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CWC 2019 Match 1: England vs. South Africa

England vs. South Africa World Cup
Image courtesy of ICC.

1st Innings Break Comments

There were great expectations from Bairstow and Roy. However the first memorable moment of the World Cup will be that of Imran Tahir bowling the first over and getting the wicket of Bairstow for a duck and making his customary run towards the boundary. I think that 312 is slightly under par. South Africa has bowled extremely well. I initially expected that the bowlers to bowl significantly more off cutters and knuckleballs. However, it was the change of pace that made the difference. I will be maintaining the ODI version of my Cricket Portfolio Index. It will take more meaning by the third game but England has scored 2,147 batting points. South Africa has scored 801 bowling and fielding points. This game will be won in the second powerplay.

End of Match Analysis

England won by 104 runs. The huge disparity in the score is something I cannot account for. I cannot say if England were extremely good or South Africa just lost the plot. Any doubts of Jofra Archer being in the side was silenced. Hashim Amla had about 0.47 seconds to react to Archer. Doubts about England being only flat track bullies was dissipated. None of the top order was able to convert. All of them got out when they tried to push the score onward. Stokes stayed on and was instrumental in getting England past 300 but it did not seem smooth. Then again South Africa suffocated England at the right time. It speaks volumes though those supporters of England were disappointed with England not getting more than 320. England has shown that they can do well even if Bairstow and Buttler do not contribute.

England’s bowling was extremely good. Jofra Archer’s bowling was exceptional. He was smooth and fast. Plunkett, Rashid and Ali did their job with the ball. England’s bowling was completely in contrast to what South Africa did. They were aggressive with their fast bowlers. Their spinners were better. Rashid and Ali are world class spinners. Duminy is just not good enough. Imran Tahir was brilliant but there is a limit to what he can do.

The fielding though is where the difference was significant. The catch by Ben Stokes was phenomenal. England took their catches and fielded well at the boundary. They probably save about 20-30 runs if not more.

Everyone knew that there would be some kind of controversy in the World Cup. Betting people would have put their money on. someone getting Mankaded. The controversy though was with the Zing bail. We saw similar incidents in the IPL. It is time that something is done about it. Adil Rashid should have bowled Quinton de Kock before he got set. The wicket flashed but the bail landed back on the groove. The Zing bail is heavier than a normal one. Something has to be done. I just hope that this does not happen again. England outplayed South Africa by more than 50%. Generally, any outperformance over 20% is exceptional. A detailed analysis using my index will follow. Looking forward to your comments.

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