Stokes stars as England thrash South Africa in World Cup opener

LONDON: Ben Stokes starred in all departments as England started their quest to win the World Cup with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa within the match opener on the Oval on Thursday.

The all-rounder top-scored with 89 in England’s 311 for eight, held an excellent catch within the outfield and took two for 12, together with the final wicket, as England gained with 61 balls left.

Jofra Archer did the early injury with the ball, the quick bowler taking three for 27 in seven overs.

Barbados-born Archer, who solely certified for England in March, made his presence felt even earlier than he had taken a wicket with a bouncer that beat Hashim Amla for tempo and crashed into the grille of the helmet, with the veteran opener retiring damage on 5.

Archer then diminished the Proteas to 44 for 2.

Aiden Markram edged to Joe Root at slip and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis fell for simply 5 when he top-edged a hook to lengthy leg.

However Quinton de Kock saved the Proteas within the hunt, though the opener was fortunate when on 25 he performed ball from leg-spinner Adil Rashid onto his stumps just for the bails to remain put.

The dashing left-hander went on to finish a 58-ball fifty however holed out off quick bowler Liam Plunkett for 68.

Rassie van der Dussen then make precisely 50 with out urgent on when he miscued Archer to mid-on.

His exit noticed Amla return with South Africa struggling at 167 for six within the 32nd over.

STOKES BRILLIANCE

The sport was all however up for South Africa when a back-pedalling and diving Stokes held an excellent one-handed catch within the deep to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo.

Amla’s courageous effort to rescue the innings ended on 13 when he was caught behind off Plunkett’s slower-ball bouncer and Stokes completed the match when Imran Tahir edged him to Root.

Stokes was considered one of 4 England batsmen who bought to 50 on a tough floor, with captain Eoin Morgan (57), Jason Roy (54) and Root (51) all out quickly after reaching the landmark.

England misplaced a wicket second ball earlier than Roy and Root shared a stand of 106 that was equalled by Morgan and Stokes.

Du Plessi opted to discipline regardless of being with out injured spearhead Dale Steyn and took the unorthodox resolution to offer leg-spinner Tahir the primary over.

The 40-year-old, the oldest participant within the match, struck second ball when Jonny Bairstow was caught behind by De Kock for a golden duck.

Roy and Root repaired the injury however had been dismissed when properly set as England misplaced two wickets for 4 runs in 4 balls to be 111 for 3.

Morgan, whose aggressive strategy has been symbolic of England’s rise to the highest of the one-day worldwide rankings after their woeful first-round exit on the 2015 World Cup, struck the match’s first two sixes off successive balls from Lungi Ngidi earlier than he too was caught within the deep.

Left-hander Stokes noticed his 79-ball knock finish within the penultimate over when caught at third man following a reverse hit off paceman Ngidi (three for 66).

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