ENG vs SA: Top five talking points from World Cup opener

An all-round performance from Ben Stokes saw England triumph at the Oval on Day 1. Sportstar takes a look at five moments from the match which created quite the buzz on social media.

Ben Stokes after taking the catch of Andile Phehlukwayo during England's first World Cup match at The Oval on Thursday.   -  Getty Images

Ben Stokes starred in all departments as England began their quest to win the World Cup with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa in the tournament opener at the Oval on Thursday. Here are five talking points from the opener:

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Phehlukwayo had slog swept Adil Rashid over mid-wicket; and the ball was heading for the fence all right... until Ben Stokes caught it one-handed, mid-air, hurling himself backwards towards the deep mid-wicket fence. Talk about a superman effort.

Breathing fire

Jofra Archer's 145kph bouncer smashed into Hashim Amla's grille, forcing the South African opener to walk off the field briefly. Archer, who had been the focal point of much of the talk around World Cup favourite England, bowled with good pace and bounce to snap up three wickets — Markram, du Plessis and van der Dussen — on his World Cup debut for the Three Lions.


Fifty in a flash

Quinton de Kock kept South Africa on course for a win with a 74-ball 68, including six fours and two sixes at a strike-rate of 91.89. de Kock continued his run-glut from the recently concluded Indian Premier League, where he was instrumental in Mumbai Indians winning a record fourth title.

Tahir spins a web

South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir created history in the opening game of World Cup 2019 as he became the first spinner to bowl the first over in the tournament. The feat turned special when he struck second ball with the wicket of Jonny Bairstow; caught behind for a duck.


Ben Stokes, who was awarded the 'Man of the Match' for his all-round performance, scored 89 off 79 balls to help England reach a total of 311 for eight after 50 overs. Besides pulling off a blinder at the ropes, he also claimed the scalps of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.

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