Hosts and favourites, England, started their World Cup 2019 campaign, registering a resounding 104-run against South Africa in the opening game of the tournament at The Oval. The home team reached an imposing first innings total on the back of an impressive all-round show by the English batsmen. In the second innings, Jofra Archer got England off to a fantastic start by picking vital wickets with the new ball. The duo of Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen then did register half-centuries, but eventually, it were the England bowlers who bowled extremely well to restrict the opposition and in turn guided their team to an emphatic win.
Batters collective performances propel England to 311
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, England got off to a poor start losing the wicket of Jonny Bairstow quite early. South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled a beautiful delivery to dismiss the England opener. The duo of Jason Roy and Joe Root then combined together to resurrect the England innings with a remarkable stand of 106 runs. Both Roy and Root failed to convert their respective half-century knocks into bigger innings.
In the middle-overs phase, the pair of Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes batted very well to stitch a fabulous partnership of 106 runs. England skipper Morgan played a vital knock of 57 runs, while Stokes blistered an amazing innings of 89 runs that consisted of nine fours. The England lower-order batters smashed 46 runs in the last five overs and helped their team finish with a pretty challenging total of 311 runs. For South Africa, Lungi Ngidi bowled very well to pick up three vital wickets, while the duo of Kagiso Rabada and Tahir finished with two scalps each.
Archer’s fantastic three-fer limits South Africa
Chasing a target of 312 runs, South Africa dealt with a huge blow at the start of their innings as their veteran batsman Hashim Amla was forced to walk off the field after getting hit on the helmet off a fierce shot delivery bowled by Jofra Archer. The duo of Aiden Markram and skipper Faf du Plessis got out quite early, leaving the Proteas in a spot of bother at 44 for 2. The pair of Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen then stitched a brilliant partnership of 85 runs to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. De Kock composed an excellent innings of 68 runs before falling victim to Liam Plunkett in the form of a soft dismissal.
Just when things were going good for South Africa, England speedster Jofra Archer once again halted their progress by picking the vital scalp of van der Dussen in the 32nd over. This also brought Amla back on the crease, but the required run-rate had already increased significantly. Ben Stokes took a sensational catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo. Eventually the England bowlers did really well to bundle out the Proteas for 207 in 39.5 overs. Archer was the pick of the English bowlers, scalping a fantastic three-wicket haul, while the duo of Plunkett and Stokes claimed two scalps each.
England: 311/8 in 50 overs (Ben Stokes-89, Eoin Morgan-57; Lungi Ngidi 3/66, Imran Tahir 2/61)
South Africa: 207/10 in 39.5 overs (Quinton de Kock-68, Rassie van der Dussen-50; Jofra Archer 3/27, Ben Stokes 2/12)
Result: England won the match by 104 runs.