England captain praises Stokes and rest of team as hosts get off to winning start

England cricket captain Eoin Morgan heaped praise on all-rounder Ben Stokes after his magical catch rounded off a solid start for the World Cup host nation on Thursday (May 30) sweeping aside South Africa to win by 104 runs.

By Lauren Leal

It was one of the most spectacular catches ever to grace a World Cup match as Stokes launched himself high into the air near the mid-wicket boundary, reaching up and back to snatch an amazing one-handed catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo off the bowling of Adil Rashid.

Morgan said it was a relief that their campaign has started off with a win, saying the side expect defeats along the way as they try to clinch the world title in July.

South Africa bowled and fielded tightly, restricting England’s usually free-scoring batsmen to only three sixes in the innings and a modest 76 runs from the last 10 overs.

Although Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes made fifties, none were able to go on to three figures.

South Africa’s reply was hampered by an injury to Hashim Amla who was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the helmet by a short ball from fast bowler Jofra Archer.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis said he was disappointed his team weren’t able to push England harder after making a good start to the game, but said his side needed to move on and focus on their next opponents to get their World Cup campaign back on track.

South Africa’s next match is against Bangladesh at the same venue on Sunday.

(Production: Mussab Al-Khairalla)

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