England’s Stokes fit to face South Africa in second ODI

Ben Stokes

Stokes made 25 runs as England reached 339-6, but could only bowl two overs

England all-rounder Ben Stokes is fit to play in Saturday’s second one-day international against South Africa at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Stokes scored 25 runs but injured his knee while bowling in Wednesday’s 72-run win in the first ODI at Headingley.

He had bowled two overs before leaving the field for treatment; he returned but “was not fit” to bowl, said captain Eoin Morgan after the game.

The 25-year-old was passed fit on Friday and will be available to bowl.

‘This is the best team I’ve played in’ – Plunkett

England can seal the series with victory at the Ageas Bowl, before the final game of the three-match series at Lord’s on Monday.

Bowler Liam Plunkett says a series win over South Africa, the world number one ranked one-day international side, would put England in a “great place” to challenge at the Champions Trophy, which starts with the hosts facing Bangladesh on Thursday.

“After a good win against South Africa, one of the best teams in the world, our confidence is right up there,” said Plunkett.

“We’ve got three tough games and there is no better platform [for the Champions Trophy].

“This is definitely the best white-ball England team I’ve been in – I’ve played with some great players but as a unit this is the best.

“Everyone wants everyone to do well , that’s a rare thing in team sports and people who do have it generally succeed.”

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