34pm BST

3rd over: South Africa 9-0 (Amla 5, De Kock 4) Quality operator is Chris Woakes, with the 1980s New York journalist hairdo to boot. Fair play to Mr and Mrs Woakes for rearing such an upstanding bloke. If I ever have kids, I might send them off to the Woakeses.

6.31pm BST

2nd over: South Africa 7-0 (Amla 4, De Kock 3) No boundary just yet, but a three and two get the Proteas into a groove. Mark Wood’s pace allows de Kock to punt in front of square for that three.

Bit of a half-volley, but Adrian Shankar’s Wikipedia is great, not least for the bits that are true:

6.25pm BST

1st over: South Africa 1-0 (Amla 1, De Kock 0) Just one from the over but only thanks to an outstanding bit of cricket from Eoin Morgan. Chris Woakes, opening up, puts one in Quinton de Kock’s half, which is enough for him to punch on the up through cover. But Morgan puts in the Superman dive and grabs the ball cleanly in his left hand. So continues a grand 2017…

England’s last 10 totals batting first in ODIs: 339, 328, 328, 296, 321, 350, 309, 302, 444, 324.

Average: 334#Transformation #ENGvRSA

6.18pm BST

Evening all. What a delight/surprise that was. Didn’t think England would get anywhere near this score at 198-5 but Eoin Morgan continued to defy those who reckon he’s passed it (that was his third hundred of 2017, as it happens). Let’s see if the bowling’s up to scratch. It’s been the weakest suit in this “revolutionary” white ball period.

“I wanted to draw your attention to this gem on Faf Du Plessis’s Wikipedia entry,” writes George Potter on email. This is very much up my street.

5.50pm BST

50th over: England 339-6 (Ali 77, Woakes 6) The last over, bowled by Morris, goes for 13 – with Moeen swiping the last ball of the innings into the crowd! He has played a sensational innings of 77 not out from 51 balls, with five sixes. He made 65 from his last 31 deliveries, and as a result South Africa have a tricky target of 340 to chase. Vish will be talk you through their labours. Thanks for your company, bye!

5.44pm BST

49th over: England 326-6 (Ali 68, Woakes 2) With so little time left in the innings, I’d have been tempted to promote the fast-scoring Rashid or Plunkett above Woakes. No matter. Woakes gets Moeen back on strike and he pulls Rabada round the corner for four more. This is now his highest score batting down the order in ODIs; his centuries came while opening.

5.40pm BST

48th over: England 319-6 (Ali 63, Woakes 0) Moeen edges a big yahoo for four off Morris, to spoil an otherwise superb over for South Africa. Moeen has made 51 from his last 25 balls.

5.39pm BST

Morgan’s tremendous innings ends with a mishit to Duminy at mid-off. He played beautifully, setting the tone for the series and the Champions Trophy with a punishing 107 from 93 balls.

5.36pm BST

47th over: England 311-5 (Morgan 106, Ali 57) Eoin Morgan reaches a marvellous century in style, hooking Rabada for his fifth six. He’s faced just 90 deliveries. He is in some form at the moment. That’s his third ODI hundred in 2017; he made only four in six years before that. He doesn’t always get the respect or love he deserves in this country, but he’ll bloody well get it in my house! We affectionately call him the pyjama trailblazer.

5.29pm BST

46th over: England 298-5 (Morgan 95, Ali 56) Morgan makes it four sixes in seven balls for England, hoicking Phehlukwayo over square leg. A single bring up the hundred partnership, a beautifully judged effort from 73 balls.

5.25pm BST

45th over: England 287-5 (Morgan 87, Ali 53) Moeen hits Tahir for three sixes in an over! That is tremendous batting, which takes him to a 35-ball fifty. The first two were straight sixes and the third was lifted high over midwicket. Twenty-two runs from the over!

“You can’t put vinyl on shuffle?” sniffs Phil Sawyer. “Tell my turntable from the early 90s that. The needle used to jump around like a House of Pain tribute act. I had to weigh it down with pennies blu-tacked on just to try to get through one side of an album in the manner the musicians intended.”

5.21pm BST

44th over: England 265-5 (Morgan 86, Ali 32) Phehlukwayo bowls a splendid eighth over, just four singles from it. South Africa have had a degree of control throughout this innings.

