Published : Friday, 31 May, 2019 at 12:54 AM, Update: 02.06.2019 12:23:55 AM, Count : 36
All-rounders Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer shone brightly as host England cantered to a 104-run win in the World Cup 2019 opener against a below-par South Africa at the Oval in London Thursday.
Chasing a challenging 312 against the determined home side, the Proteas were all out for 207 in 39.5 overs with Archer bagging three wickets and Stokes notching two.
Seamer Liam Plunkett also took two wickets as England began their World Cup mission in impressive fashion.
South Africa were never really in the game in pursuit of 312 as they lost wickets at regular intervals and half-centuries from opener Quinton de Kock (68) and middle-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen (50) only delayed the inevitable.
Besides taking two wickets, Stokes also took a brilliant one-handed catch diving backwards to dismiss JP Duminy (eight).
On the other hand, Archer proved straightaway why he was selected for the World Cup squad at the eleventh hour.
Opening batsman Hashim Amla was struck in the helmet by a bouncer and later retired hurt off the bowling of Archer.
The right-armer then got the wickets of No 3 batsman Aiden Markram (11) and captain Faf du Plessis (five) with a beautiful display of fast bowling.
De Kock was impressive from the start as he registered his 18th ODI fifty before getting out in the 23rd over.
Archer also accounted for the wicket of Van der Dussen, who was well set having scored 50 off 61 deliveries. It was a wicket maiden from the young fast bowler in the 32nd over.
Amla then came out to bat and Archer welcomed him with a bouncer but this time, the right-handed batsman ducked it nicely and avoided being hit.
Earlier, Du Plessis won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Du Plessis surprised everyone as he opted to open the bowling with leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
England opener Jason Roy took a single off the first ball of the World Cup.
Imran Tahir also justified his skipper Faf du Plessisâ€™ decision as he struck off the second delivery to dismiss opener Jonny Bairstow for a duck, and what followed next was his trademark celebration...
But Tahir repaid the faith of his skipper in the very next ball as he bagged the wicket of opener Jonny Bairstow (nought) by trapping him in front. The World Cup started with great action indeed as host England were one for one after just two deliveries.
No 3 batsman Joe Root and Roy then formed a 106-run partnership for the second wicket.
The Proteas soon struck back with two quick wickets as Roy (54) and Root (51) departed after scoring half-centuries. The score was 111 for three in 19.1 overs.
England skipper Eoin Morgan and Stokes then rebuilt the innings and added 106 for the fourth wicket. Morgan scored a well-constructed 57 with four fours and three sixes and got dismissed while trying to clear the boundary against Tahir in the 37th over.
But man of the match Stokes carried his innings at the other end, until the last ball of the 49th over. The Durham lad made 89 off just 79 deliveries with nine boundaries.
England eventually finished their innings on 311 for the loss of eight wickets in their stipulated 50 overs.
Seamer Lungi Ngidi took three wickets for the Proteas while Tahir and fast bowler Kagison Rabada notched two.