South Africa succumbed to a disappointing start to their World Cup 2019 campaign, conceding a convincing 104-run defeat against England in the tournament opener at The Oval on Thursday. 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.
While speaking about the loss, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis mentioned that England was the better team in all facets of the game. He stated that the English side showed why they are being rated so heavily in this tournament. Du Plessis revealed that it is very important to look into the areas where they went wrong and move forward.
“England were better than us in all three facets of the game. They showed why they are such a good cricket team, and now we have to look at the league. It’s a league competition. For me, it’s about making sure we look at the areas that we got it wrong and just move on,” said Faf du Plessis.
It was a plan that worked
Du Plessis’ ploy to open the bowling with veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir worked wonders for South Africa. He bowled a beautiful delivery to dismiss the England opener, Jonny Bairstow, for a golden duck. However, the duo of Jason Roy and Joe Root then combined together to resurrect the England innings with a remarkable stand of 106 runs.
“It was a plan (to start with Tahir). We wanted to target those two openers with leg spin, especially Roy. It worked today. Their batting was really good. They are a top-quality team and they showed that with the bat today,” du Plessis mentioned.
“You need a bit of momentum in the first two games. He (Amla) is okay now and when he came back to the dressing room, he looked fine and hopefully that’s a good sign for the next game. When we have Dale Steyn and all our resources, we back our bowling to restrict teams under 300,” the South African skipper concluded.