The 12th edition of ICC World Cup began on 30th May 2019. The inaugural match was played between the host country, England, and strong contenders, South Africa at Kennington Oval in London. Before this encounter, these two countries had played six times against each other in World cups and each country had tasted victory thrice. Despite being strong contenders in almost all world cups they have figured in, neither England nor South Africa have won the coveted trophy even once.
While Eoin Morgan led the hosts, England, the Proteas were led by Faf du Plessis. The match also marked the debut of Jofra Archer, post becoming a citizen of England and he showed his worth by claiming three wickets for 27 runs. Among his three scalps was the prized wicket of South African skipper, Faf Du Plessis.
England gave a clinical performance and won the match comprehensively by 104 runs.
All-rounder Ben Stokes won the Man of the Match award because of his brilliant performance with bat and ball and because of superb fielding in the deep. He scored 89 runs off 79 balls and picked up two wickets for 12 runs off 2.5 overs. He plucked a blinder of a one handed catch in the deep to dismiss Phehlukwayo and ran out Dwaine Pretorius.
England’s top order performed well in the match. Captain Morgan relied on Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy for opening England’s innings. England got a major blow when Bairstow was caught by de Kock off the second ball of the innings. He failed to open his account. Roy scored 54 runs off 53 balls before he was caught by Du Plessis off Phehlukwayo . Morgan and Root steadied the innings in the middle overs and scored 57 and 51 runs respectively before Ben Stokes showed his batting prowess by scoring 89 runs off 79 balls.
Butler was bowled over by Ngidi for just 18 runs off the 16 balls. Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes scored 3 and 13 runs respectively. Plunkett and Archer also couldn’t do much and scored 9 and 7 runs respectively. England’s innings folded at 311/8 in the allotted 50 overs.
For South Africa, none of the bowlers impressed. Although Ngidi got three wickets and Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada picked up a brace each, they all went for plenty of runs and couldn’t control the scoring.
South Africa Innings
Quinton de Kock along with Hashim Amla opened the South African innings. South Africa lost Hashim Amla to injury when he was hit on his head by a Jofra Archer bouncer. He later returned but hardly helped the South African cause. South Africa lost its first wicket after seven overs when Markram was caught by Joe Root off Jofra Archer. Almost exactly after two overs South Africa lost its skipper, Faf du Plessis , who departed after scoring just 5 runs off 7 balls. Quinton de Kock was the best South African batsman on display but he too departed, playing an unnecessary shot off Plunkett. He was caught by Joe Root at fine leg. Jean Paul Duminy tried to clear the long on boundary but could only manage to find Stokes patrolling the fence. Dwaine Pretorious was run out, going for a nonexistent second run and once again, it was Ben Stokes, who had a hand in this dismissal. Rassie van der Dussen revived the hopes of South Africa’s victory but he too departed just after completing his half century. Andile, Rabada and Ngidi scored 24, 11 and 6 runs respectively. South Africa managed to score only 207 runs in 39.5 overs and lost the first match of ICC World Cup 2019 by a big margin of 104 runs.