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Men’s ODI WC: Klaasen’s pyrotechnics, Jansen’s all-round show help South Africa thrash England by 229 runs

An incredibly brutal century by Heinrich Klaasen (109 off 67 balls) and a superb all-round performance by Marco Jansen (75 not out & 2-35) helped South Africa hand England a 229-run defeat — their worst-ever loss — in Match 20 of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Saturday.

In brutally hot and humid conditions that had many players struggling with cramps, Klaasen hobbled around as he blazed to a 61-ball century and raised 151 runs for the sixth wicket with Jansen after Reeza Hendricks (85) and Rassie van der Dussen (60) had laid the foundation for a big score with a 121-run partnership.

Asked to bat first, South Africa rode by the brilliant performance by Klaasen, Jansen, Hendricks and van der Dossen to post a mammoth 399/7 in their 50 overs.

Jansen then came back to send back Joe Root (3) and Dawid Malan (6) off successive deliveries to take wind out of England’s sail. With Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada claiming a wicket apiece, South Africa reduced England to 38/4 in the 9th over. And when skipper Jos Buttler was out, England had slumped to 67/5 in the 12th over fand the writing was clear on the wall. 

Their innings eventually folded for 170 in 22 overs thanks to a 70-run partnership off 33 balls between Gus Atkinson (35) and Mark Wood (43 not out) for the nith wicket as England succumbed to their worst-ever defeat in One-day cricket.

Gerald Coetzee claimed 3-35 and Marco Jansen completed a fine all-round display with a 2-35 haul for South Africa. Lungi Ngidi finished 2-26 to complete England’s humiliation.

This was England’s second successive defeat in this World Cup after losing to Afghanistan earlier. Overall, this was their third defeat in World Cup 2023, virtually pushing the defending champions to the brink of elimination from the World Cup. They do have mathematical chances but recovering three defeats — particularly Saturday’s embarrassing one — would be incredibly difficult.

South Africa recovered from their stunning capitulation against the Netherlands and scored their third win in the tournament, thus maintaining their position among the top four.

Klaasen, who scored his third century of the year, set up South Africa’s victory with a sensational century that proved the differentiator between the two teams.

Hobbling around with cramps in his legs in hot and humid conditions, Henrich Klassen played one of the best knocks in this World Cup as he blasted a 61-ball century to help South Africa post 399/7 after being asked to bat first by Jos Buttler.

With a sporting crowd chanting his name, KLlaasen struck 12 boundaries and four hits over the rope as he blasted 109 runs off 67 balls, and shared a brilliant 151-run partnership with Marco Jansen (75 not out off 42) as South Africa set England the biggest chase in their World Cup history.

Coming in to bat after Reeza Hendricks (85) and Rassie van der Dussen (60) along with skipper Aiden Markram (42) had laid the foundation for a big score, Klaasen showed why he has emerged as one of the most destructive middle/lower order batters currently in white-ball cricket as he destroyed England’s bowling with an aggressive knock, manufacturing shots with brute force and great timing.

Klaasen came in to bat with South Africa 164/3 in the 26th over and raised 69 runs in the fourth wicket partnership with Markram before causing mayhem at the Wankhede during a sixth wicket partnership with Marco Jansen, departing in the final over with South Africa 394/5. 

Klassen was brilliant as he went after the bowling soon after settling down. scoring the 15th hundred for South Africa in the World Cup and his fourth three-figure knock in ODIs. Jensen made his mark with boundaries whenever he got the chance as he helped Klaasen give a score that they will be very confident about defending.

Klaasen and Jansen went ballistic in the last four overs, hammering 84/2 as South Africa nearly crossed the 400-run mark. Jansen remained unbeaten on 75.

Reece Topley, who went out for an hour or so to attend to an injury to his left index finger, was the most successful England bowler with 3-88 but it was Adil Rashid who held his head high amid the carnage with 2-61 off his 10 overs.

Brief scores:

South Africa 399/7 in 50 overs (Heinrich Klassen 109, Reeza Hendricks 85, Marco Jansen 75 not out, Rassie van der Dussen 60; Reece Topley 3-88, Adil Rashid 2-61) beat England 170 in 22 overs (Mark Wood 43 not out, Gus Atkinson 35; Gerald Coetzee 3-35, Lungi Ngidi 2-26, Marco Jansen 2-35) by 229 runs.

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