England set mammoth 400 target by rampant South Africa in crunch World Cup clash

By Sports Desk October 21, 2023

England conceded their highest ever score in ODI cricket as Heinrich Klaasen’s devastating century saw South Africa smash 399 for seven in their crunch World Cup clash in Mumbai.

The defending champions will need to bat brilliantly to avoid a third defeat in four games after watching a powerful Proteas line-up run riot after being put in by Jos Buttler at the Wankhede Stadium.

A revamped England side looked devoid of ideas in stifling humidity as their opponents brutalised them in the closing stages, taking 143 from a punishing last 10 overs.

Klaasen was in brutal mood, hammering a 61-ball ton and finishing with 109 in 67, while Marco Jansen made an unbeaten 75 from 42.

In all there were 13 sixes and 38 fours across the innings, which should have ended with England shipping 400 for the first time in their history only for South Africa to decline a second run off the final ball.

England’s previous worst day in the field came eight years ago at the Oval, where New Zealand hit 398 for five, and their have only ever been five bigger totals on the World Cup stage.

To win, and keep their ailing title defence alive, England will need to produce the third highest chase ever seen in one-day cricket.

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