World Cup 2019: England Beat South Africa Emphatically

Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer teamed up to defeat South Africa by 104 runs in the World Cup 2019 tournament opener at Oval on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Chasing a target of 312, South Africa was bundled out for 207, with 10 overs to spare. Quinton de Kock top scored with 68 runs, who was supported by Rassie van der Dussen with 50 runs.

For England, Stokes led the team to victory smashing an 89 from 79 balls, accompanied by Jason Roy, Joe Root, and Eoin Morgan with half century each.

England starting as the tournament favorite, did not start well, as they lost Jonny Bairstow to the second ball of the 2019 World Cup. Faf du Plessis’s bold move to open with Imran Tahir has worked as he seemed to continue from where he left off in Indian Premiere League 2019. Stokes, Roy, Root and Morgan started England’s recovery with run-a-ball half century.

It wasn’t a regular Oval pitch of the past where ball came nicely to the bat. As Stokes said, later during the post-match presentation, “The message from the batsmen in the middle was that it was a tricky pitch to bat on, so the aim was to get 300 – 310. The hard length was difficult and obviously, the slower balls and all.”

In the absence of their spearhead Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir bowled well to restrict England to mere 311. In fact, it was Ngidi’s second spell that did most of the damage, as he took off pace and varied his line on length to trouble England’s batsmen. In their last five ODI’s, England scores read – 373/3, 359/4, 341/7, 351/9 and 300/7.

In the second innings, England’s new ball bowlers weren’t able to extract any swing or lateral movements. They tested the patience of Proteas batsmen with back of length ball. The result, Hashim Amla retired hurt early by a vicious bouncer from Jofra Archer in the fourth over.

Two more wickets from Archer in the eighth and tenth over, along with Amla’s retired hurt, derailed South Africa’s chase. At the end of the match, Archer’s stat reads – 3 wickets for 27 runs at an economy rate of 3.9.

South Africa kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never looked like chasing down 311.

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