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ICC World Cup: South Africa trounce England by 229 runs in Mumbai

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In ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup two matches on Saturday (21 October 2023), South Africa trounced England by 229 runs in Mumbai.

Chasing a victory target of 400 runs set by South Africa, England could only make 170 runs in 22 overs. For South Africa, Gerald Coetzee took 3 wickets while Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen picked up two wickets each.

Earlier, sent in to bat first, South Africa raised a massive total of 399 for 7 in their stipulated 50 overs. Heinrich Klaasen top scored with 109 runs while Reeza Hendricks made 85 runs. For England, Reece Topley took three wickets while Adil Rashid and Gus Atkinson took two wickets each.

South Africa put their World Cup campaign back on track with a devastating 229-run win over England in Mumbai on Saturday (October 21). It was a performance reminiscent of England’s own revolutionary batting approach as South Africa went out all guns blazing to first post a humongous total of 399 and the defending champions then meekly capitulated to the scoreboard pressure to crashland in the chase.

While the target of 400 meant chasing history, Wankhede was easily among the grounds where it could have been done. However, the new ball did nip around a fair bit under lights and England’s haste meant that the game was done in the first Powerplay itself. Marco Jansen in particular got the ball to talk but it was always going to be a passing phase after which the runs would inevitably come. Unfortunately for England, they only had their tail left by that time. The Jonny Bairstow dismissal was a reflection of England’s nerves as he looked fidgety at the crease before holing out to a strategically placed deep backward square leg.

Strategy worked once again for South Africa as an unusual leg slip for Joe Root paid off with the England no.3 glancing it straight to the man stationed there. The procession of wickets continued and in a chase where England couldn’t have afforded to lose more than three wickets inside the first 30 overs, they ended up losing four in the first ten. Dawid Malan fell to the down-the-legside strangle while Ben Stokes’ handed the simplest of return catches for Kagiso Rabada. All the early carnage meant that the game was effectively over barring something unthinkable from Jos Buttler and Harry Brook.

As gifted as both batters are, some challenges are simply not within the realms of probability and this task was one such. It was only a matter of time before they too fell prey to the scoreboard pressure. Both eventually departed in the same over, which was Gerald Coetzee’s second and the tearaway pacer celebrated in jubilation after being taken apart in his first over by Buttler. If it wasn’t over earlier, it certainly was at 68/6 and although the tail added more than 100 runs, it was obviously only going to limit the damage. The hitting from Mark Wood and Gus Atkinson showed how the pitch had returned to being true after the new ball spell.

England would regret their implosion upfront with the bat. As they would when they think about their bowling performance in the last ten overs of the innings. As many as 143 runs were leaked with Heinrich Klaasen and Jansen going full throttle against the English bowling. Some of the plans and field settings were also bizarre, although the conditions at Wankhede can do that to teams when the batting side is in overdrive. The Klaasen-Jansen partnership virtually put a huge question mark on England’s chances after the reigning champions had staged a fightback of sorts with the wickets of Aiden Markram and David Miller.

The carnage at the end ensured that South Africa made optimal use of the platform that was provided early on by Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen. Both batters overcame a cautious start before going through the gears and they made full use of the batting friendly conditions at the venue. Adil Rashid, England’s only impressive bowler in the innings, did get both batters in succession but Markram and Klaasen continued to up the momentum for the Proteas. Twice in the innings South Africa lost wickets in clumps and with the Markram-Miller dismissal, they would have been worried about a timid finish to the innings.

However, Klaasen put all that to rest with a blistering innings that was typical of the man’s reputation these days. He fought the heat, humidity and cramps to decimate England’s bowling and found an able ally to Jansen who also exploded after a slow start. Buttler’s men would have fancied to keep South Africa to a score of 350 or under when Miller fell but the slog overs masterclass dashed the English hopes.

Brief scores: South Africa399/8 in 50 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 109, Reeza Hendricks 85, Marco Jansen 75*; Reece Topley 3-88) beat England 170 (Mark Wood 43*; Gerald Coetzee 3-35, Lungi Ngidi 2-26, Marco Jansen 2-35) by 229 runs

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