Batsman Hashim Amla lamented South Africa’s inability to successfully combat centurion Eoin Morgan and half-centurion Moeen Ali, as England clinched a vital 72-run win in the first ODI in Leeds on Wednesday.
Morgan’s superb 107 and Ali’s complementary 77 powered the hosts to 339 for six, after which seamer Chris Woakes’ four-wicket haul played a large part in restricting the visitors to 267 all out.
“In any ODI, if somebody gets a ton, it will propel you to a good total, especially if you bat lower down the order,” said Amla.
“You get guys batting at number four and five, coming late in the game and getting a ton, that’s why Morgan’s innings was a game-changer.”
The hard-hitting Ali’s innings was particularly impressive – and included three sixes in one over off the bowling of leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
“Moeen’s 70-odd also allowed England to get 20-30 runs more than what we expected,” added Amla.
The second ODI of the three-match series will be played in Southampton on Saturday.