on air now

Archer and Stokes fire as England win World Cup opener

Levy & Riddell

England’s quest to win their first-ever Cricket World Cup is off to the perfect start, beating South Africa by 104 runs.

In front of a raucous crowd at The Oval in London, Jofra Archer starred with the ball for the hosts, picking up 3-27 off seven overs.

But it was Ben Stokes who stole all the headlines, completing a spectacular one-handed catch on the boundary to to dismiss South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo.

TalkSPORT’s James Savundra says England were “relived” to win the opener after a tense start to the tournament.

“It was hard work,” he told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Stokes hit 89 and there were 50s for Morgan, Root and Roy and England got to 311 which considering the scores other sides have been getting looked a bit below par.

“The pitch was pretty slow and it showed it actually was a good score for England.”

After winning the toss, South Africa sent England in to bat and got off to the perfect start, dismissing Jonny Bairstow with just the second ball of the World Cup.

Joe Root and Jason Roy put on a 110-run third-wicket partnership to re-gain ascendancy before South Africa fought back to restrict the hosts to 311 from 50 overs.

In their quest to cause an upset, South Africa lost wickets in quick succession and never really gained the momentum needed to chase down what seemed like a par score of 312 from 50 overs.

While Quinton de Kock (68) fired, captain Faf Du Plesis’s (5) struggles epitomised England dominance with the ball as they sealed the comfortable victory.

South Africa are in action again on Sunday against West Indies while England head to Trent Bridge for game two against Bangladesh.

Click PLAY to hear more on Macquarie Sports Radio

Levy & Riddell