Anticipation was growing ahead of England’s World Cup opener at The Oval, and thanks to Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, that anticipation quickly turned into delight, as they both starred in a fantastic England win against South Africa.
England managed to win the one-day international by an impressive 104 runs, getting their World Cup campaign off to not only a winning start, but one which has everyone talking.
Archer, who was playing only the fourth one-day international of his career, amazingly bowled in excess of 90mph on average, and managed to take 3-27. South Africa’s Hashim Amla had to retire hurt temporarily at one stage, after a wicked ball from Archer struck him on the helmet.
Stokes, who was very much the star of the show, made an unbelievable one-handed catch on the boundary to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo. It’s a catch many are claiming to be one of the finest they’ve ever seen, with it being recreated by cricket fans all over social media. Stokes’ amazing catch saw South Africa dismissed for 207, which meant England had won the ODI by 104 runs.
Team Effort With The Bat
Stokes had managed to impress with the bat too, as he recorded 89 earlier in the day. Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan all managed to make the half-century mark for England, which saw them reach 311-8. Some would suggest this was what was expected of them, and they were probably correct, but a winning start in the World Cup was vital.
South Africa Didn’t Last
South Africa were very much in the hunt at 129-2, with Quinton de Kock on 68 and giving them hope. However, he pulled Liam Plunkett long leg, and became the first of three wickets to then fall for a paltry 15 runs. Stokes stepped up and delivered two wickets in two balls in very impressive fashion, and this saw England, the current world number ones and World Cup favourites, get off to a brilliant start in the tournament.
The competition sees all 10 teams play each other once, and this will then determine who the semi-finalists will be. Next up for England are Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Monday, in what should be a very interesting tie. At the time of writing, England need 321 runs in 44.5 overs to win the fixture, with Pakistan recorded a score of 348/8.
South Africa, who lost at The Oval to England, will be back there for their second World Cup game, taking on Bangladesh on Sunday. While they did fall to defeat against England, they did look as thought they had enough about themselves with the ball to suggest they should be in contention for a semi final spot. They looked well-drilled for the most part, with many feeling they could go on to cause an upset, before England took control of the tie and made their presence felt.