Archer lives up to hype as England thump Proteas in CWC opener
Jofra Archer lived up to the hype surrounding his Cricket World Cup call-up by playing a key role as England completed a resounding 104-run victory over South Africa at The Oval in the tournament's opening game.
A late addition to Eoin Morgan's squad after becoming eligible for England in March, Barbados-born paceman Archer showed why there had been such a clamour for his selection on Thursday, while Ben Stokes also shone and produced an early contender for catch of the tournament.
After the hosts were limited to 311-8 when they looked well set to post a bigger total, Archer swiftly undermined South Africa's reply, taking two wickets in a fine opening spell and forcing Hashim Amla to retire hurt as a vicious bouncer struck the veteran's helmet grille.
Quinton de Kock (68) and Rassie van der Dussen (50) stabilised the Proteas' innings but South Africa then collapsed from 129-2 to 207 all out, with Amla thankfully able to return amid the chaos.
Archer returned to pick up the valuable scalp of Van der Dussen and finished with figures of 3-27 from seven overs, while Stokes - who top-scored for England with 89 - produced a truly extraordinary catch on the boundary as Faf du Plessis' side crumbled.
Stokes leapt high at deep midwicket in the 35th over of the chase and plucked a one-handed take to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo and leave a sell-out crowd gobsmacked.
England were able to celebrate a comfortable win as man-of-the-match Stokes wrapped up the Proteas innings with a pair of wickets soon after.
England are off to a winning start!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 30, 2019
Archer takes three wickets, while Plunkett and Stokes get two each as the hosts beat South Africa by 104 runs! #ENGvSA SCORECARD https://t.co/nH52002J64pic.twitter.com/dT8xVHtmOs