Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow
Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow combined for a second-wicket stand of 98 Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

England kicked off their three-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa with an emphatic nine-wicket win at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday night (21 June).

Alex Hales was 47 not out and man of the match Jonny Bairstow struck 60, as the hosts lost just one solitary wicket - Jason Roy being trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo after a brisk 14-ball 28 - en route to comfortably chasing down a modest target of 143 with 5.3 overs to spare.

South Africa's innings got off to the worst possible start when JJ Smuts was dismissed by David Willey for a very rare royal duck.

Durham paceman Mark Wood also struck in his first over and had Reeza Hendricks caught by Willey at mid-wicket for just three runs.

David Miller made a confident start at the crease, only to quickly become Wood's second and final victim courtesy of an edge that carried behind to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.

From 32-3, the Proteas, who won the toss and elected to bat first on a sweltering summer evening in Hampshire, did not lose another wicket as AB de Villiers [65*] and Farhaan Behardien [64*] helped guide them to 142.

The duo found themselves heavily restricted by some confident and economical bowling from Hampshire spin duo Liam Dawson and Mason Crane, the latter of whom was making his international debut on familiar territory as England opted to rest several key players following their disappointing Champions Trophy semi-final loss to Pakistan in Cardiff.

"I thought we were excellent, we took early wickets and put them on the back foot," captain Eoin Morgan said afterwards. "[It was] very impressive the way our spinners went about their business. If Jason [Roy] does manage to get away he can take the game away and when you're chasing a score like 140 it can take the game away a bit."

England face South Africa again in Taunton on Friday before one final T20I contest at Sophia Gardens at the weekend. The two teams, who met in three ODIs before the Champions Trophy, will then go head-to-head in a four-match Test series starting on 6 July at Lord's.