“‘The role of No7 batsman in this format is both difficult and vital’,” says Peter Hillmore, quoting me, myself and I. “Why?”

5.17pm BST

43rd over: England 261-5 (Morgan 82, Ali 30) Moeen drives Tahir to mid-off, where de Villiers lets the ball go through his legs for four. That’s the only boundary from the over, which yields seven.

“Any great sledges from the 90s?” says Andrew Benton. “I found some undated ones here – The 25 Best Ashes Sledges. Teams should employ professional sledge-writers; wonder if there’s a chance of that.”

5.14pm BST

42nd over: England 254-5 (Morgan 81, Ali 22) Five from Phehlukwayo’s over; nothing to see here. England will still have hopes of 325, especially with the power they have down the order.

“Hugh Maguire (over 35) points the finger at streaming for the decline of the carefully crafted album,” says Martin Bramhill. “Whilst I would agree with him that this pernicious playlisting nonsense the kids like is one of the heralds of the End Times, I would argue that the decline of the album started with the compact disc. The issue is not about its physical deficiencies compared to vinyl (which are legion), but rather the existence of 80 mins or so of space that bands then felt compelled to fill. Previously a single album would contain around 44-45 minutes of music at the most and therefore a more ruthless approach to editing was required. At 80 minutes, the album could now contain a whole load of stuff that previously would have been relegated to b-sides or the vault. Albums became too long with too much filler, so the listener was almost forced to skip tracks to avoid boredom. Streaming and playlisting is the inevitable consequence of this change to listening habits.”

5.09pm BST

41st over: England 249-5 (Morgan 80, Ali 22) Parnell goes around the wicket to Moeen, who has so far had very little room to free his arms. So Moeen improvises, running down the wicket to pick Parnell up for a big six over midwicket. Later in the over he walks across his stumps to flash a pull behind square for four more. Splendid stuff from Moeen.

5.03pm BST

40th over: England 237-5 (Morgan 79, Ali 12) Phehlukwayo returns to the attack. South Africa get their field wrong, with not enough men inside the circle, so that’s a no-ball and a free hit. Morgan makes the most of it, belabouring a slower ball over midwicket for six. Eleven from the over.

4.59pm BST

39th over: England 226-5 (Morgan 72, Ali 10) Moeen can’t quite get going at the moment. He steals a very risky single to Duminy and is short of his crease when the throw whistles wide of the stumps. The role of No7 batsman in this format is both difficult and vital. Ideally Moeen would open but his temperament, flexibility and strokeplay make him a decent option. Sam Billings is probably best suited to the role but England need the sixth bowler.

“35th-over score???” says John Starbuck. “286 for 5? I know Homer nods sometimes, along with OBO writers under pressure, but that really does look like a wish.”

4.54pm BST

38th over: England 222-5 (Morgan 70, Ali 8) Morgan uses those rubber wrists to clatter a short ball from Duminy behind square on the off side for four. Beautiful shot. He is chasing his third century in the last eight ODI; before that he had scored two in around 60 games. There are worse times to hit form.

4.51pm BST

37th over: England 213-5 (Morgan 62, Ali 7) Morgan is surprised by an excellent short ball from Morris that takes the glove and flies through the vacant slip area for a single.

4.46pm BST

36th over: England 206-5 (Morgan 60, Ali 5) Duminy (4-0-19-0) replaces Tahir. His second ball is wide of leg stump and swept fine for four by Morgan, who has played extremely well for his 60 not out from 58 balls. England might need him to double that if they are to win this game, however.

4.43pm BST

35th over: England 202-5 (Morgan 55, Ali 4) That was almost another wicket for Morris. Moeen waved a short ball just wide of the man flying to his left at backward point and away for four.

“Things to be nostalgic about: the album,” says Hugh Maguire. “No, not albums named “the best ‘whatever’ album in the world, ever” but albums. Streaming music has led to the decline of a carefully crafted album as a musical journey and made way for the playlist. This is a travesty and an example of the trend of democratisation proving that just because you can give people a choice it doesn’t mean you should.”

4.39pm BST

This is a huge wicket for South Africa. Buttler pings the new bowler Morris round the corner and straight to leg gully, where Miller takes another very smart catch. That, as Mike Atherton says on Sky, is terrific cricket from South Africa – they had a number of close fielders for Buttler in an attempt to get him out before he got them. They succeeded.

