In a breathtaking showdown at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, South Africa delivered a resounding and record-breaking victory, crushing defending champions England by a huge margin of 229 runs in the ongoing ODI World Cup.
This big victory now stands as England’s biggest defeat in the history of ODI World Cups, leaving cricket enthusiasts and pundits in awe of South Africa’s prowess.
The English skipper, Jos Buttler, won the toss and elected to field first, setting the stage for a high-stakes encounter. Reece Topley made an immediate impact, dismissing the explosive Quinton de Kock on just the second delivery of the match.
Nonetheless, the Proteas were far from deterred, with Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks orchestrating a monumental 121-run partnership for the second wicket.
Both batsmen reached the half-century mark, with Van der Dussen compiling a steady 61-ball 60, while Hendricks showcased his prowess with an impressive 85 runs from 75 deliveries.
The dynamic duo’s partnership was finally broken by spinner Adil Rashid, who claimed the wicket of Van der Dussen in the 20th over before dispatching Hendricks in the 26th over.
Aiden Markram contributed a promising 42 runs from 44 balls but couldn’t capitalize on his start, falling victim to Topley’s adept bowling skills. Topley continued his resurgence, securing his third wicket of the day by dismissing the hard-hitting David Miller in the 37th over.
As South Africa approached a formidable total, Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen decided to kick into high gear, launching a relentless assault on England’s bowlers in the final 10 overs.
Klaasen etched his name in World Cup history by achieving a maiden century, while Jansen’s explosive innings of 75 runs from 41 balls further fueled South Africa’s surge.
Together, they combined to amass an astounding 143 runs in the last 10 overs, propelling South Africa to a commanding total of 399 for 7 in their first innings.
With the momentum firmly in their favor, South Africa carried their stellar performance into the second innings, rendering England’s pursuit of a daunting 400-run target a formidable task.
Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen emerged as lethal threats with the ball, dismantling England’s top order and leaving them reeling at 24 for 3.
Kagiso Rabada’s introduction into the attack proved decisive, as he removed the pivotal Ben Stokes, further denting England’s hopes. Gerald Coetzee joined the wicket-taking parade, dismissing Jos Buttler and Harry Brook in quick succession, leaving England at a dismal 84 for 7.
Ngidi made a triumphant return to the attack, claiming the wicket of David Willey as South Africa inched closer to their historic triumph. As the match appeared all but decided, Mark Wood and Gus Atinkson played a fiery innings, challenging the South African bowling unit.
Wood concluded his unbeaten spell with 43 runs from just 17 deliveries, while Atkinson contributed a brisk 21-ball 35. However, Keshav Maharaj had the final say, dismissing Atkinson and concluding the English innings with a resounding victory for South Africa.
The result boosted South Africa into the third position on the World Cup 2023 points table. Meanwhile, England found themselves in the ninth position.