England To Beat South Africa In World Cup Opener

Roy will be determined to set the tone

England begin their quest to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup in the opening match of the tournament against South Africa at The Oval.

The Three Lions are the favourites for the competition due to their outstanding record over the last four years. It has been a complete contrast to their performance at the last World Cup when they were dumped out at the group stage.

Under Eoin Morgan’s captaincy, England have become the best side in the world in the 50-over format. Their batting line-up is the most potent in the competition, and are a threat to post over 400 runs in almost every contest.

England’s bowling ranks have been bolstered by the addition of Jofra Archer, although coach Trevor Bayliss and Morgan will have to tough choice to make to place him in the team ahead of Mark Wood for the opening match of the tournament.

South Africa will be aiming to spoil the opening day for the Three Lions. They have been underachievers at the World Cup in past tournaments. Faf du Plessis and company have a lot of talent in their squad, but they need to click into gear to match the elite teams in the competition. However, defeating England in the opener would be a huge statement of intent from the Proteas.

We’ll now break down the leading players and the outcome of the contest.

England’s Top Batsman

Roy will be determined to set the tone

England have been in impressive form already this summer, finding their touch ahead of the tournament. Seemingly all of their batsmen have been able to make scores, notably in their ODI series victory over Pakistan. Jason Roy has been in better touch than most.

He prepared for the opener in perfect fashion with a blistering innings of 89 against Afghanistan to put the minnows to the sword with ease. It followed a couple of fifties and a century against Pakistan, leaving the 28-year-old in perfect position to lead England’s assault in the opener.

Roy has come a long way since the last major tournament. He struggled in the Champions Trophy and was eventually left out of the side in the semi-final clash against Pakistan. The healthy competition at the top of the order has forced him to battle for his place.

However, Roy has cemented his spot in the side and will be determined to make an impact against the Proteas. The 28-year-old has a poor record against South Africa and he will be tested by an elite attack. Back him to start the tournament on the front foot with a fine innings at odds of +350   with 888Sport.

South Africa’s Top Batsman

The Proteas had doubts over the form of Hashim Amla ahead of the tournament so much so that his place in the side was under question. At the age of 36, Amla continues to operate at a high level, although his ability to strike down out of the ground has put him under pressure.

South Africa know to compete with the elite teams in the competition they will need to post scores of 350 plus. Amla has not been renowned for his quicks runs. However, he has proved a point in the warm-up matches, notching back-to-back fifties at the top of the order. Amla will have to play the anchor role for his team and hope that the rest of the line-up can play around him at speed.

The 36-year-old does have an excellent record against England, averaging 53.50 in his 26 matches against the Three Lions. He has scored two centuries and six fifties in the process, and another innings of that calibre is required on Thursday. Back him to top score for South Africa at odds of +350   with Bet365.

England’s Top Bowler

The Three Lions have relied heavily on the leg-spin of Adil Rashid over the last four years. The 31-year-old was one of the players that was drafted into the side after the failure in the last World Cup. He has developed into one of the leading spin bowlers in the world in the 50-over format.

Rashid has displayed an excellent array of skills to put opposing teams under pressure. He has developed variations that have cranked up the run rate, forcing mistakes. It will be the ultimate test of how much the Yorkshireman has improved.

Rashid’s statistics make for impressive reading in the modern-day game. In his 88 matches he has claimed 132 wickets at an average of 30.46. Rashid took seven wickets in his three matches in the Champions Trophy and seems to relish the big occasion. Back him to kickstart his tournament with a series of scalps against the Proteas at odds of +300   with Bet365.

South Africa’s Top Bowler

Tahir arrives in England in excellent form

Where England have Rashid, South Africa have Imran Tahir at their disposal. The 40-year-old comes into the tournament fresh off a fine run of performances in the Indian Premier League. He led the competition with 26 wickets in his 17 matches. Tahir will be desperate to carry that standard into the World Cup. His record in ODIs is outstanding, claiming 162 wickets in his 98 matches at an average of 24.21.

Given the nature of the game, South Africa will be looking for their leg-spinner for wickets in the middle overs to stymie England’s scoring threat. Tahir does not have the best of records against England, struggling to contain them in his seven matches.

He did take 4/37 against Sri Lanka at The Oval in the Champions Trophy two years ago. The size of the ground could play into his hands to collect wickets for the Proteas. Back him to lead the wicket column at odds of +300   with 888Sport.

Winner

England have been in impressive form in their warm-up matches and will be determined to make a statement in the opening match of the World Cup. Morgan’s men have to be ruthless to claim their maiden world crown and have to see off the threats from their rivals.

South Africa have the talent to put the Three Lions under pressure with their quality bowling attack. However, their batting line-up is not powerful enough to go score-for-score with the host nation. Back England for the win at The Oval at odds of -225   with Bet365.

Tips Summary

England To Beat South Africa
Thursday 30th May 2019 10:30 BST
Odds: -225

Jason Roy To Be England’s Top Batsman
Thursday 30th May 2019 10:30 BST
Odds: +350

Adil Rashid To Beat England’s Top Bowler
Thursday 30th May 2019 10:30 BST
Odds: +300

Hashim Amla To Be South Africa’s Top Batsman
Thursday 30th May 2019 10:30 BST
Odds: +350

Imran Tahir To Be South Africa’s Top Bowler
Thursday 30th May 2019 10:30 BST
Odds: +300