4.36pm BST

34th over: England 198-4 (Morgan 55, Buttler 7) Morgan mistimes a pull off Tahir that teases long-on before landing short of him. <Kidsthesedays> Buttler gets off the mark with a reverse sweep </kidsthesedays> and then clips a full toss lazily for four.

“In response to your comment (30th over) about England goal keeper kits from 1996, can I just add, as the proud owner for 20+ years of one of those Sondico technicolour houndstooth/vaguely Aztec print goalie tops, there’s nothing wrong with them,” says John Foster. “I’m a pretty big deal in the children’s birthday party entertainment business.”

4.34pm BST

33rd over: England 190-4 (Morgan 53, Buttler 0) Stokes really nailed that shot so it was a good catch from Miller. South Africa have timed their wickets extremely well today. “Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “You want some 90s nostalgia? Well I would, but I’m afraid I’m too sexy for all that nonsense. No way I’m reminiscing.”

4.31pm BST

Stokes sweet-spots a pull off Rabada towards deep midwicket, where Miller takes a sharp catch. A sharp catch at deep midwicket; that’s how much cricket has changed.

4.22pm BST

32nd over: England 186-3 (Morgan 53, Stokes 24) South Africa’s over-rate is lamentable; they need to bowl 18 overs in 70 minutes to finish on time. The spin of Tahir will help, and he scoots through another over at a personal cost of four scoring points.

4.18pm BST

31st over: England 182-3 (Morgan 51, Stokes 22) Rabada comes back into the attack. He has a bit of history with Stokes, and now they have a bit more: a sweet golf shot over long-on for six. England are back on course for a big score.

4.15pm BST

30th over: England 174-3 (Morgan 50, Stokes 15) Morgan plays another classy lofted cover-drive for four, this time off Tahir, and this time prompting a blast of Guru Josh over the tannoy. Guru Josh at the cricket! He forces Tahir to the cover boundary again off the last ball, bringing up an excellent half-century from 44 balls.

“Lee Smith (over 23) can hate on that England goalkeeping kit all he likes – I was the very proud owner of one of those shirts during Euro 96,” says Will Horwood. “If I were seeking mitigation, I’d say that I was 11 at the time, but that kit is so brilliant that I don’t think any mitigation is necessary.”

4.10pm BST

29th over: England 162-3 (Morgan 40, Stokes 13) Morgan is leading from the front foot. He gives Duminy the charge and swings him handsomely over extra cover for four. He has 40 from 40 balls; Stokes has 13 from 20.

“It’s been a curiously long month of May without a Test or other international cricket to get one’s teeth into,” says David Williams. “If we’re doing 90s nostalgia, and things we want to bring back, musically there’d only be one choice for me: Jeff Buckley. Feeling a little listless and morose last night after the news, I sought some music from simpler times… and ended up putting ‘Grace’ on for the first time in an absolute age; an album of still astonishing ethereal brilliance by someone who left us far too young. Who knows what he may have gone on to achieve?”

4.07pm BST

28th over: England 154-3 (Morgan 34, Stokes 11) Tahir returns to the attack. He has seven overs remaining, and for the time being England are content to milk him for singles. Tahir and Duminy have combined figures of 7-0-26-0, with no boundaries conceded.

Meanwhile, here’s the latest on a possible Ashes boycott from our old friend Andy Bull.

Related: Steve Smith allays fears of Ashes boycott but backs union against board

4.04pm BST

27th over: England 150-3 (Morgan 32, Stokes 9) Stokes is getting frustrated with Duminy’s slippery offspin, on which he can’t quite get a (long) handle. Four from Duminy’s third over; he still hasn’t conceded a boundary.

“90s nostalgia?” sniffs Phil Sawyer. “I miss Skee-Lo, it being acceptable to wear tops so baggy no-one could tell what frame you were underneath, and not groaning out loud when I get up off the couch. Actually, stuff the 90s revival. This decade has supposedly seen an 80s revival, but I have yet to see the return of Bitza Pizza.”

