Cape Town: Quinton de Kock marked his first game as South Africa's one-day captain with a century and a seven-wicket win over world champions England on Tuesday.
De Kock made 107 and Temba Bavuma was out for 98 after a 173-run partnership with de Kock.
But despite missing out on a hundred, Bavuma also made a statement after he was contentiously dropped from South Africa's Test team in the recent series against England.
England won that Test series 3-1 last month but didn't have the same success in their first ODI since the dramatic win over New Zealand in a Super Over in the Cricket World Cup final last July.
England only fielded five of the players that won the World Cup at Lord's, but four of them were the top four and they failed to get going at Newlands after South Africa put them in to bat.
England was in real strife at 131-6 and eventually struggled to 258-8 in its 50 overs.
South Africa was 259-3 with two overs and two balls to spare.
“We were way off the mark and we were hurt,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. "South Africa completely outplayed us today in all departments. We've got no excuses. We didn’t adapt to the conditions today. Every batsman apart from Joe Denly and Chris Woakes struggled to get going, which probably emphasizes we are a little bit rusty.”
Denly, one of just four players who played in the Test series triumph, made 87 to lift England out of trouble. Woakes, another man who helped England win the Tests, made 40 off 42 balls and the pair shared a 91-run stand for the seventh wicket.
South Africa's chase was comfortable, though, after de Kock and Bavuma combined to take the Proteas from 25-1 to 198-2 when de Kock was out bowled by Joe Root. De Kock hit 11 fours and a six in his 107, and opened the batting and kept wicket as well as leading the team for the first time after his appointment to succeed Faf du Plessis.
He collected the man of the match award to go with a victory and a 15th ODI century on his captaincy debut.
“To be honest, it’s only one game,” de Kock said. “We’ll see how it goes in the near future. Hopefully, it keeps on being good for me.”
Bavuma's dismissal two short of a century and with his team 25 runs from victory was the only real disappointment for South Africa. He was trapped lbw by Chris Jordan and tried a desperate review. It didn't help him but Bavuma's innings was applauded by the crowd as if it was a century.
England used the start of a new World Cup cycle to give ODI debuts to batsman Tom Banton, who made 18, and legspinner Matt Parkinson, who had 0-48 off 8.4 overs.
South Africa also had two players on debut, fast bowler Lutho Sipamla (1-40) and Jon-Jon Smuts, who hit the winning runs with a sweep for four.
The remaining games in the three-match series are in Durban and Johannesburg.
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