England, South Africa, Faf du Plessis, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes top scored for England with 89 runs as the Eoin Morgan-led side scored 311/8 after put in to bat by South Africa. @AFP

Fifties from Jason Roy (54), Joe Root (51), Eoin Morgan (57) and Ben Stokes (89) guided England to 311/8 against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 opener at The Oval in London on Thursday.

Imran Tahir, who opened the bowling and became the first spinner to open the bowling in the World Cup opener, set the ball rolling on the second delivery of the match as he sent Jonny Bairstow packing for a duck.

However, Joe Root and Jason Roy did not allow South Africa any immediate success as England moved past fifty-run mark in the ninth over, a little slow by their recent brisk standards but a much needed one following the early fall of Bairstow. The duo also completed the fifty-run partnership for the second wicket in the same over.

The hosts brought up their hundred in the 17th over before Roy, who became the first batsman to score a fifty in the World Cup, and Root notched up their respective fifties and completed the hundred-run partnership in the 18th over of the England innings. (Cricket World Cup 2019, ENG vs SA: FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES)

However, South Africa struck back as Roy and Root perished in quick succession. First, Andile Phehlukwayo dismissed Roy for 54 after the England mistimed a pull shot and skipper Faf du Plessis, at mid-off, took an easy catch running backwards.

Then, Kagiso Rabada scalped his first wicket of the World Cup as he ended Root’s stay in the middle after JP Duminy held on to a sharp catch at the backward point as South Africa struck twice in space of four balls to stall England’s recovery.

Stokes and skipper Morgan, who was playing his 200th ODI for England, though did not allow South Africa to cash in on two quick wickets. While Morgan was the aggressor, Stokes took his time before opening his shoulder as the two added 106 runs together. (ALSO READ: Cricket World Cup 2019: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, opens tournament at The Oval)

However, South Africa managed to break the partnership as Tahir scalped his second wicket of the match after Aiden Markram took an excellent diving catch to end Morgan’s innings. The left-hander scored 57 off 60 balls, hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes.

Stokes, meanwhile, stayed put even as South Africa continued to strike at regular intervals. While a lot was expected of Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali, the two could score only 18 and 3 respectively as Lungi Ngidi helped the Proteas to keep the hosts in check.

Stokes eventually got out in the penultimate over for 89 as Ngidi scalped his third wicket before England ended their innings with the score of 311/8.

Brief scores: England 311/8 (Ben Stokes 89, Eoin Morgan 57; Lungi Ngidi 3/66) vs South Africa