England skipper Eoin Morgan staying positive despite heavy defeat

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Eoin Morgan insists England have little to worry about just yet, after one chastening defeat against South Africa.

England continued their knack of passing the 300-run benchmark, but this time their best efforts with the bat - on the back of Joe Root's career-best 125 - failed to test the hosts as a double-century opening stand between Quinton de Kock (135) and Hashim Amla (127) set up a seven-wicket home win at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

South Africa therefore still have a chance of sustaining a successful fightback in a one-day series they currently trail 2-1, with the penultimate match coming up in Johannesburg on Friday.

Morgan cited England's consistent batting, en route to 318 for eight, as reason to keep the faith with his evolving team - but admitted they never got a foothold with the ball, as De Kock and Amla put on 239 in 36.5 overs.

After South Africa had completed their task with 3.4 overs to spare, Morgan had to reflect on England's moderate evening with the ball.

"I think we started poorly," said the captain.

"If you look back to the last game [in Port Elizabeth], we looked pretty threatening in the first 10 overs and almost set the tone for the innings.

"Today, it was as simple as we didn't get enough balls in the right areas.

"We missed our lengths more often than not, and let two very experienced batsmen get themselves in, and they took advantage of that."

England were off target with the new ball, and then Morgan could not find anyone to come back and break the opening stand before it made too much of a dent in the run chase.

He is adamant he has plenty of options at his disposal to do just that - merely that they did not manage it this time.

"I think we have a number of them," he said.

"Today, we didn't hit our straps at all...(but) we've obviously got the two spinners, variation with the two left-armers and (Ben) Stokes and (Chris) Jordan, who have a bit of pace."

England's confidence, he believes, will not suffer.

"I don't think massively," he added.

"I think the areas we can look at where we played well were certainly the first innings.

"I thought we batted pretty well, and made 300 again, which is a big plus for us.

"Our batting unit seems to grow every game we play.

"That's a huge encouragement, we haven't had any hiccups."

Unsurprisingly, he singled Root out for particular praise, saying: "Joe Root showed his class, with another hundred, and his experience now is that of a leader in the group. That's great to see."

Morgan still believes that England can close out series victory.

"We're a very young and inexperienced side, and we've never been in this position before," he said.

"But it's one we're relishing, not getting too far ahead of ourselves."

Morgan's opposite number AB de Villiers had something to smile about at last, after South Africa at least kept themselves in the reckoning.

"We were desperate to get a result in this game, and I think it's a sign of really good things to come," he said.

"It was exactly what we wanted."

De Kock and Amla were the obvious match-winners.

"They were amazing, and I hope there's more to come in the rest of the series," added De Villiers.

South Africa began their innings with the threat of a thunderstorm around the ground.

It never broke, though, and De Villiers made clear it did not alter the way they went about their run chase.

"We didn't really think about Duckworth-Lewis," he said.

"It was important for us was not to lose wickets, and getting a good partnership up front was always going to be the key."

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