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England tighten favourites' grip after thrilling opening win

'You cannot do that': Ben Stokes takes a stunner IDI via Getty Images

After months of build-up, the 2019 World Cup odds are finally a moveable feast. The in-play market will bob and weave over the coming six weeks as the ten teams compete for the 12th edition of the tournament, but to judge by the events of the opening match at The Oval, the hand of the favourites, England, isn't going to be loosened in a hurry.

Ben Stokes' stunning allround display, allied to Jofra Archer's quicksilver fast bowling, condemned South Africa to a 104-run defeat. And at 15/8 in the World Cup winners' stakes, England are now an even more slender price to win that elusive maiden 50-over crown.

India haven't yet opened their campaign - they take on South Africa next week - but they remain the likeliest upsetters of England's apple-cart, on 3/1. Australia, ever dangerous at 7/2 are nibbling their way back up the charts after beating England in a warm-up in the Ageas Bowl last week, while New Zealand - who trounced India in a warm-up at The Oval - complete the likeliest quarter-final line-up at 9/1.

South Africa, ostensibly enjoying their rare status as dark horses in this tournament, have slipped to 12/1 after their disappointing first outing, alongside West Indies, whose sharp start to their tournament against Pakistan may see them tighten those odds further.

Pakistan are 25/1 - go on, have a punt, if they can't turn it on when it comes to the crunch then no-one can - but there's less to be said for the challenges of Sri Lanka (66/1), Bangladesh (80/1) and Afghanistan (100/1).

Of those, however, don't entirely discount Bangladesh. They have got some of the most seasoned campaigners on the circuit - a core of veterans from their giantkilling of India in 2007 - and if outright victory is beyond them, then a place in the last four (14/1) is entirely within their capability.