Eoin Morgan played a stunning innings of 85 not out off 45 balls as England won a rain-affected first Twenty20 international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.
England piled up 202 for six and won by one run according to the Duckworth/Lewis method when rain stopped play with South Africa on 127 for three after 13 overs.
The left-handed Morgan and captain Paul Collingwood shrugged off a poor start and launched a savage assault on the South African bowlers in a fourth wicket partnership of 98 off 55 balls.
South African skipper Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman batted equally aggressively in an opening stand of 97 off 55 balls which threatened to take the game away from England.
But South Africa lost three wickets in successive overs as rain started to fall.
With both teams consulting the Duckworth/Lewis charts, Collingwood brought on James Anderson, his best bowler, in the 13th over. AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel could manage only six runs and were one short of the par score when rain ended the match at the end of the over.
"It's a shame for the spectators that the game didn't go down to the full 40 overs but it was a great performance by the guys tonight," said Collingwood.
"It was still a good spectacle, it was very, very close but thankfully we came out on top."
South Africa skipper Smith hoped to level the two-match series on Sunday at Centurion.
"England came out and batted supremely well, the Collingwood and Morgan partnership really took the game to us," he said.
"We fought back nicely with the bat in the beginning. It's a disappointing way to finish but it bodes well for a good game on Sunday."
Collingwood hit 57 off 32 balls, with three fours and four sixes, while Morgan slammed seven fours and five sixes, including one hit off Dale Steyn that sailed over the square leg boundary and out of the ground, landing in a block of flats.
England lost Joe Denly to the first ball of the match, bowled by Charl Langeveldt, and Alastair Cook followed in the fourth over.
Former South Africa under-19 player Jonathan Trott started England's recovery with an impressive 33 off 25 balls, hitting Steyn for four successive boundaries, before he was run out.
Collingwood and Morgan then swung the game England's way as they took advantage of an excellent batting pitch and a fast outfield.
Ryan McLaren, making his Twenty20 international debut, was South Africa's best bowler, taking three for 33 in four overs.
Bosman was the main aggressor as he and Smith got South Africa off to flying start, hitting 58 off 31 balls with five fours and four sixes.
Smith took ten balls to score his first three runs but picked up the pace to hit 41 off 23 deliveries with three fours and four sixes before he was caught at deep cover off Luke Wright.
The second and final match in the series will be played at Centurion on Sunday. AFP