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Joe Denly leads England recovery in first ODI

England's World Cup winners had faltered with the bat in their first ODI since July's memorable success.

Joe Denly rescued England in their first one-day international since winning last year's World Cup after they had flirted with capitulation against South Africa in Cape Town.

The decision to choose the 33-year-old Denly for a series which marks the start of the next World Cup cycle was questioned in some quarters but the Kent batsman vindicated his selection with an ODI best 87 off 103 balls in England's 258 for eight.

A somewhat modest total was mitigated by a slow pitch, where left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi made use of some turn and a hint of bounce to claim three wickets as England lurched from 51 without loss to 131 for six.

Chris Woakes – one of only five players retained from the unforgettable World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's last July – marked his 100th ODI with a cameo of 40 in a 91-run partnership with Denly.

Tom Banton made just 18 on his ODI debut as all of England's top six reached double figures, but only Denly was able to make anything tangible after the tourists were invited to bat first under gloriously sunny skies.

It looked to be business as usual for Jason Roy as he took three successive fours off Beuran Hendricks but shortly after a half-century opening stand alongside Jonny Bairstow, both batsmen perished in short order.

Roy was dropped by Andile Phehlukwayo at midwicket on 24 but added just eight more before unnecessarily lofting slow left armer JJ Smuts to long-on. Bairstow departed six balls later for 19 after clothing Phehlukwayo to mid-off.

South Africa's fielding had been decidedly ordinary but Rassie van der Dussen produced a moment of magic to see off Joe Root, who had set off for a single but had to turn back towards the non-striker's end and was still short of his crease when his stumps were thrown down from all of 30 yards away.

By the time captain Eoin Morgan (11) got a thin edge to first slip off Shamsi, England had slipped to 83 for four, with all of their World Cup-winning top four back in the pavilion.

Banton needed eight deliveries to get off the mark but looked to be gradually growing in confidence before missing a sweep off Shamsi to be trapped lbw for 18 as England were left on 108 for five and in considerable trouble.

The steady trickle of wickets continued as Sam Curran was bowled round his legs after missing a sweep as England lurched to 131 for six in the 28th over and in danger of not completing their allotment.

Left with a sizeable rebuilding job, Denly and Woakes hunkered down as they wisely eschewed any risk early on, helped in part by South Africa letting the pair take the odd single as they adjusted to the pace of the pitch.

Woakes was the first to show any sign of aggression before Denly followed, the latter reaching his third ODI half-century and first since September 2009 off 72 balls, as England breached 200.

Woakes drove loosely to mid-off but Denly dispatched Lungi Ngidi's slower ball for England's first six in the 47th over.

He was dropped moments later at cover by Smuts on 78 before holing out to long-on although his efforts lifted England to what seems a competitive total at halfway.

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Tom Banton in action for Somerset in May 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina24151453
United StatesUnited States20241660
JapanJapan175931
AustraliaAustralia1431431
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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