Hosts and overwhelming favourites England started their World Cup 2019 campaign on a decent note. The Eoin Morgan-led team displayed a fine collective batting performance to put forward an imposing first innings total. The likes of Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes smashed impressive knocks. On the other hand, the South African bowlers also did very well to limit the opposition to this total as at one point of time, England looked certain to reach a very huge score.
Roy, Root, Morgan and Stokes smash vital knocks
South African skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field first because he thought that the track will offer some assistance to his bowlers early on. England suffered a huge blow at the start of the innings as their in-form opening batsman Jonny Bairstow got dismissed in the very first over. Du Plessis’ ploy to open the bowling with veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir worked wonders for South Africa. The pair of Jason Roy and Joe Root then joined hands to bail their team out of the troublesome situation.
The duo tackled the Proteas fast bowlers as well as Tahir really well during the remarkable 106-run partnership for the second wicket. However, both of them got dismissed just after reaching to their respective half-centuries. The South African pace bowling duo of Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada did help their team make a slight comeback by removing both Roy and Root in a quick time. However, after these two wickets, the England batsmen duo comprising of skipper Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes combined together to resurrect the English innings.
Morgan and Stokes stitched a fantastic partnership of 106 runs to keep the Proteas bowlers at bay in the middle-overs stage. Tahir then bowled a beautiful delivery to get the better of Morgan for a 60-ball 57. Even after Morgan’s dismissal, Stokes continued to play his usual attacking brand of cricket. On the other end, Lungi Ngidi kept on troubling the English batsmen, picking the wickets of Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali in quick time.
Stokes composed a splendid knock of 89 runs off 79 balls that included nine boundaries. The England lower-order batters smashed 46 runs in the last five overs and finished with a pretty challenging total of 311 runs in their quota of 50 overs. For South Africa, Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers, claiming three crucial wickets. The duo of Rabada and Tahir also bowled really well to scalp two wickets each.
England 311/8 in 50 overs (Ben Stokes-89, Eoin Morgan-57; Lungi Ngidi 3/66, Kagiso Rabada 2/56) vs South Africa