Faf du Plessis, England vs South Africa, ICC World Cup 2019, England, South Africa, Jofra Archer
Chasing 312 after opting to field, the Proteas were bundled out for 207 in 39.5 overs with Jofra Archer emerging as the pick of the bowlers with three for 27 in his seven overs. @ AFP

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis conceded that his side were outplayed in all three departments after hosts England got their ICC World Cup 2019 campaign underway with a crushing 104-run win at the Kennington Oval in London on Thursday.

Chasing 312 after opting to field, the Proteas were bundled out for 207 in 39.5 overs with Jofra Archer emerging as the pick of the bowlers with three for 27 in his seven overs.

“I think we have been outplayed in all three departments. Basically, we were three 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,” du Plessis, who scored just 5, said at the post-match press conference.

Put into bat, England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy received a pleasant surprise when legspinner Imran Tahir was handed the new cherry to kickstart the proceedings. The 40-year-old Tahir became the first spinner to bowl the first over in World Cup history. The move worked as the wily bowler sent Bairstow packing in the second delivery.

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“It was a plan (to start with Tahir). We wanted to target those two openers with leg spin, especially Roy. It worked today. Their batting was really good. They are a top-quality team and they showed that with the bat today,” du Plessis said.

South Africa received a slight blow when the experienced Hashim Amla was hit on the helmet by an Archer bouncer. Amla retired hurt and returned later only to be dismissed for 13. “You need a bit of momentum in the first two games. 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. When we have Dale Steyn and all our resources, we back our bowling to restrict teams under 300,” he said.