Update: So my prediction about South Africa winning against England has turned sour. But hey this is what the game of cricket is all about. You win and you lose. What matters is the spirit of the game and healthy rivalries. Read up in detail on how I think about the first match and my piece on the next match between West Indies and Pakistan.
“Hello and welcome all. Reporting live from ‘the Oval’ (just kidding, my lounge), the live coverage of the opening match of the ICC World Cup 2019 between England and South Africa. Here we are finally. Every team has come a long way since Australia were crowned the champions 4 years earlier. But this time, the hosts- England, have entered the championship as the favorites, as they have showcased exceptional form ever-since. The host are all set to take on South Africa in the opening match of the World-Cup.” Lines that my ears always wished to hear live, but has that stopped me from tuning into the match on-screen? Nope…
As the match is starting, let’s relive some the past statistics of both the teams. Starting off with the favorites, Team England. South Africa’s ICC world cup matches statistics; played a total of 55 matches. They won 35 times and lost 18 times. With finishing as the semi-finalists in 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2011, the Protease have secured a winning percentage of 65.45 %. The statistics of favorites on the other hand, rank below South Africa’s. Out of 72 matches played, 41 were won and 29 lost. Finishing as runner ups in 1979, 1987 and 1992 has given them a winning percentage of 58.45%.
TOSS- an exhilarating moment for the entire cricketing world, as well the two giants of cricket. As the coin is tossed up, Faf du Plessis- the South African skipper calls heads and wins the toss. The Protease choose to bowl… As masses gather outside to collect the tickets to watch the opener match. The players are out and stand tall, the national anthems have been sung, as Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow take their position in the middle at a sun-drenched Oval for the start of the World Cup! A surprise call by from Faf du Plesses, as he commences with spinner Imran Tahir opening for the team… Can it be because of Roy’s weaknesses in mind?
Before the game moves forward, let’s take make a quick prediction as to who’ll etch victory to their name in the very first game of this world cup’19… If I had to give my prediction as to who’d take it home today, I’d put my money on (don’t worry, using it just as a phrase) South Africa. Given their past ICC world cup records and viewing the spirits they’re in. South Africa has players like JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir and David Miller playing under the captaincy of Plessis, it won’t be hard for them to achieve victory. (Keeping my fingers crossed.)
OUT SIDE EDGED AND TAKEN! Second ball of the first over, an absolute nightmare for England. As Imran Tahir takes on Bairstow was a master move this has turned this game around. Giving the new ball to Tahir for this exact reason, and what a wicket this is! Sending Bairstow back to the pavilion, as Imran Tahir takes the first wicket of the event. Whatta shot!
As the match has procced to the 37th over, ‘the favorites’- team England, have managed to put up a total of 217 on the loss of 4 wickets. Not really a decent total up till now, maybe given because of the conditions of the pitch, which is dry, which nearly allows some good pace and bounce. That’s a combination that keeps bowling interested – seamers, reverse-swingers and spinners.
As Eoin Morgan’s England cricket team lock horns with South Africa, this match will be interesting till the very last ball. Guess we’ll have to watch till the end of the match as it’s anyone’s game to make or to break. May be the best team win.
Watch out for the follow-up post to this tomorrow on results of the match and prediction for the next match between West Indies and Pakistan. Find out more about teams participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 here and favourite players here.
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