London, May 31 (IANS) Visibly happy after registering an emphatic win in the World Cup opener against South Africa, England skipper Eoin Morgan said he was satisfied with the team’s performance who ensured that the hosts get off to a flying start in the showpiece event.
Ben Stokes’ brilliant innings of 89 and excellence in the field, alongside a sterling bowling performance from Jofra Archer, helped England register a 104-run win over Proteas at The Kennington Oval here on Thursday.
“Delighted to be off and running in this tournament. It’s more satisfying than normal,” Morgan said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
After being put into bat, the hosts rode on half centuries of Stokes, Morgan (57), Joe Root (51) and Jason Roy (54) to put 311/8 in their 50 overs. However, considering the batting line-up and the attacking brand of cricket which England has been playing in the last two-three years, this was a sub-standard total put by Morgan and Co.
The England skipper admitted that they weren’t able to execute their plan with the bat due to the tricky nature of the wicket.
“We were very good today, the wicket didn’t allow us to execute our plan which is to try and score quite a considerable total, but I thought the maturity and smart cricket we played shows the effort we put in the last two years and the experience as well.”
It was some disciplined bowling by the hosts which helped them garner an impressive win as Archer picked three wickets conceding 27 runs from seven overs while Liam Plunkett and Stokes also supported him by bagging a couple of wickets each as the trio dismantled the Proteas middle order.
Praising Archer, Morgan said, “It was a slowish pitch and he (Archer) bowled fast and accurate and it’s outstanding. He is taking everything in his stride at the moment and he is improving everyday and that’s very exciting.”
Meanwhile, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis admitted that his team was outplayed in all the three departments.
Chasing 312, the Proteas were bundled out for 207 runs in just 39.5 overs after their batting line-up suffered a massive collapse as the likes of Du Plessis (5), Aiden Markram (11) and J.P. Duminy (8) were all dismissed cheaply. Quinton de Kock (68) and Rassie van der Dussen (50) put up a fight but their effort went in vain as they failed to get their team over the line.
“I think we have been outplayed in all three departments. Basically we were 3 down in 12 overs and I think we were looking for 330-340 but when we took the pace off we thought 300 was par,” said du Plessis.
The South Africa skipper expressed confidence in his bowling attack and said they will be a different team with Dale Steyn back in the mix.
“When we have Dale and all our resources, we back our bowling to restrict teams under 300,” said Faf.
He also gave an update on Hashim Amla, who had to leave the pitch midway after being hit on the helmet by Archer. He did return to bat later but could do little to change his team’s fortune.
“He (Amla) is okay now and when he came back to the dressing room, he looked fine and hopefully that’s a good sign for the next game,” he added.
South Africa will look to bounce back in their next game against Bangladesh on Sunday while England will play Pakistan on Monday.