Africa’s sole representatives at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, South Africa got off to a losing start against hosts England in the first game of the six-week tournament.
Ben Stokes top-scored with 89 as the hosts made a competitive total of 311 for eight after being sent into bat.
Jofra Archer took two early wickets and South Africa never looked likely to reach their target, bowled out in the 40th over for 207 to give World Cup favourites England the perfect start.
The Duke of Sussex addressed the crowd at The Oval, saying: “Cities will come alive across the next six weeks as World Cup fever sweeps the nation once more…I am now honoured to declare the men’s World Cup of 2019 open.”
South Africa, who have never won the 50-over tournament arrived for the latest edition with high hopes. The Proteas have lost in the semi-finals four times, and are ranked third, behind India.
“We were outplayed in all three departments. Jofra Archer took two wickets up front and Hashim Amla (injured) as well, so it was basically three down,” South Africa’s Du Plessis said.
“I thought 300 was par but there were some really good batting performances from England.”