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Proteas start World Cup with solid bowling performance

Interestingly, Imran Tahir bowled the first ball of the World Cup in a surprise move from Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis. South Africa will happy with their first 50 overs at the World Cup after restricting England to 311-8 in their allotted 50 overs.

All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo talks with Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis during their match against Sri Lanka in Cape Town on 19 March. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Faf du Plessis won the toss at the Oval and sent England in to bat knowing the English are good chasers.

Interestingly, Imran Tahir bowled the first ball of the World Cup in a surprise move from Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis. He waited for just two balls to be rewarded as the legspinner found the edge of Jonny Bairstow’s bat, which keeper Quinton de Kock took smartly.

Thereafter, Jason Roy and Joe Root stabilised and built a solid platform for the English.

The pair put on a partnership of 106 before Andile Phehlukwayo got Jason Roy (54) and soon after Kagiso Rabada dismissed Joe Root (51) to leave England at 111-3 in the twentieth over.

Once again, another promising partnership blossomed between Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes, like the duo before, they combined for a 100-run stand with both getting half-centuries as well.

For South Africa, Tahir was once again instrumental when he got the important wicket of Morgan (57). The England captain was looking to accelerate but he was caught by Aiden Markram who showcased his impressive catching skills on the boundary. The score was now 217-4 after 37 overs.

The match was evenly poised at this juncture with the dangerous Jos Buttler joining Stokes out in the middle, but their partnership didn’t have the intended impact from an English perspective.

Buttler was bowled by Ngidi for just 18 and then the lanky fast bowler struck soon after picking up the wicket of Moeen Ali. Once again South Africa's impressive boundary fielding was the key to the dismissal as Du Plessis rolled back the years, showing great agility to take the important catch, England were 260-6 with just six overs left.

Ngidi and Rabada bowled well in the end to pick up wickets and restrict England to 311-8. A good outing for the Proteas.

England 311-8 (50)

Top performers:

Ben Stokes 89 (79)
Eoin Morgan 57 (60)

Imran Tahir 2-61 (10)
Lungi Ngidi 3-66 (10)
K Rabada 2-66 (10)

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