England captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss Friday and elected to bat first in the opener of the five-match one-day international series.
Pietersen's first success was persuading Steve Harmison to come out of international retirement to replace injured bowler Ryan Sidebottom.
The 29-year-old Harmison initially retired from ODIs in December 2006 after being left out of England's squad for a series with Australia and New Zealand.
South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel was ruled out of the day-night match with a side strain, while his older brother Albie Morkel has a shoulder problem.
Andre Nel and allrounder Vernon Philander came in as replacements.
England: Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Kevin Pietersen (captain), Andrew Flintoff, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Vernon Philander, Johan Botha, Andre Nel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.
Umpires: Ian Gould, England, and Simon Taufel, Australia.
Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.