Jos Buttler says England are making great strides in ODI cricket

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Match-winner Jos Buttler sees England's high-scoring victory over South Africa in Bloemfontein as "another great step forward" for Eoin Morgan's improving team.

England have reinvented themselves since their embarrassing early exit from last year's World Cup, with Buttler's brilliant batting often to the fore.

So it was again at the Mangaung Oval, where his second successive one-day international hundred helped to power England to 399 for nine - their second-highest total in this format and best ever overseas.

It proved enough, despite Quinton de Kock's brilliant career-best 138 not out in reply, for England to finish winners by 39 runs on Duckworth-Lewis after the home chase was ended by a thunderstorm on 250 for five in 33.3 overs.

Buttler's fourth ODI hundred was his slowest, but not so you would notice from just 73 balls.

Reflecting on the manner of the win which puts England 1-0 up with four to play, the wicketkeeper said: "It gives us huge confidence to score nearly 400.

"This group of players, we've been challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves for a number of months."

Buttler concedes that England's commitment to attack will not always pay off - but as they travel on to Port Elizabeth to face South Africa again on Saturday, he confirms they will stay on the front foot.

"At times, we'll get it wrong and probably be all out for 280 in 40 overs," Buttler said.

"But this is another great step forward for everyone to start this way in a series overseas against a very good team.

"It's brilliant, and we'll take this confidence forward."

Buttler has had to wait for his opportunity, carrying drinks during England's Test series victory here after being dropped from that format.

But when his chance came to consolidate after the national record 46-ball hundred he made in his previous ODI against Pakistan in Dubai, he did not disappoint.

"You want to be a part of what's going on," he said, of his seven-week absence from the action.

"But to finally get my chance to play and to have a really successful day is great.

"I felt very confident from finishing the way I did in Dubai.

"I've had some time not playing any competitive cricket which, in a way, has actually been quite good - to be away from the pressures and out of the bubble of international cricket, and having months of no one actually talking about you or bothering about you.

"But I was really excited about the game.

"It's really special when you haven't played for a while - you feel how special it is to play for England."

The next time he does so will coincide with a significant event off the field for Buttler - who has put his name forward for this weekend's Indian Premier League auction.

His latest hundred cannot have harmed his standing when the bidding starts in Bangalore.

"Yes, it was good timing," he said.

"We'll wait and see what happens with that, but I hope this didn't do me any harm."

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