England began their quest for the prestigious World Cup 2019 crown, with a brilliant 104-run victory against South Africa in the opening match of the tournament at The Oval on Thursday. The home team dominated the opposition in all the three departments of the game. In this game, Ben Stokes was one of the biggest positives for the home team.
The England all-rounder did not have the best of outings in the last few weeks. He struggled both with the bat as well as the ball and completely seemed out of form. In IPL 2019, he ended up being a burden for his team Rajasthan Royals thus raising a lot of concerns ahead of the World Cup. But he managed to pick himself up just at the right time and delivered the goods for his team against the Proteas.
Stokes was absolutely sensational in all the three departments of the game. Coming in at a crucial position, he scored 89 runs off 79 balls with the bat. But he fell 11 runs short of what otherwise would have been an exceptional hundred. With the ball, he picked up the final two wickets of the South African innings to wrap things up. But apart from all this, what grabbed all the limelight was that catch he took in this match.
You can’t do that Ben Stokes- Nasser Hussain’s reaction on the catch
Andile Phehlukwayo was batting on 24 when Adil Rashid bowled a nice, juicy delivery aimed at the stumps. The all-rounder was quick to get his knee down and decided to slog sweep that ball over the deep mid-wicket fielder. Ben Stokes, who was positioned at this position, was standing a long way inside the boundary. The ball was always travelling away from him. Since Phehlukwayo slogged it hard, the ball was travelling at a great distance.
While it seemed as if it would reach the boundary, Ben Stokes brought out some superhuman stuff. He covered ground quickly and ran behind at a great pace. The 27-year-old timed his jump brilliantly to pluck a catch out of thin air leaving everyone in awe. While the crowd in the stance gave him a standing ovation, former England cricketer Nasser Hussain, who was on air at that time, also got stunned by Stokes’ phenomenal effort.