Stokes smashes century after lucky start as England make 330

Sunday, 28 May, 2017

Seamer Mark Wood bowled a sensational last over for England to beat top-ranked South Africa by two runs and win their one-day global series on Sunday (NZ time).

England were hoping their number one match-winner would be able to play a full part in training in Southampton.

On a day of six dropped catches by South Africa, it was Stokes who made them pay most heavily with his second one-day worldwide hundred, along with Jos Buttler's 46-ball 50 and telling runs too from Eoin Morgan. England lead the series 1-0 after beating New Zealand by 72 runs at Leeds. The third and last ODI is on Monday (UK time) at Lord's. It was all down to a heroic last over from Mark Wood.

South Africa are determined to put the pressure back on England after blowing away the cobwebs in their opening Royal London Series defeat at Headingley.

However, Durham's Wood produced a master-class of "death" bowling to restrict the opposition to just four singles as Eoin Morgan's side secured a two-run victory to wrap up the three-match series with one game to go.

The 25-year-old, who hit 11 fours and three sixes from 79 balls, told Sky Sports: "I t's always nice hitting the ball well and knowing you've got a bit of form behind you".

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Stokes has recently returned from the Indian Premier League, where he was crowned the most valuable player at the competition.

Stokes finally fell in the 44th over when he holed out in the deep to give debutante left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (1-72) his lone wicket.

Morgan and Stokes wrought the advantage for England with a stand of 95 that was ended in the 33rd over when Rabada dismissed Morgan for 45 with De Kock diving forward to snare a low catch. Stokes received reprieves off his first two deliveries.

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

He unfurled a range of destructive shots, sending Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris for three massive sixes.

But as Wednesday s match demonstrated, England can win well without a major contribution from Stokes, a point emphasised by fast bowler Liam Plunkett. Before the over there's a lengthy delay while the umpires examine the ball and have a chat with AB de Villiers, who doesn't seem to be liking what he's hearing, but they eventually play on with the same nugget.