Rassie van der Dussen’s century helped South Africa ruin Ben Stokes’ farewell to one-day international cricket as the Proteas won by 62 runs at the England star’s home ground in Durham, going 1-0 in a three-game streak. Van der Dussen’s career best 134 was the cornerstone of South Africa’s 335-5, their highest ODI total in England. He also shared a score of 109 with opener Janneman Malan (57) and 151 with Aiden Markram, who made a stylish 77. Test captain Stokes had no fairytale ending to a 50-plus international cricket career that peaked with a player of the match showcased in England’s 2019 World Cup Final victory.
The struggling 31-year-old paceman took an expensive 0-44 in five overs amid scorching heat after being cheered on by his loyal home fans as he led England onto the pitch.
Stokes then made just five with the bat before being lbw to off-spinner Markram after missing a reverse sweep.
Stokes had announced on Monday that this match would be his 105th and last game at this level, with the dynamic all-rounder saying that an overcrowded schedule in England meant he had to ditch ODIs to still give his best in Tests and Twenty20s.
“We will miss Stokes”
Fellow World Cup winner Jos Buttler, now England’s cue captain, thanked Stokes for his ODI efforts.
“Three years ago (the 2019 World Cup final) will be long remembered, but every day he shows up, whether it’s for training or a game, he puts in 100 percent.
“He has been a fantastic ambassador for us in ODI cricket. We will miss him.”
Joe Root took the lead after Stokes fired with a run-a-ball fifty.
But a 103 goal from the last eight overs, with England already six wickets behind, was too much for even the world’s top-ranked Test batsman.
Root was eventually bowled for an excellent 86 by the speedy Anrich Nortje, who finished 4-53 from 8.5 overs.
“The boys were very clinical today,” South African captain Keshav Maharaj told Sky Sports. “Rassie set the tone with the bat and then the bowlers stuck to their plans very well, so all credit for their performances.”
On a day when the temperature reached 37 degrees, it was no surprise that skippered Maharaj instead of the injured Temba Bavuma, chose to bat first after winning the toss.
“We didn’t expect a heat wave in England to be this hot, it was quite nostalgic, like being at home!” Maharaj said.
However, the circumstances took their toll on England ODI debutant Matthew Potts, called up after the recent 2-1 loss in the series against India, who threw just four overs before leaving the field due to the heat.
England openers Jason Roy (43) and Jonny Bairstow (63) had started the pursuit of the 50-over world champions with a partnership of 102 in 19 overs.
But that tie ended when Roy broke off the left arm spinner Maharaj and David Miller, who drove around from a long distance, had a good low catch.
Bairstow, who was given a reprieve when Lungi Ngidi dropped a routine long leg chance, was lbw on the sweep to Markram (2-25) shortly after.
Slow bowling also proved the undoing of Buttler, caught and bowled for 12 by Tabraiz Shamsi, a left arm wrist spinner.
Buttler, proud of the way England handled the extreme heat, said: “We just couldn’t quite find those breakthroughs, we couldn’t break that fantastic partnership between Van der Dussen and Markram. In the chase we never managed to force ourselves all over with the bat.”
Previously, Van der Dussen’s leg-gazed boundary from Curran saw him celebrate a 90-ball hundred including nine. It was the 33-year-old’s third century in 36 ODIs and the first against England.
He failed to surpass his previous highest ODI score of 129 against India in Paarl in January this year, before being bowled by a Liam Livingstone delivery who kept two balls low after the spinner fired Markram.
The series continues on Friday at Old Trafford.
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