4.01pm BST

25th over: England 146-3 (Morgan 30, Stokes 7) Morgan is quickly onto Phehlukwayo’s short ball, pulling it sweetly round the corner for four, and he follows that by making room to loft a six that lands on the boundary rope. A good over for England, 13 from it.

Brass Eye is definitely something that makes me yearn for the 90s,” says Rob Hill. “The thought of Noel Edmonds talking earnestly to camera about Shatner’s bassoon – the part of the brain stimulated by Cake, itself a ‘made up drug’ – still makes me smile. Lovely.”

3.58pm BST

Phehlukwayo optimistically/ludicrously reviews an unsuccessful LBW appeal against Stokes. The ball clearly pitched outside leg, and replays showed there was an inside edge as well. That’s a bit of a shocker from South Africa, especially as you only have one review in this format.

3.56pm BST

25th over: England 133-3 (Morgan 19, Stokes 5) Stokes is another one who likes to play himself in and trusts himself to make it up later in the innings. I think he identified that as the main reason for his improvement in this format. He has five from 12 balls after another thrifty over from Duminy. England have a bit of work to do to reach a par score, even if nobody really knows what that par score is.

“While deep down the rabbit hole looking for the answer (not to cheat I swear, for own amusement),” begins Matt Davies, “Wikipedia tells me that Matthew Fleming hit his first two balls in first-class cricket for sixes, but this is without citation – can anyone provide?”

3.52pm BST

24th over: England 130-3 (Morgan 18, Stokes 3) South Africa have a good grip on the game just now. England have hit only one four (and two sixes) in the last 12 overs.

3.48pm BST

23rd over: England 126-3 (Morgan 16, Stokes 1) England’s latest challenge is the offspin of JP Duminy. “He’s much more than a part-timer,” says thd commentator Shaun Pollock. We need a name for these bowlers, who are not full-time or part-time. Zero-hours bowlers has a ring to it, eh.

“Will Horwood is alright asking for the return of the 1992 Pakistan kit,” says Lee Smith, “just as long as we keep this firmly locked away.”

3.44pm BST

22nd over: England 122-3 (Morgan 14, Stokes 0) The new batsman is Mr Ben Stokes. Phehlukwayo has two for 12 from three match-changing overs.

3.43pm BST

Morgan charges Phehlukwayo and swings him over wide mid-on for a lovely six. Three balls later Root falls, swatting a short ball to midwicket. The bouncer was too high for him to control the stroke and it looped high to Amla. That’s a tame end to an innings of diminishing returns from Root: he got off to a flying start but struggled thereafter and made 37 from 51 balls.

3.39pm BST

21st over: England 115-2 (Root 37, Morgan 8) England have been denied the oxygen of boundaries and so has the OBO, hence the relatively short entries. This thing of ours is nothing without boundaries. Four singles from Parnell’s over.

“The Day Today and Neil Fairbrother?” says Julian Diamond. “I have been an OBO lurker since 2005 and this is my first contribution ever, though I have still got a draft e-mail to John Ashdown from c2009 which I’m still working on.”

3.35pm BST

20th over: England 111-2 (Root 35, Morgan 6) Morgan works Phehlukwayo through midwicket for three, his first really effective stroke. South Africa have done well to restrict England to just two boundaries in the last eight overs.

3.31pm BST

We have a winner, if that’s the right word. “Isn’t the answer something ridiculous like the English Chris Harris,” says Alex Bramble, “none other than…Matthew Fleming?”

Yep, it is indeed Jazzer Fleming. I still can’t believe England left him out of the 1999 World Cup.

3.30pm BST

19th over: England 107-2 (Root 34, Morgan 3) Morgan edges Parnell in the air but safely wide of slip for a single, one of a handful in the over.

“A lot of my favourite things from the 1990s have been brought back in recent years, including Suede, Lush and Norwich City being in the Premier League,” says Will Horwood. “Would it be too much to ask for Pakistan to revert to their 1992 World Cup kit for the Champions Trophy?”

3.25pm BST

18th over: England 103-2 (Root 32, Morgan 1) “Neighbours on the BBC,” says Thomas Jenkins. “Being on the Beeb somehow legitimized the viewing of such arrant nonsense. Whereas watching it felt like a perverse act the second it went over to Five. Turning off my brain and tuning into Ramsay St – sat agog in front of that perma-sun much as one is warmed by the glow of one’s laptop-screen over the course of an Ashes winter – was my own form of meditation. I’ve become an unstable monster in the years since without it and refuse to countenance the possibility that there may be other reasons closer to home for why that is so. It’s because I don’t know what Toadfish is upto nowadays and I’ll hear no other speculation. Neighbours on the BBC or Frasier. One or the other.”

