WC 2023: Defending Champs England Humbled by South Africa’s Utter Dominance

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Varad Bhatkhande

Mumbai, 21st October 2023: In the 20th match of the ICC Cricket ODI World Cup 2023, South Africa delivered an astonishing performance, thoroughly humbling defending champions England. South Africa emerged victorious with an emphatic margin of 229 runs in a match that took place at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, hosting its first game of this World Cup edition. England won the toss and opted to field first.

South Africa set off on an impressive batting performance, commencing with opener Quinton de Kock’s early dismissal. However, the second opener, Reeza Hendricks, stood out with a well-compiled 85 runs off 75 balls before falling to Adil Rashid. Rassie van der Dussen contributed 60 runs off 61 balls before being caught by Jonny Bairstow off Adil Rashid’s delivery. Captain Aiden Markram also added 42 runs off 44 balls before Bairstow’s catch on Reece Topley’s delivery ended his innings. The highlights of South Africa’s batting innings were Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen. Klaasen’s blazing 109 runs off 67 balls came to an end when Gus Atkinson bowled him out. Marco Jansen’s quickfire 75 off 42 balls, not out, played a vital role in helping South Africa amass a substantial total of 399 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Reece Topley was England’s standout bowler, taking 3 wickets in his 8.5 overs, although he was relatively expensive, conceding 88 runs. Reece Topley was injured while bowling his 9th over. Gus Atkinson and Adil Rashid secured two wickets each.

Chasing a formidable target of 310 runs, England got off to a shaky start, with star batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root failing to make a significant impact. The remaining batsmen struggled, including captain Jos Buttler, as their highest scorers were the bowlers, Mark Wood and Gus Atkinson, largely due to several catches dropped by South African fielders. Gus Atkinson scored a brisk 35 runs off 21 balls before being bowled by Keshav Maharaj. Mark Wood added a quick 43 runs off 17 balls, remaining not out. However, England was bowled out for 170 runs, losing 9 wickets in the 22nd over, as Reece Topley couldn’t bat due to an injury.

From South Africa’s bowling attack, Gerald Coetzee was the star performer, claiming 3 wickets in his 4 overs while conceding 35 runs. Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen secured 2 wickets each, while Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada took one wicket apiece. South Africa won the match convincingly by 229 runs in the 22nd over.

Defending champions England, considered among the favourites for the tournament, have now suffered three losses out of four matches in this World Cup, making their qualification for the knockout stage a challenging prospect. In contrast, South Africa has won three out of their four matches and is currently placed 3rd in the points table, while England languishes in 9th place, second from the bottom.

In the forthcoming match, India will face New Zealand in the 21st ODI of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala.