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Sugg and Dean star as England beat South Africa

29th November 2014

By the England & Wales Cricket Board

Centuries from openers Luke Sugg and Matt Dean ensured England kicked off their Blind Cricket World Cup campaign with a 41 run victory against South Africa at Western Province Cricket Club.

Ross Hunter’s side’s opening game of the tournament, against Pakistan, was postponed yesterday due to the tragic death of Phillip Hughes and a minute’s silence was held before today’s clash in memory of the Australia batsman.

Instead of facing the defending champions, who they now play on Sunday, England took on the hosts and made them pay for choosing to field by racking up 341 for two from 40 overs.

Although the Proteas’ opening pair made a fine start, they were never up with the required run-rate and were restricted to 300 for six.

Dean, skippering England in a major tournament for the first time, and vice-captain Sugg led by example, hitting 133 off 120 balls and 162 not out from just 120 deliveries respectively. 

The pair added a mammoth 301 for the opening wicket until Dean was caught and bowled by Desigan Pillay before Mo Khatri was run out. 

In reply, Pillay and opening partner Ragunathan Thambiran frustrated the England attack, led by man-of-the-match Sugg. Ed Hossell finally made the breakthrough when Pillay was stumped by Dan Field five runs short of a century and, after Johan Schroeder was run out for a duck, Thambrian suffered the same fate and departed for 78. Justin

Hollingsworth kept South Africa in check with two wickets before Sonwabile Bidla became the third run-out victim of the innings for a run-a-ball 40.

Sugg said: “It was good, especially with my partner Matthew. He outscored me to my fifty but I beat him to the hundred-mark.”

Dean, opening with Sugg for the first time, said: “It was just nice to get that first win under the belt, get the pressure off.

“It was just really nice to bat with someone of Luke’s ability. It took the pressure off me because I knew he could hit big shots and all I needed to do was make sure I keep him on strike, keep him comfortable.

“I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the partnership for hopefully many years to come.”

England will be looking to secure a second successive triumph against Twenty20 World champions India tomorrow.