World Cup 2019, England vs South Africa: Captaincy move that cost South Africa the game
Given that both South Africa and England have never won a World Cup, both the teams would have liked to get an early lead in the tournament. The hosts England came into this tournament as heavy favourites while South Africa had a few chinks in their armour.
Earlier in the day, Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field first. The South African captain made a great decision by opening the bowling with Imran Tahir who got the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. Then Joe Root and Jason Roy built a good partnership to put England back on the track.
England lost both the set batsmen in quick succession and South Africa had a chance to build pressure on them. This is where Faf du Plessis made a mistake by easing pressure on new batsmen by bringing part-timers to bowl. This gave an opportunity to both Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes to settle.
South Africa bowled well in the slog overs but Ben Stokes scored 89 to ensure that the hosts crossed 300. Chasing 312 on this pitch was never going to be easy and the going got tougher when Hashim Amla was retired hurt.
Quinton de Kock batted well but he kept on losing partners at the other end. He built a good partnership with Rassie van der Dussen to give hope to South Africa. Once De Kock got out, South Africa lost the plot as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Jofra Archer was the star for the hosts as he picked three wickets to break the back of South African batting. The star of first innings Ben Stokes also contributed with two wickets to seal the win for England.
England won the match by 104 runs as they showed why they are considered favourites to lift the trophy. On the other hand, South Africa has a lot to think about after suffering their second-worst loss in terms of runs in World Cup history.
Also read - Highest partnerships by wicket in world cup