In the opening encounter of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, hosts England managed to put up a score of 311/8 after South Africa won the toss and elected to field first. In an innings where the advantage fluctuated at different times between the two sides, the hosts relied on four half-centuries to post a highly-competitive total.
The innings started on a strange note with South Africa choosing to open the bowling with Imran Tahir instead of their pacers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada. But the move worked beautifully as the leggie dismissed Jonny Bairstow on the second ball of the innings for a duck. However, Joe Root and Jason Roy got over the early shock and started scoring freely. They took England's score to beyond hundred but after getting to their respective fifties, both men were dismissed in a short space of time.
Then the partnership of Eoin Morgan, the skipper, and Ben Stokes started rebuilding the innings. Batting with caution but also a bit of positivity, the two built up a key partnership of 106 runs before Morgan held out in the deep while attempting a big shot against Tahir.
Stokes though, held the fort and kept pushing England forward. His innings of 89 proved to be an anchor around which the English lower order batted and pushed the total beyond 300.
For South Africa, both their leading pacers staged a good recovery to restrict the vaunted English batting line-up while Tahir's two key wickets were also very important. With the conditions not looking bad for batting, any side can win this contest.