The Proteas will be relatively pleased in restricting England to 311/8 in the World Cup opener at The Oval in London on Thursday.
Lungi Ngidi took three wickets, while Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada claimed two wickets each, but it was the impressive fielding by the South Africans that stood out.
After captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bowl first, the visitors struck with the second ball of the innings as spinner Tahir – who surprisingly opened the bowling – found the outside edge of Jonny Bairstow’s bat, and Quinton de Kock took a fine catch.
Jason Roy and Joe Root then took control, putting on 106 for the second wicket in 18 overs, and it looked like it was going to be a long day for the South Africans.
But they hit back with two wickets in three balls, with Andile Phehlukwayo producing a loose shot out of Roy (54 off 53 balls, 8x4) and Rabada luring Root into a drive outside off for 51 (59 balls, 5x4).