Match 1, ENG v SA: Talking points

In the first match of the World Cup, England provided a clinical display to win by 104 runs at the Oval on Thursday. Batting first England’s top order fired to take them to 311 in their fifty overs and in return, England bowlers stood up for the team to remove South Africa for just 207.

1. Opening the bowling with Tahir:
Faf du Plessis pulled off a “Crowe” from his hat as the oldest player in the World Cup, Tahir opened the bowling for South Africa and the decision was fruitful as he managed to remove Bairstow in the first over of the match.

2. Jason Roy and Joe Root partnership:
In the last few years, England has developed into a team which isn’t dependant on a single player as the other opener Jason Roy and Joe Root added 106 runs for the team before getting out in quick succession.

3. Morgan and Stokes taking off from Roy-Root:
Morgan who is playing his 200th ODI for England scored 57, added 106-run stand with Stokes who top scored with 89, took the team to 311.

4. South Africa bowling:
Though Tahir opened the bowling and picked up a wicket early, he was among the runs so literally everybody. Maybe bringing their best bowler, Rabada early would have helped the team but who knows. Also, I would have preferred going in with Morris.

5. Amla’s injury:
A bouncer from Jofra Archer at 140+kmph rattled Amla’s grille and he had to walk off the field immediately. Though the injury wasn’t serious, it was precautionary.

6. Quinton De Kock continues:
Quinton De Kock is carrying the form from the IPL as he top-scored for South Africa with an excellent knock of 68 that had nine fours and two sixes.

7.Rassie van der Dussen’s fifty:
Van der Dussen made it to the side and proved it right with a fifty that is the only positive from the South African batting after de Kock’s knock. No other player stood up for the team and were out cheap.

8. Ben Stokes’ stunning catch:
After showing his class with the batting, Stokes produced a stunner as he grabbed a tough one near the mid-wicket to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo.

9. What went wrong for South Africa?
To start with, leaving Morris isn’t a great decision but yes, would have proved it otherwise if Pretorius performed with the bat today. Also, after restricting the team to a “par” score, it was South Africa’s game to lose as the poor execution of shots and a lack of plan about who to target has let the team down.

10. Jofra Archer:
The main reason why England won the match today. After his fiery first spell, he went on to pick three wickets giving away only 27 runs. With no doubts, he is the man to watch out for in the upcoming matches.