Possibly the best and certainly the most alarming thing about Neighbours was how often

some people I knew watched it twice, once at school during lunch and again in the evening.

3.22pm BST

Andile Phehlukwayo strikes first ball! Hales tries to cut a loosener outside off stump and somehow edges it through to the keeper. He swishes his bat in frustration. It was a fine innings of 61 from 60 balls but he knows he could have been a century, maybe a big one.

3.20pm BST

17th over: England 101-1 (Hales 61, Root 31) Parnell is back and Hales greets him with an almighty six, smashed on the run over long-on. It’s weird to reflect how much pressure Hales was perceived to be under when he returned to the team a couple of months ago. He is inked in for the Champions Trophy now.

A few more suggestions for our mystery biffer: Ali Brown, Sir Ian Botham, Marcus Trescothick, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Neil Fairbrother, Martin McCague, Chris Lewis, Nick Knight, Darren Gough, Mark Ealham, Freddie Flintoff, Ian Austin and Neighbours on the BBC. It’s none of those.

3.10pm BST

16th over: England 90-1 (Hales 51, Root 30) A single off Morris takes Hales to a typically thumping fifty, from 52 balls and with eight fours. Time for drinks. It’s a reflection of modern batting that South Africa will probably be the happier side, even though England are scoring at almost six an over.

“Long time lurker, first time caller,” says Luke Harris. “Is it Luke Wright or Craig Kieswetter?” Nope, both are in the high 80s.

3.05pm BST

15th over: England 87-1 (Hales 49, Root 29) Root plays the first semi-aggressive stroke against Tahir, timing him through midwicket for two. That’s about all. Tahir has hurried through three overs at a cost of just 11.

“Rob,” says Andrew Benton. “Got to be the impeccable Moeen? Nostalgia’s not what it used to be. The only thing I’d bring back from the ‘90s is the first series of This Life. It’s timeless. Bring back steam trains and pints of warm beer for a thruppeny bit!”

3.02pm BST

14th over: England 82-1 (Hales 47, Root 26) Hales tries to cut a very wide delivery from Morris and toe-ends it for four. Fortune favours the cross-batted clubber.

“Dear Smyth,” says Sam Rhodes. “Is the answer Kevin ‘Genius’ Pietersen? Or am I buying into his (publicist’s) hype?”

2.58pm BST

13th over: England 74-1 (Hales 41, Root 24) Three of the four leading ODI wickettakers since the last World Cup are legspinners: Adil Rashid, the remarkable Rashid Khan and this man Imran Tahir. I suppose taking wickets in the middle overs is more important than ever in this age of unstoppable death-hitting. Nothing much has happened in Tahir’s spell so far, with minimal turn and England dealing exclusively in low-risk singles.

2.55pm BST

FUN quiz

Five England players, who have batted at least 10 times in ODIs, have a strike-rate of over 100. Four of them are in the current squad: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett. Who is the other?

2.54pm BST

12th over: England 69-1 (Hales 39, Root 21) Hales ends a shocking boundary drought of almost three overs, thumping Morris down the ground. He is beaten for pace by a bouncer next ball and top-edgiesa pull for four. He has 39 from 43 balls, Root has 21 from 26. It’s a good contest, this, and both teams will be happy enough with their work so far.

“I’d like to bring back staying up until three in the morning to watch American comedies like Seinfeld and Larry Sanders on BBC2,” says Daniel Seppings. “Kids nowadays etc.”

2.50pm BST

11th over: England 59-1 (Hales 30, Root 20) The Powerplay is over, so Imran Tahir is coming into the attack. He is top of the ODI bowling rankings and a brilliant wickettaker in the middle overs. You’d expect Root especially to go after him, mind you. For now he’s bowling to Hales, who can’t pierce the field from any of the first five deliveries but does get a single from the sixth.

2.47pm BST

10th over: England 58-1 (Hales 29, Root 20) South Africa have slowed England down since Morris came into the attack, and he continues that with a really good maiden to Root.

