Magic is perhaps the only word that one can use to describe Ben Stokes’ outrageous catch in the ongoing World Cup-opener between England and South Africa. Not a single person watching the game including batsman Andile Phehlukwayo would have thought that his shot would be caught. However, Stokes had some other plans as he pulled off a breathtaking effort to send the allrounder back to the pavilion.
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First day of the World Cup and we might have seen the catch of the tournament! #BenStokes
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 30, 2019
On the first ball of the 25th over, leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled a flighted delivery around the pads. Phehlukwayo sat on his knees to play a slog sweep over mid-wicket and looked to have connected well. The ball was looking destined to cross the ropes until Stokes’ moment of madness stunned one and all. The allrounder made a full length dive and caught the ball one-handed while throwing himself backwards around the deep mid-wicket fence.
Here is a clip of that stunning catch from Ben Stokes:
Earlier in the match, Ben Stokes was one of four England batsmen, alongside skipper Eoin Morgan (57), Jason Roy (54) and Joe Root (51), to score half-centuries after Jonny Bairstow (0) fell to the second ball of the match. After losing Bairstow, Roy and Root put on 106 for the second wicket. Morgan and Stokes then added 106 runs after after Roy and Root were dismissed in the space of four balls. England eventually finished on 311 for 7 with Stokes’ 89 being the top score.
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England are aiming for their first World Cup title and are looking set to start their campaign on a winning note. Phehlukwayo was the seventh South African wicket to fall with the scoreboard reading just 180.