England captain Eoin Morgan was a delighted man as the hosts started their World Cup campaign with a thumping win over England at the Oval on Thursday. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer starred for the hosts as the Morgan-led side thrashed the Proteas by 104 runs to show their World Cup-winning credentials.
South Africa looked more or less clueless in front of Archer’s thunderbolts that made Hashim Amla temporarily retire at the start of the innings. Quinton de Kock‘s 68 seemed to have South Africa in the hunt as they were comfortably placed at 129 for 2. However, once Liam Plunkett dismissed de Kock, South Africa lost three wickets for 15 runs. Stokes then took two wickets in two balls to wrap up the innings.
Following the game, Morgan expressed his delight over the winning start as he praised his side’s mature display on a wicket that ‘didn’t allow’ them to execute their plans.
“Delighted to be off and running in this tournament. It’s more satisfying than normal. We were very good today, the wicket didn’t allow us to execute our plan which is to try and score quite a considerable total, but I thought the maturity and smart cricket we played shows the effort we put in the last two years and the experience as well,” said Morgan.
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The England skipper then lavished praise on Stokes and Archer who picked up three wickets for just 27 runs from seven overs.
“He (Stokes) had a field day and especially that catch he took was absolutely outstanding. To have a match-winner like that in the side, he is someone who lifts absolutely everybody and I thought the bowling unit really did get off to a great start and continued to learn from the first innings and then put into place in second innings,” said Morgan.
“Slowish pitch, he (Archer) bowled fast and accurate and it’s outstanding. He is taking everything in his stride at the moment and he is improving everyday and that’s very exciting. Huge amount of pleasure. It’s an area we were always trying to improve on and certainly we are looking for match winning contributions in the field,” he added.