“Hi Rob,” says Gareth Radford. “Long time OBOer – you guys helped me get my cricket team together in the heady days of 2005. Just wondering how the Long Blondes are doing these days?”

2.43pm BST

9th over: England 58-1 (Hales 29, Root 20) Doogie Howser MD. That’s what they should bring back from the 1990s. Rabada would probably be happy if they brought back the old no-ball rules, without free hits for front-foot offences, because he has just bowled his third of the innings. He gets away with the free hit again,angling a full toss past Hales’s attempted swipe.

2.37pm BST

8th over: England 53-1 (Hales 26, Root 19) Chris Morris comes on for Wayne Parnell. His third ball is too wide and Hales blasts it square for four. A single brings up a calmly authoritative fifty partnership from just 40 balls.

“Things to bring back from the 90s,” says Stephen Brown. “The use of apostrophes when referring to decades. It’s how I learnt and it’s how it should be; no one in the 90’s would have dropped it.”

2.33pm BST

7th over: England 47-1 (Hales 21, Root 18) Delightful batting from Root, who jumps back to glide Rabada wide of the slips for four. Rabada bowls another front-foot no-ball but this time ensures Root cannot take advantage of the free hit by spearing in a terrific yorker.

“If it’s nostalgia your having then make mine a pint,” says Lee Smith, “and while you’re at it can you bring back computer games, on cassette tape, that took six minutes to load. If you were lucky.”

2.28pm BST

6th over: England 41-1 (Hales 21, Root 13) Hales plays a brilliant stroke, wristily whipping Parnell wide of mid-on for four from well outside off stump. It works so well that he does it again later in the over – not quite as eye-catchingly, but with the same boundarific result. England have scored 35 from the last four overs.

“Am watching on telly in Joburg, trying to get my VPN to cooperate so that I can listen to TMS and am, of course, reading the OBO,” says Eva Maaten. “We’ve been following the Proteas quite closely since we got here last year (we even have season tickets for the Wanderers Stadium) and I’ve become slightly grudgingly quite impressed by them. Should still be England’s day today, I hope!”

2.23pm BST

5th over: England 31-1 (Hales 12, Root 12) Root continues his excellent start, timing Rabada square on the off side for four to move to 11 from five balls. A front-foot no-ball then gets the appropriate punishment when Hales panels the free hit for four.

“Going by the TMS commentary, England’s new batsmen (with the possible exception of Root) seem to have trouble getting their feet moving at the start of their innings,” says John Starbuck. “Surely they’d practice this above all else? You can’t play decent strokes otherwise, unless you’ve got an exceptional eye and aren’t bothered about the niceties.”

2.18pm BST

4th over: England 20-1 (Hales 7, Root 7) Root punches an uppish cover-drive for two more. It wasn’t as well controlled as the first one and had short-extra interested for most of its flight before dropping short.

2.15pm BST

3rd over: England 17-1 (Hales 7, Root 4) Rabada swings a beautiful delivery through Hales’s gate, over middle stump and wide of the diving de Kock for four byes. South Africa have started strongly, aided by a bit of swing in particular. As ever in modern ODI cricket, the task for the team batting first is trying to work out what the hell is a good score. The good thing about England and Hales in particular is that they are happy to take a few balls to get their eye in if necessary, knowing they have the power to make up for lost balls. Root is the exception to that; he generally scores at around a run a ball from the off. Hales, having made three from his first nine deliveries, pings an attempted yorker behind square on the leg side for four.

“I think what we could all do after this week is an old-fashioned OBO riff,” says David Hopkins. “Also, this week more than ever I sort of which we could just back to the 90s. So could I suggest a discussion on 90s things that we should demand to have back? As I kick off I recently thoroughly enjoyed a Natalie Imbruglia concert, which wasn’t entirely populated with blokes of my age making cow eyes at her. Just mostly.”

2.10pm BST

2nd over: England 6-1 (Hales 1, Root 3) That ball to Roy didn’t swing; it just went across with the angle and found the edge of what was a loose stroke. It happens. You can’t ask Roy to live by the sword and expect him never to die by it. Root shows how to play the stroke, pushing his first delivery classily through extra cover for three. He is so good at seizing the initiative from the first ball; perhaps England’s best since Graham Thorpe.

