Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer lead England to imposing win

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England 311 for eight (Stokes 89, Morgan 57, Roy 54, Root 51, Ngidi Three-66) beat South Africa 207 (de Kock 68, van der Dussen 50, Archer Three-27) by 104 runs
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Ambles in like Bambi. Hunts wickets like a zombie. Jofra Archer is a #BambiZombie. And the opening match of the 2019 World Cup was all of the richer for it.

Jofra Archer celebrates Aiden Markram’s wicket with Jason Roy Getty Photographs

By the top of the sport – which England gained by 104 runs – the temper at The Oval was properly past festive. They’d discovered a match-winner. Throughout codecs. For years to return. They usually’d seen their firestarter as much as his previous tips.

Ben Stokes was the highest scorer of the day. However that wasn’t his most eye-catching contribution. Scroll down the scorecard to Andile Phehlukwayo’s dismissal. Does not say a lot, does it? Caught Stokes bowled Rashid. Yawn.

WATCH (India solely): Highlights of Ben Stokes’ innings in opposition to South Africa

Now trawl via the web – go into its darkest corners if obligatory – and watch because the allrounder tracks a brutally hit slog-sweep on the midwicket boundary. Marvel as he by no means takes his eyes off it. And gasp as he instances his soar completely. Then brace your self for about half an hour’s disbelief as he sticks his proper hand up over his head, and behind him, to return away with a catch that will likely be talked about for ages. Similar to the #OhMyBroad one.

South Africa, at that time, had been 180 for 7. They’d given the chase of 312 a correct go, with Quinton de Kock asserting his declare to be a part of the following era’s Fab 4 with a half-century that was highlighted by his maturity in respecting the bowling when it was tough and punishing it when it gave him the slightest probability. A lofted cowl drive for six off Liam Plunkett was a very ringing endorsement of his monster expertise.

WATCH (India solely): Highlights of Eoin Morgan’s half-century

However even he needed to be shoved into the background as Archer burst onto the stage and demanded everybody’s consideration. Particularly the opposite eight oppositions’.

As England’s batting revolution was waving bye-bye to uncharted territory and bounding into the never-before-imagined, there was concern that the bowling would not sustain. Their seam assault felt samey. It wanted one thing totally different; one thing radical. Archer is strictly that.

He generates tempo out of nowhere; 90 mph of it. A bouncer within the fourth over of the chase hit Hashim Amla flush on the grille. It was too fast for him. Too fast for an all-time legend. And made him retire damage. Then Archer sprung the identical lure on the South African captain. A brief ball stunned Faf du Plessis and had him caught at lengthy leg. After a long time of being decimated by uncooked tempo – Allan Donald, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Holding – England now have their very own bonafide pace demon.

Ben Stokes punches one into the leg facet Getty Photographs

Archer completed with Three for 27 in seven overs, together with a maiden.

Now, the opposite match-winner’s work did not notably come to mild till all the pieces had ended. In reality, whereas Stokes was on the crease, it appeared like South Africa had been on prime. Having gained the toss and determined to bowl, they went practically 30 overs earlier than realising that taking the tempo off was the best way to go.

Positive, they stunned England, opening the innings with Imran Tahir. At 10.30 am. In early summer season. On a inexperienced pitch. In England. They usually obtained Jonny Bairstow out. That is genius. That is most lolz. That is the bear you do not discover in that Youtube video.

However their quick bowlers took ages to grasp that hitting the deck with offcutters was messing with the batsman’s timing. Stokes spent a lot of the innings dinking the ball across the subject. Fifty-three of his 89 runs got here in ones and twos. On the time, it appeared like he was being stifled, that his energy recreation had been taken out by South Africa’s ways.

And whereas that was true, it nearly escaped discover that Stokes was moving into rhythm.

He obtained to his half-century with an audacious reverse-scoop off the bowling of Dwaine Pretorius, nearly solely as a result of the wicketkeeper and third man had come up. There was a niche within the subject and he exploited it. Batting 101. 4 of England’s batsmen made fifties on one of many largest days of the 50-over cricket calendar: Jason Roy (a punchy 54), Joe Root (a clean 51) and Eoin Morgan (a ridiculously fluent 57 in his 200th ODI) had been the others. However Stokes was the one one in a position to push on. And that was basically as a result of he’d understood the pitch was providing a little bit of grip to the slower balls. In these conditions, you possibly can intention decrease. You may defend 300. South Africa had been bowled out for 207.

England had been billed as pre-tournament favourites due to their unrelenting batting line-up and that status ought to now develop as a result of they’ve proven they’ll adapt to circumstances once they aren’t 500-ish.

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