England v South Africa: Alex Hales & Jonny Bairstow seal crushing T20 win
|First Twenty20 international, Southampton:|
|South Africa 142-3 (20 overs): De Villiers 65*, Behardien 64*|
|England 143-1 (14.3 overs): Bairstow 60*, Hales 47*|
|England won by nine wickets|
England responded to their Champions Trophy disappointment with a nine-wicket win against South Africa in the first of three Twenty20 internationals.
England were excellent with the ball in Southampton, restricting the Proteas to 142-3 despite a stand of 110 between AB de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien.
Jonny Bairstow made 60 not out off 35 balls and Alex Hales an unbeaten 47 to complete the chase with 5.3 overs left.
The second match of the series is in Taunton on Friday.
Victory would give England a series win to follow a 2-1 success in the one-day internationals that came before the Champions Trophy, where they were beaten in the semi-finals by Pakistan.
Four Tests against South Africa follow the T20s.
Bowlers squeeze South Africa in Southampton sun
On choosing to bat, South Africa captain De Villiers predicted that the Southampton surface could be on the slow side, but the Proteas' struggle to score was down to the skill of the home attack.
David Willey bowled JJ Smuts with the first ball of the match and the pacy Mark Wood accounted for both Reeza Hendricks and David Miller to leave the visitors 32-3.
Behardien joined De Villiers one delivery into the fifth over and, although they remained together for the rest of the innings, they struggled to accelerate to a total that would test England.
Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane, making his international debut, was impressive in the middle overs, squeezing with county colleague and slow left-armer Liam Dawson. Between them they conceded 41 runs from eight overs.
With the bowling backed up by some committed fielding, South Africa were restricted to three fours and four sixes after the six-over powerplay at the beginning of the innings.
Though De Villiers slog-swept two wonderful maximums at the death, he struggled for timing in his 58-ball unbeaten 65 and was outscored by Behardien, who made 64 not out from 52 balls.
England cruise the run chase
If South Africa failed to get to grips with the conditions, England made Southampton look ideal for batting and cantered the chase.
Jason Roy, dropped for the Champions Trophy semi-final after a barren run, got the hosts off to an electric start, taking three fours and a six from one Wayne Parnell over.
Though he was lbw to an unnecessary reverse sweep off Andile Phehlukwayo, Hales and Bairstow pummelled the Proteas' bowling in an unbroken stand of 98 that came in only 10.2 overs.
Hales favoured the leg side, whacking two sixes off Imran Tahir, who received some brutal treatment to concede 37 from three overs, while Bairstow crashed the ball through the off side and hit two sixes down the ground.
As England sprinted towards victory, South Africa fell apart. Behardien's drop at long-on to reprieve Hales was the chaos in microcosm.
A Bairstow ramp for four off Phehlukwayo was a perfect example of England's dominance. Two balls later, a drop-and-run for a single ended what was barely a contest.
'We were excellent' - what they said
England captain Eoin Morgan: "We were excellent. We took early wickets and they came back hard but we contained them.
"Our spinners were impressive and never let AB and Farhaan get away from us. They managed to tie down one of the best players of our generation and a very good international cricketer."
Man of the match Jonny Bairstow: "I'm trying to progress all the time and I played a few shots I didn't have a few months ago.
"The lads bowled outstandingly well. To take wickets up front is what we wanted and then our spinners tied them down."
South Africa captain AB de Villiers: "It is difficult to sum up the performance. The result doesn't look good for us.
"We lost our way at the start, had to rebuild and we were 20 to 30 runs short in the end, which probably cost us.
"I can't explain why it was so difficult to hit through the line - maybe they got the better of the conditions."