2.07pm BST

The left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell will share the new ball. He hasn’t quite delivered on the thrilling promise he showed over here during the 2009 World Twenty20, but he is still only 27 and has a good record in all formats. And he has the first wicket here! Roy throws his hands into a big drive outside off stump and snicks it straight through to the keeper.

2.04pm BST

1st over: England 3-0 (Roy 1, Hales 1) Kagiso Rabada, the tremendous 21-year-old, will open the bowling. No fast bowler has taken more ODI wickets since the last World Cup, and he wants some more: he has three slips for the first over. He hits a full length straight away and finds an edge of sorts from Hales, but it’s thick enough to scoot well wide of the slips. Roy then gets off the mark in similar style. A good first over from Rabada, more like a Test match than an ODI.

1.57pm BST

There is an impeccably observed minute’s silence for those who died in the Manchester attack.

1.50pm BST

A plug

I am here today, hosting this thing of ours, is because of my occasional OBO colleague Tim de Lisle. His editor’s notes in the January 1999 edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly are the reason I got into journalism. In eight months working with him at in 2001-02, I learned more about writing than in 15 years since. He was born to write a book about how to write – and now he has. If you like words, you should buy it. If you don’t like words, you should buy it.

1.50pm BST

“First big OBO of the summer,” says Lee Smith, “and I think an appropriate moment to remember Dan Lucas, who was always ready to write about cricket and show his disdain for Celine Dion.”

Yes, it still doesn’t seem real. I keep wondering what he thinks of the new Twin Peaks (no spoilers please, I haven’t watched it yet), or Radiohead finally releasing Lift. The Guardian sports desk is a much less vibrant place without him.

1.37pm BST

Some pre-match reading

Related: England’s Morgan relishes South Africa challenge in Champions Trophy buildup | Vic Marks

1.37pm BST

England Roy, Hales, Root, Morgan (capt), Stokes, Buttler (wk), Moeen, Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Wood.

South Africa Amla, de Kock (wk), du Plessis, de Villiers (capt), Duminy, Miller, Morris, Parnell, Phelukwayo, Rabada, Tahir.

1.36pm BST

Eoin Morgan would have done the same but seems happy enough batting first.

9.55am BST

England’s ODI side have been all kinds of fun in the last two years. As anybody familiar with this weird, repressed little country knows, however, eventually the fun has to stop. England have had a free pass, pretty much, since the nadir’s nadir of the 2015 World Cup. Now things get a bit more serious, because for the first time they have to deal with the weight of all those expectations.

We know that England are entertaining and a breath of the fresh stuff. What we don’t quite know is how good they are: whether, in the upcoming Champions Trophy, they are dangerous loose cannons, formidable favourites or something inbetween – and whether they can play with the same batting freedom now that there is such expectation on them to become the first England side to win a global 50-over tournament.

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May 24

Jacques Rudolph: Glamorgan batsman to retire at end of 2017 season

Glamorgan’s former South Africa batsman Jacques Rudolph is to retire from cricket at the end of the 2017 season.

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May 24

Ed Joyce: Sussex batsman retires from county cricket to focus on Ireland career

Sussex batsman Ed Joyce retires from county cricket with immediate effect to focus on his career with Ireland.

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May 23

England’s Morgan relishes South Africa challenge in Champions Trophy buildup | Vic Marks

The Proteas provide the opposition at Headingley on Wednesday afternoon in the first of three ODIs for England before June’s Champions Trophy campaign

Here at last comes cricket’s chance to dominate the sporting agenda. England and South Africa gathered at Headingley on the eve of the first of three ODIs, which both sides acknowledge are the ideal preparation for next month’s Champions Trophy.

The sun was shining in Leeds, with the promise of another fine day on Wednesday. The “superstars” of the IPL, such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, were out there strutting their stuff; the pitch looked brown and brimful of runs, and even the old rugby stand seemed in unusually pristine condition in anticipation of an eager audience.

Related: Norman Callaway, the prodigy with a better first-class average than Bradman | The Spin

Related: Sachin Tendulkar: ‘When I was injured I could not sleep at night’

Related: County cricket talking points: Kumar Sangakkara eyes a century of centuries

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