losangelesnewstoday.com May 21, 2018

Stokes century punishes South Africa

28 May 2017, 02:10 | Stacy Ballard

South Africa's bowlers improved from the first match of the series at Headingley in Leeds on Friday, when England won by 72 runs.

His early exit prompted concerns that he could miss the start of the ICC Champions Trophy, but the 25-year-old has been able to shake off the problem.

Stokes completed his hundred with a scampered two only to hole out at long-off soon afterwards, giving Maharaj a wicket at last in his final over.

The Proteas required seven runs off the final over after England had totalled 330-6 from their 50 overs and, with David Miller (71) and Chris Morris (36) well set, it seemed as though they would get home with little fuss.

Woakes had felt muscle tightness in his right leg and England chose to take no chances with him as the Champions Trophy looms next week. Two singles were followed by a dot ball, a single and another dot ball. And it was Plunkett who did the trick a second time, with a short ball which followed the South Africa captain as he tried to leave and ran over his glove for a second caught-behind.

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England though will be concerned about the availability of all-rounder Ben Stokes after the all-rounder injured his knee in the series opener.

He deceived Stokes with a well-flighted delivery that took the left-hander's outside edge only for the ball to go through Amla's hands at slip for four.

Ben Stokes was dropped off the first two deliveries he faced before he smashed 101 off 79 balls. But after arriving on the south coast for Saturday's match at the Ageas Bowl, South Africa's number-three batsman expects a significant improvement. Amla eventually went leaning back on a thrashed drive in the covers off Stokes that flew straight to Morgan.

Next ball produced another edge, with de Kock failing to hold a more hard chance.

De Kock faced 103 balls including 11 fours but the real drama on a now gloriously sunny day was still to come.

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