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1st match, The Oval, May 30, 2019, ICC Cricket World Cup
(39.5/50 ov, T:312) 207

England won by 104 runs

Player Of The Match
89 (79), 2/12 & 2 catches
Showing Newest
Full commentary

6.03pm Well, it is fair to say that the World Cup has begun with a bang. Not the closest contest you could ever wish to witness, but one packed with subplots, stand-out scenes and a crackling good atmosphere. Forget soggy street parties on The Mall. Cricket is always best when it's left to its own devices! From Andrew Miller, Alan Gardner, Liam Brickhill (sadly benched for technical reasons, but gagging to get back in the fray) and Thilak Rama, goodbye, and don't forget to tune back in tomorrow morning for West Indies v Pakistan at Trent Bridge!

And of course, if you are in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South East Asia or Hong Kong, be sure to feast your eyes on our highlights packages, and spread the word! There's one particular highlight that everyone needs to see at the earliest opportunity ...

6pm One of our main men has been dismissed by our wildcard pick for the day. If you're wondering what we're on about, you haven't checked out our World Cup fantasy tips blog

5.56pm Jofra Archer is having a chat with Sky, and admits that he was running in with a bit of extra adrenalin today. There's a different atmosphere around a World Cup match, as I think everyone at The Oval today can attest ...

Anshul Punetha: "Someone called it almost right after the first innings. An Archer hat trick and SA out for 200... Applause for that gentleman!" Indeed, not far wrong!

5.53pm Well, Ben Stokes eh? It's not gone unnoticed that he's been a bit subdued in the England team in recent times, but these are the moments that England knew he would come good for. And it's interesting too, when to think back to the aftermath of the Bristol incident and Tom Harrison's insistence on "rehabilitating him in the field..." Well that's come good...

5.46pm Eoin Morgan "Delighted with that performance, the maturity and smart cricket that we played shows our improvement in the last two years."

Stokes, "extremely impressed, he's had a day out today, with a matchwinner like that in your side ..."

On Archer: "The slowest pitch and he bowled fast and accurate, outstanding from a young guy at the start of his career."

Fielding: "Huge amount of pleasure, we won't have days like this every time out, we are looking to experiment in the field."

Here's Faf du Plessis: "We were outplayed in all three departments today. I thought 300 was a par score, we were just bowling cutters basically, pace off was working, but there were some real good batting performances from England. Tahir at the top was a plan, they are good players of pace bowling, and it worked today. The bowling was really good, we kept getting wickets, but when chasing we need partnerships, and losing Amla, was a momentum-breaker. He's okay now, when he came off he was a bit all over the place, we were a bit worried about him, but hopefully he's okay now.

"When we have Dale in our resources, we back ourselves to bowl sides out as we don't have the luxury of allrounders at 7,8 and 9."

Ben Stokes is Man of the Match: "I had a bit of a panic on, I was a little further in that I should have been, but I've the nickname, "The Claw", and luckily it stuck!"

"We were thinking early doors, it's a tricky wicket, get it up to 300-330, the slower balls were digging in a bit. Boundaries were hard to get away, but psychologically getting over 300 was a big thing. Unbelievable atmosphere, great turn-out for [my] first World Cup game."

5.36pm Well, that is a statement win ... but not for the reasons that might have been anticipated from England's frontrunning favourites. Their batting looked a touch cramped for style today, but it was their bowling and fielding that really reaffirmed their No.1 credentials. Jofra Archer was a handful in every spell he bowled, claiming key wickets, hitting Amla on the helmet and forcing his retirement; the spinners were tight and to the point. And then there was Stokes. With the bat, with the ball, in the field. He was everywhere!

South Africa ... well, they have reasons to be cheerful. Faf du Plessis marshalled his resources in the field superbly - his opening with Tahir was a masterstroke - and Ngidi and Rabada proved what a threat they are going to be in this tournaement. And though they ran out of steam with the bat, Quinton de Kock was his usual forceful self at the top of the order.

Supradeep: "I think its needless to say at this point but Stokes simply showed what exactly a 3 dimentional player is. Deserves the MOM."

Stokes to Tahir, OUT

edged, gone, Stokes seals it! A thick nick to slip, Joe Root puts the cap on an outstanding fielding display, reaching to his right to intercept, and England wrap it up with 10.1 overs to spare!

