Cape Town: After coming up short in the first ODI of the three-match series against South Africa, England skipper Eoin Morgan said that his side was way off the mark and their opponent completely outplayed them.
England managed to score 258/8 in their allotted fifty overs. However, the Proteas managed to chase down the total with ease as skipper Quinton de Kock (107) and Temba Bavuma (98) put on 173 runs for the second wicket.
South Africa got over the line with seven wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.
"We were way off the mark, and we were hurt. South Africa completely outplayed us today in all departments. We have got no excuses. We did not adapt to the conditions today that were set in front of us because we knew it was not going to be an absolute run-fest," ESPNCricinfo quoted Morgan as saying.
England found itself at 131/6 at one stage and it boiled down to Joe Denly who ensured that the team reached a respectable score. Denly played a knock of 87 runs to allow the visitors to reach the 250-run mark. England's big guns -- Jonny Bairstow (19), Jason Roy (32), Joe Root (17) and skipper Morgan (11) all failed to leave a mark with the bat.
"But every batsman, apart from Joe Denly and Chris Woakes really struggled to get going, which probably emphasises that we are a little bit rusty. But South Africa bowled well and accurately. They used the conditions really well with slower balls, and then we could not penetrate the partnership between de Kock and Bavuma, so it made things very difficult for us. But full credit to them, they have started the series very well," Morgan said.
"I think we lost wickets in clusters, and when myself and Joe Root went at the same time, we continued to lose wickets until the Woakes and Denly partnership. But, I suppose that total would only get us in the game if we bowled well and managed to take early wickets. But having let those guys get themselves in, it was a struggle to drag things back," he added.
England would now look to level the series in the second ODI, slated to be played on February 7 at Kingsmead in Durban....