The Latest: Stokes catch delivers early ‘wow’ moment in CWC

May 30, 2019 GMT
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England's Ben Stokes celebrates the catch of South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo during the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and South Africa at The Oval, London, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)
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England's Ben Stokes celebrates the catch of South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo during the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and South Africa at The Oval, London, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Nigel French/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the opening day of the Cricket World Cup (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

The Cricket World Cup might already have its best catch of the tournament.

Running backward toward the boundary rope, England allrounder Ben Stokes leapt high and took an improbable one-handed catch on the stretch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo. It sparked gasps in the crowd at The Oval and amazement across social media.

“It’s the best catch I’ve ever seen in the flesh,” former England spinner Graeme Swann posted on Twitter. Ex-England captain Nasser Hussain labeled it the greatest ever catch.


Stokes said it was a “regulation catch” if he had been in the right position.

“I was further in than I should have been,” he said. “Luckily it stuck.”


5:35 p.m.

England comfortably handled South Africa and a lively Oval pitch to win the opening match of the Cricket World Cup by 104 runs with 10 overs to spare.

It was the statement win sought by the hot title favorites, but not as expected. The bowlers starred rather than the batsmen, notably newcomer Jofra Archer, whose pace scared the daylights out of the South Africa top order. He took three wickets.

Because England has been putting up huge totals, 311-8 on a green-tinged pitch seemed only decent, though the home team was happy. They were certain they could defend it, despite chasing teams having an excellent record at the Oval.

England’s cause was helped by South Africa blowing the script, again. The chase was too much to bear on a batting lineup not as deep as England’s and the Proteas were all out for 207 in the 40th over.

England next plays Pakistan on Monday. South Africa remains at the Oval to meet Bangladesh on Sunday.


5 p.m.

South Africa opener Hashim Amla has returned to the crease after retiring hurt when he was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Jofra Archer in the World Cup opener against England.

Amla rubbed his head after missing an attempted pull shot and failing to duck in time to avoid a faster ball from the England paceman in the fourth over.

He retired hurt for five and left the field for an extended period for medical assessments. He returned when South Africa was 6-167 in the 32nd over, chasing 312 to win.

The first ball he faced on return was from Archer, and he let the chest-high delivery go through to the wicketkeeper.



3:10 p.m.

South Africa opener Hashim Amla has left the field to be assessed by medical staff after being hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Jofra Archer.

Amla rubbed his head after missing an attempted pull shot and failing to duck in time to avoid a faster ball from the England paceman in the fourth over.

He retired hurt for five and was replaced by Aiden Markram. South Africa is chasing 312 to win the World Cup opening match after restricting England to 311-8.


3 p.m.

West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer says Chris Gayle is in the “best form” of his career and hopes his teammate reconsiders his decision to retire from one-day internationals after the Cricket World Cup.

The 39-year-old Gayle smashed 424 runs in four matches against England in a recent ODI series and averaged more than 40 in the IPL this year.

Asked why Gayle is retiring given his current form, Hetmyer says “we are all thinking that way ... if he does continue, it would be fantastic for us and for world cricket. As it is, we are just hoping he pulls through for us and after the World Cup he is still there.”

Gayle and the West Indies start the World Cup with a match against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, a ground renowned for high scores. England has posted the two biggest ODIs totals there.

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed says fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who was a late call-up to the World Cup squad, is available for the match against West Indies. Amir didn’t take part in any of the warm-up games for the tournament.


2:15 p.m.

England has made 311-8 against South Africa on the back of two century partnerships after losing a wicket to the second ball of the opening match of the Cricket World Cup at the Oval.

No sooner had Prince Harry declared the event officially open with, “You won’t want to miss any of it,” than Jonny Bairstow was walking back to join the royal in the pavilion as the first opening batsman out for a golden duck in the opening innings of a World Cup.

Bairstow gave a faint edge behind to Imran Tahir, the first spinner to bowl the first ball of a men’s World Cup.

England recovered with two stands of 106, the first by Jason Roy and Joe Root, and the second by captain Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes.

All four scored half-centuries and found scoring easy.

Roy (54) and Root (51) were out to self-inflicted mistakes. Morgan left on 57 to a great catch at long-on by Aiden Markram, and Stokes went on to 89 off 79 balls, out in the 49th over trying to up the scoring rate.

England began the match on a run of four consecutive 340-plus scores this month, the first team in ODI history to achieve the feat.

Since 2000, chasing sides have won 27 out of 41 completed ODIs at the Oval.


12 p.m.

Eoin Morgan got off the mark with a boundary in his 200th one-day international for England.

Morgan has been an integral figure in England’s rise to No. 1 in the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings, and is leading the home team at the 12th World Cup.

The 32-year-old left-hander made his international debut for Ireland in 2006 but gained selection for England in 2009 and has helped transform the English lineup into an attacking unit since its group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

After being sent into bat by South Africa, England was 107-2 when Morgan went to the crease in the opening game of the tournament at the Oval.


10:33 a.m.

South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir has dismissed England opener Jonny Bairstow with the second ball of the World Cup.

After winning the toss and sending England in to bat, South Africa dispensed with tradition by making the surprise decision to pick Tahir bowl the first over of the tournament — a task usually reserved for pace bowlers.

He conceded a single to Jason Roy with the first ball and then had Bairstow caught behind off a faint edge the very next ball as World Cup favorite England slipped to 1-1.


10:10 a.m.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has won the toss and sent England into bat in the opening game of the Cricket World Cup.

No. 1-ranked England is the favorite to win the title on home soil, and its vaunted top order will be in action immediately as the tournament opens at the Oval in south London.

Pace bowler Jofra Archer was selected to make his World Cup debut for England.

Lineups: England: Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer.

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton De Kock, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.


9:30 a.m.

England and South Africa meet in the opening match of the 12th Cricket World Cup on what should be a bowl-first pitch at the Oval on Thursday.

England brings outstanding form from the last four years, including a 4-0 sweep of Pakistan in a one-day international series this month. The home side is the hot favorite to win its first World Cup title.

South Africa was also impressive in its most recent ODI series, a 5-0 rout of Sri Lanka at home in March. But the Proteas come in under the radar.

England picked its lineup on Wednesday without revealing it to the public, leaving in doubt whether its fastest bowler, Mark Wood, will play after he injured his left ankle on the weekend.

South Africa is without veteran paceman Dale Steyn, but fellow fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have recovered from their own recent injuries and are expected to play.


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