|ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Mumbai:
|South Africa 399-7 (50 overs): Klaasen 109 (67), Jansen 75* (42)
|England 170 (22 overs): Wood 43* (17), Atkinson 35 (21)
|South Africa wins by 229 points
England’s World Cup defense is hanging by a thread after a horrific 229-run drubbing of South Africa in Mumbai.
The world champions can still qualify for the semi-finals, but will likely need to win their remaining five group matches to do so.
In one of their worst defeats ever, England suffered illness and injury in sweltering heat and the Proteas crashed out 399-7 – the most goals conceded by England in a 50 over match.
Heinrich Klaasen hit a 61-ball hundred and Marco Jansen 75 off 42 balls as England lost all control.
After being beaten on the field, England’s batters were then blown away in what became an increasingly ugly night.
They were 68-6 then 100-8 – only a few efforts from Mark Wood and Gus Atkinson preventing an even more humiliating margin of defeat.
Yet it is their biggest ever in terms of runs in one-day international cricket, with Jos Buttler’s side 170 in 22 overs.
Their struggling campaign continues against Sri Lanka on Thursday before matches against India and Australia which could end their chances.
England hammered in the heat
England came into this match needing a decisive victory to resurrect their campaign.
Instead, he was left in a disaster after one of their all-time lows on this stage.
They won the toss and made the changes – Chris Woakes, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone all fell and Ben Stokes was finally fit – before Reece Topley caught Quinton de Kock with the second ball.
It was as good as it could be.
Topley left with an injured finger on his bowling hand after seven overs, Adil Rashid fought off illness admirably for 2-61, only for their problems to worsen when David Willey, one of three replacements, got cramp after 36 overs.
The result was a team that looked completely exhausted.
The last 10 overs totaled 143 runs, including 84 from the last five, as Klaasen and Jansen combined brutally for a partnership of 151 in just 77 balls.
It required England to achieve their highest number in ODIs and the highest of any team at a World Cup – but, in the face of a wave of momentum, they came no closer.
Unless they can produce one of the most improbable turnarounds, their reign as world champions will end before the tournament really heats up.
England’s slide began from the third over when Jonny Bairstow, after bowling a legside six, was caught on leg after sending the ball high into the night sky off Lungi Ngidi.
When Joe Root launched Jansen into the hands of a leg-slip and Dawid Malan was caught on the leg side on review to start the left-armer’s next shot, the writing was already on the wall.
Stokes was playing his first match of the tournament after a hip injury. Even he couldn’t get England out of this mess.
He went straight back to Kagiso Rabada and was caught and bowled for five before 23-year-old seamer Gerald Coetzee removed Buttler for 15 and pinned Harry Brook lbw for 17 in the space of three balls.
Wood and Atkinson enjoyed themselves in their partnership of 70 in 32 balls.
Wood was dropped on 10 and hit five sixes in his 43, while Atkinson hit seven fours in a 21-ball 35.
But the defeat was confirmed when Atkinson was bowled by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, with Topley unable to bat due to his injury.
Klaasen causes carnage
South Africa actually got off to a good start after De Kock’s loss by reaching 18-1 from six overs. Reeza Hendricks, who was called up on the morning of the match to replace ailing captain Temba Bavuma, took 13 balls to get off the ground.
But Topley’s injury, suffered during training away from his own bowling alley, proved to be the catalyst, as measured aggression turned into all-out attack. His next two deliveries were hit for four before Root had to finish off the left-armer’s one.
Hendricks hit 85 off 75 balls before being bowled by Rashid as the Proteas reached 200-3 in the 31st over.
Topley finally returned after a long treatment and when he had Aiden Markram caught at mid-wicket and David Miller at mid-off, England had a chance to limit the damage.
Klaasen, however, took 21 balls to go from 50 to 100 by smashing something short and rolling high on the ground.
Willey, now battling the effects of cramps, bowled a waist-high full toss which was bowled for six while Topley conceded 26 from the 49th over and Mark Wood’s seven wicketless overs went for 76.