In the first game of the series, the paceman made his return to international cricket after a nearly two-year layoff. He took one wicket but gave up 81 runs from 10 overs. He took a break for the second game but came back in Kimberley to give England a victory. The hosts were doing well when opener Reeza Hendricks hammered six sixes in his 52 before being bowled by Adil Rashid, and the tourists had set South Africa a target of 347.
Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, and David Miller were all dismissed by Archer before he returned to claim the crucial dismissals of Heinrich Klaasen (80) and Wayne Parnell (34) when the hosts were in a strong position to win. Tabraiz Shamsi was subsequently bowled by Archer to secure England's triumph. Prior to this, England was saved from early peril by hundreds from Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler in a remarkable 232-run partnership from 211 balls.