Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England all-rounder Ben Stokes did it all as he smashed a brilliant 89, took two wickets and grabbed a superb catch en route to leading his side to a 104-run win over South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup.
Opting to bowl first, South Africa got their first breakthrough on the second ball of the match as England opener Jonny Bairstow was caught behind off the bowling of Imran Tahir for a golden duck.
Jason Roy and Joe Root made up for the loss of Bairstow with a 106-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Roy was caught by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis at mid-off off the bowling of Andile Phehlukwayo for 54, which came off 53 balls and included eight boundaries.
Root fell the very next over as he was caught by JP Duminy at backward point off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for 51, which came off 59 deliveries and included five boundaries.
England skipper Eoin Morgan and Stokes steadied things with a 106-run stand, during which both batsmen registered their half-centuries, before Morgan was caught by Aiden Markram at long-on off the bowling of Tahir for a 60-ball 57, which included four boundaries and three sixes.
Jos Buttler mustered 18 runs before he was clean bowled by Lungi Ngidi, who also dismissed Moeen Ali for three runs.
Chris Woakes was sent packing by Rabada for 13, while Stokes went on to score a 79-ball 89, which included nine boundaries, before he was caught by Hashim Amla at backward point off the bowling of Ngidi.
As a result of the flurry of wickets, England finished on 311/8.
Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Tahir and Rabada snapped up two wickets apiece. As for Phehlukwayo, he chipped in with one.
Chasing 312 to win, South Africa were dealt a major scare in the fourth over as Amla retired hurt after being struck on the helmet by a delivery from Jofra Archer.
Markram only made 11 runs before he was caught by Root at slip off the bowling of Archer.
Du Plessis failed to have an impact with the bat as he was caught by Moeen at fine leg off the bowling of Archer for five runs.
Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen steadied the innings with an 85-run partnership, during which De Kock surpassed his half-century, before he was caught by Root at deep backward square leg off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for 68, which came off 74 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes.
Duminy only made eight runs before he was removed by Moeen, while Dwaine Pretorius was run out for one run.
Van der Dussen went on to make a 61-ball 50, which included four boundaries and a six, before he was dismissed by Archer.
Phehlukwayo managed to score 24 before he was the victim of a breathtaking catch by Stokes off the bowling of Adil Rashid.
— ICC (@ICC) May 30, 2019
Amla, who returned after Van der Dussen’s dismissal, made 13 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Plunkett.
South Africa ended up being bowled out for 207 when Stokes removed Rabada and Tahir in successive deliveries.
Archer was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Stokes and Plunkett took two wickets apiece. As for Moeen and Rashid, they claimed one wicket each.
Stokes was named Man of the Match.