Cape Town - The Quinton de Kock era of South African ODI cricket was off to a promising start on Tuesday as the Proteas restricted England to 258/8 at Newlands.
Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts with 3/38 (10), but he was ably supported by allrounder Jon-Jon Smuts' left-arm orthodox, which returned 1/43 (10).
SCOREBOARD: Proteas v England - 1st ODI
South Africa will be backing themselves to get the job done with the bat in front of a sizeable Cape Town crowd on a clear evening, but to do so they will need to record the highest ever successful run chase Newlands has ever seen.
The Proteas handed debuts to Smuts and Lutho Sipamla as new skipper De Kock won the toss and opted to bowl first.
There were five Englishman picked who started the 2019 World Cup final including all of their top four in Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan, and the world champions were off to a brisk start with Roy and Bairstow taking them to 51/0 after just nine overs.
The breakthrough came in the form an inspired change from De Kock as Smuts replaced the returning Ngidi.
With his first over going for just a single, Smuts then drew Roy (32 off 32) into a false shot as he picked out Reeza Hendricks at long-on.
Then, in the very next over, Andile Phehlukwayo had Bairstow (19 off 25) out playing a poor drive straight to Sipamla at mid-off.
53/2 and with both openers gone, England had surrendered their early momentum as the Proteas looked to put on the squeeze.
A 30-run stand between Root and Morgan followed, but a moment of individual brilliance from Rassie van der Dussen at backward square leg brought that partnership to an end in stunning fashion.
Morgan had swept Shamsi and half set off for a run as Root responded. Van der Dussen, though, flung himself to his right, gathered the ball and knocked the middle stump at the bowler's end out of the ground as Root (17 off 21) was well short.
Shamsi then had Morgan (11 off 18) caught sharply by Temba Bavuma at first slip with one that turned while debutant Tom Banton (18 off 23) was the South African's next victim when he was out LBW trying to sweep.
Shamsi's delivery to remove allrounder Sam Curran (7 off 18) pitched outside leg and turned just enough to smack into leg stump, and at 131/6 the Proteas were well on top.
Sipamla had to wait until the 27th over for his first ball as De Kock continued to shuffle his bowlers around.
Joe Denly (87 off 103), meanwhile, was a pillar for his side when they needed him most and he shared a 91-run stand with Chris Woakes (40 off 42) for the seventh wicket.
The pair were patient and brought up the 200 in the 42nd over, but England had at least given themselves a platform from which to launch in the closing stages of the innings.
They started to do just that until Sipamla bagged his first ODI wicket as Woakes, looking to up the tempo, found David Miller at mid-off.
Denley's heroic effort was over when he launched Beuran Hendricks (1/46 in 8) to Reeza Hendricks at deep mid-on.