Skipper Michael Vaughan lauded his attack after England went 1-0 up in the one-day series in South Africa.
England reduced their hosts to 90-7 before restricting them to 175-9, going on to win by 26 runs on revised terms after rain forced an early close.
Vaughan said: "We were very, very good on the field. Matthew Hoggard has taken confidence into the one-day series.
"Kabir Ali bowled outstandingly well and old warhorse Darren Gough showed there's life left in the tank for him."
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said: "A few loose shots let us down.
"The pitch didn't play as we were hoping but we started well with the ball to put them under some pressure which we just released before the rain came."
Asked why South Africa had fielded such an inexperienced middle-order, Smith said: "We've got a bit of a long haul in certain areas of our cricket. We've got to give the players the chance to gain some experience."
Vaughan, whose unbeaten 44 proved vital in the rain-curtailed chase after England had slumped to 44-3, said the younger players in the squad had freshened up a core of players who have been through an arduous Test series.
He said: "Once you get a few young lads out there it helps with the energy levels in the team."
And he was not disheartened by England's initial slump, adding: "You always expect Polly [Shaun Pollock] and [Makhaya] Ntini to come hard at you."