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Cricket World Cup 2019: They'll take some stopping: De Kock praises favourites England

By Opta
Cricket World Cup 2019: Theyll take some stopping: De Kock praises favourites England

London, May 31: Quinton de Kock believes England lived up to their tag of World Cup favourites after dismantling South Africa in the opening match.

Jofra Archer starred with the ball for tournament hosts England on Thursday at The Oval, while Ben Stokes - who scored 89 - took an incredible catch as Eoin Morgan's side claimed a 104-run victory.

CWC 2019 Special Site | Full Schedule

South Africa opener De Kock hit a belligerent 68, but was dismissed when he hooked to Joe Root off Liam Plunkett, prompting a middle and lower order collapse.

Can England become first single host to lift trophy?

The wicketkeeper-batsman acknowledged it is difficult to see too many sides having the quality to beat England, the world's top-ranked side.

"There's a lot of pressure on them but it's a nice pressure to have, it's always nice going into a World Cup knowing that you’re one of the favourites," De Kock said.

"Playing the way they have been in the last couple of years, they're a dominant force batting. Guys like Joe Root hold the whole team together, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, they can bat right to 11.

"And then you've got their spin twins Moeen and Adil controlling the middle and now they've got Archer up front. They're going to be a tough team to beat."

Asked how South Africa can bridge the gap to England, he added: "We're working at it.

"It didn't happen for England over one series, it took them time."

South Africa made a brilliant start when spinner Imran Tahir - opening the bowling - claimed Bairstow's wicket with the second ball of the day.

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But England settled to make 311, with Archer, who took 3-27, setting the tone for a rampant bowling display, and De Kock was hugely impressed by the 24-year-old's performance.

"I've faced Jofra a couple of times now. He's a proper bowler, he bowls with good heat, good areas and he’s got good skills," De Kock said.

"He backs himself which obviously helps him. He's very suited to this England bowling attack, he brings them wicket-taking options and he'll end up doing very well for England not just in the World Cup, but also over future years."

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Story first published: Friday, May 31, 2019, 19:30 [IST]
Other articles published on May 31, 2019
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