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All-round Stokes helps England begin CWC19 with a bang

Ben Stokes’ innings of 89 and excellence in the field, alongside a sterling bowling performance from Jofra Archer, helped England to a 104-run win over South Africa in the first match of the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. WHY NOT SHARE?

South Africa won the toss and chose to field, and Faf du Plessis immediately threw a curveball, handing Imran Tahir the opening over. It proved a masterstroke as the leg-spinner removed Jonny Bairstow with the second ball of the innings.

CWC19: Eng v SA – Tahir claims the first wicket of the tournament and off he goes!

Joe Root joined Jason Roy at the crease and the pair put England fans at ease with a 106-run partnership that wrestled back the initiative. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – Joe Root, 51 (59)

The Proteas bounced back as Roy’s attempt at a cross-bat hit down the ground saw him find the safe hands of Du Plessis at mid-off in the 19th over, while Root departed the very next over, finding JP Duminy at backward point. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – Phehlukwayo sends back half-centurion Roy

Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes added to the ongoing ebb and flow of the match, putting on the second 106-run partnership of the match.

CWC19: Eng v SA – Eoin Morgan smashes one over long on

Tahir then returned for his second wicket, as Morgan found a diving Aiden Markram at long-on. Jos Buttler perished for 18 at the hands of an excellent off-cutter from Lungi Ngidi and Moeen Ali struggled to find the middle of the bat, amassing three from nine balls. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – Buttler chops one on to his stumps

Stokes was superb as those at the other end struggled, but his innings ended at the hands of a cutter from Ngidi. Some hard running between Jofra Archer and Liam Plunkett saw England to 311/8. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – England innings highlights

Archer, making his World Cup debut, was the danger-man with the ball for England, hitting Hashim Amla on the helmet to force the South African veteran to retire hurt. The England quick then made two key breakthroughs, removing both Markram and du Plessis. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – Proteas skipper falls as Archer has his second scalp

Quinton de Kock proved to be in a class of his own and was aesthetically appetizing in his strokeplay as he hit his 22nd ODI half-century.

CWC19: Eng v SA – Quinton de Kock, 68 (74)

But Plunkett intervened with a short ball to see to the end of the left-hander from the final ball of the 23rd over. 

CWC19: Plunkett gets the big fish as De Kock is dismissed

JP Duminy lofted the ball to long-on off Moeen Ali before Dwaine Pretorius was run-out by Ben Stokes for 1.

CWC19: Eng v SA – Pretorius is run out by the home skipper

Rassie van der Dussen reached a half-century before Archer returned for his third wicket, but the highlight of the innings came with a staggering catch by Ben Stokes at deep midwicket. 

CWC19: Eng v SA – Stokes defies logic to grab a stunner in the deep

 While Amla returned to the crease, Plunkett would nab his wicket as well, before Stokes got himself two wickets to cap a perfect day for him and England.

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