Imran Tahir c Root b Stokes 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 2m) SR: 0

Sri: "Who will be the MOM? Will it be Ben Stokes or Jofra Archer?" Well... I thought Archer was shading it, but that catch ... and that innings, and the run-out, and now in the wickets ...

Stokes to Rabada, OUT

short again, pulled again, held at deep midwicket again! It's Plunkett this time, stooping forward to cling on in both mitts. That was a solid connection, but the man was well placed and England's fielding has been the most composed aspect of their play today.

Kagiso Rabada c Plunkett b Stokes 11 (19b 2x4 0x6 23m) SR: 57.89
Stokes to Rabada, 4 leg byes

on the hip, pings past the sprawling Buttler. South Africa still scrapping for the scraps...

Stokes to Rabada, no run

short, slapped, inches short of midwicket!

Stokes to Rabada, FOUR runs

canny deflection, opening the face outside off, and a thick edge down through third man

end of over 396 runs • 1 wicket
SA: 199/8CRR: 5.10 RRR: 10.27
Lungi Ngidi6 (5b 1x6)
Kagiso Rabada7 (15b 1x4)
Liam Plunkett 7-0-37-2
Ben Stokes 2-0-8-0

Bhargav: "Given SA's bad luck in global tournaments, I have a feeling the NRR difference today will come back to bite them when they come back in contention for top 4 at the end of the league phase." Hold that thought ... we will have ample time to revisit it!

Plunkett to Ngidi, no run

poked into the covers, a sprawling stop and a harum-scarum stretch for the crease

Plunkett to Ngidi, no run

beauty! A cross-seamer, zipping over the bails via a thin deflection on the back leg

Plunkett to Ngidi, SIX runs

crikey, there's one for the memory banks! A slower-ball from Plunkett, picked like the ripest of cherries, and plopped into the stands with a sublime followthrough for a fine crowd catch at long-on!

Plunkett to Ngidi, no run

width outside off, a back-footed slap at thin air

Plunkett to Ngidi, no run

pushed into the covers but straight at the man

Raghu IFMR: "Rather than go at the target, Amla and Rabada should make sure SA play the full 50 overs. This is a long tournament and NRR will definitely come into play." It's a fair point, but they may not get much say in the matter now

Plunkett to Amla, OUT

banged in short, a waft off the eyebrows, it's the slower-ball bouncer, and Amla walks! Plunkett bags his second, and South Africa's wafer-thin hopes are now officially ended

Hashim Amla c †Buttler b Plunkett 13 (23b 1x4 0x6 46m) SR: 56.52
end of over 387 runs
SA: 193/7CRR: 5.07 RRR: 9.91
Hashim Amla13 (22b 1x4)
Kagiso Rabada7 (15b 1x4)
Ben Stokes 2-0-8-0
Liam Plunkett 6-0-31-1
Stokes to Amla, 1 run

easy single to the off-side, the crowd are in sing-song mood now ... "Moeen Ali" is the object of their chants for now

Stokes to Rabada, 1 run

nudged into the covers

Stokes to Rabada, no run

rolls the fingers on a full-length delivery, slides down the leg side

Stokes to Rabada, no run

middle-and-leg line, tapped back to the bowler in his followthrough

Stokes to Rabada, FOUR runs

banged in short, pulled through the leg side and Morgan can't cling on! He stretched high to his left, but did he fully commit? I suspect he may have had his hurty finger in mind there ... discretion is better part of valour at this stage of the match and tournament

Stokes to Amla, 1 run

tapped into the covers

end of over 373 runs
SA: 186/7CRR: 5.02 RRR: 9.69
Kagiso Rabada2 (11b)
Hashim Amla11 (20b 1x4)
Liam Plunkett 6-0-31-1
Ben Stokes 1-0-1-0

Santosh Bhat: "Earlier today, someone called Stokes a dead weight on the English team. Well well well! " Indeed ... and in answer to the question of why he doesn't bowl very much these days, well, two things. One, he is there if needs be but England have options without him. And two, if he's bowling, then England's best fielder is unavailable!

Plunkett to Rabada, no run

inside-edged, a flat-footed drive into the covers

Plunkett to Amla, 1 run

nurdled out to midwicket

Tj: "Ben Stokes catch should be on cover page in all English papers tomorrow.. if that can't make people watch cricket nothing will!!" It's a fair point. Attention-grabbing effort!

Plunkett to Rabada, 1 run

short, leg-sided, pulled but without much intent, gathered at backward square

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