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Proteas falter in familiar fashion in WC opener

Chasing a competitive but very doable target of 312, set by the home team, South Africa fell short in familiar fashion with a mix of soft dismissals and a runout for good measure.

FILE: Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock top-scored in an opening game loss to England. Picture: @cricketworldcup/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - It's a new World Cup, but a similar script for the Proteas after they succumbed to favourites England, losing by 104 runs at the Oval. After restricting England to 311-8 in their allotted 50 overs, South Africa could only muster a meagre 207 all out in response.

Chasing a competitive but very doable target of 312, set by the home team, South Africa fell short in familiar fashion, with a mix of soft dismissals and a runout for good measure.

The South African chase began in ominous fashion when a sharp Jofra Archer bouncer struck Hashim Amla on the helmet and forced the veteran off the field for a concussion test. He was later cleared to bat but by that time (167-7), the writing was on the wall.

For South Africa, the only resistance came from Quinton de Dock (68 off 74 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (50 off 61 balls), while the rest floundered.

When JP Duminy chipped the ball straight to mid-off at an important juncture of the match his soft dismissal was swiftly followed by the runout of Dwaine Pretorius - very familiar tale for those who have followed the Proteas journey through world cups. South Africa was eventually bowled out for 207 runs.

In contrast, England’s batting produced four half-centuries with Ben Stokes top-scoring with 89. The Proteas attack did well to restrict England to 311-8. Lungi Ngidi picked up three wickets with Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada snatching two each.

There are still eight matches left for South Africa to make their mark on the tournament, next up is Bangladesh on Sunday.