Asked to mount the biggest chase in their World Cup history, England’s batting collapsed like a pack of cards as they succumbed to one of their biggest defeats against South Africa — a 229-run hammering in Match 20 of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Chasing a 400-run target, England’s innings ended at 170 in 22 overs — Reece Topley remained absent hurt after injuring his left index finger,
Gerald Coetzee claimed 3-35 and Marco Jansen completed a fine all-round display with a 2-35 haul for South Africa. Lungi Ngidi finished 2-26 to complete England’s humiliation.
England skipper Jos Buttler asked South Africa to bat first after winning the toss and that proved the biggest mistake of this World Cup for England as they got hammered by the South African batters for 399/7 in 50 overs with Heinrich Klaasen clobbering a sensational 67-ball 109 and Marco Jansen hammering an equally brutal 75 not out off 42 balls after Reeza Hendricks (85 off 75) and Rassie van der Dussen (60 off 61) had laid the foundation for the big score with a well-compiled 121-run partnership for the second wicket.
Brutalised for nearly four hours in the hot and humid conditions, the England batters looked drained off energy while the South African bowlers did not give them any chances as they bowled superb line and length to send back half of the England side back in the pavilion for 67 runs in the 12th over.
The match was as good as over for England by that time.
Gus Atkinson (35 off 21) and Mark Wood (43 not out off 17) lived a charmed life as they blazed to a 70-run partnership off 33 balls for the ninth wicket, blasting nine fours and five sixes between them to give England a semblance of respectability. Both of them enjoyed the tailenders’ luck as some of their shots missed the fielders’ grasp by centimetres at the boundary rope.
But it was small consolation for England as they succumbed to their worst defeat in ODIs.
England batters had to take their chances and Buttler had hoped that they would capitalise on the dew-laden ball to chase the big total. But that did not happen as Jonny Bairstow (10 off 12), Dawid Malan (6) and Joe Root (2) got out in quick succession as England batters, shell-shocked by the walloping their bowlers received from the hands of Klaasen and Co found the going tough.
Ben Stokes, who was expected to be England’s talisman and expected to lift them from the dumps after their humiliating 69-run defeat to Afghanistan, survived six balls for five runs, Harry Brook, who was included in the side after being overlooked in the first shortlist, lasted for 25 deliveries, scoring 17 runs while skipper Jos Buttler, who has played some memorable innings at the Wankhede innings, scored 15 off seven balls before perishing to an edge behind after hammering Gerald Coetzee for four, four and six in three balls.
England were reduced to 68/6 in the 12th over and the South Africans were cruising to victory save for a few lusty blows by David Miller (12 off 12) and Adil Rashid (10 off 14) as England crawled past the 100-run mark.
Brief scores: South Africa 399/7 in 50 overs (Heinrich Klassen 109, Reeza Hendricks 85, Marco Jansen 75 not out, Rassie van der Dussen 60; Reece Topley 3-88, Adil Rashid 2-61) beat England 170 in 22 overs (Mark Wood 43 not out, Gus Atkinson 35; Gerald Coetzee 3-35, Lungi Ngidi 2-26, Marco Jansen 2-35) by 229 runs.
Press Release, Source: IANS