Jofra Archer speed helping England keep on target during Cricket World Cup campaign - with Pakistan task next

Moeen Ali revealed that Jofra Archer is the fastest bowler he has ever faced after watching the England newcomer rip South Africa apart at The Oval.

Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 4:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 4:42 pm
Jofra Archer of England celebrates taking the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen of South Africa with his team mates during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England v South Africa at The Oval on May 30, 2019 in London, England. Picture: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Touching speeds of 94mph, he accounted for Aiden Markram, captain Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen to finish with three wickets for 27 on his World Cup debut.

He also bowled a sharp bouncer that hit opener Hashim Amla on the head, forcing him to retire hurt.

The South African veteran returned later in the innings but the damage by that point had already been done.

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Ben Stokes’ stunning catch later snatched the headlines away from Archer but Moeen – who has come up against lightning fast bowlers such as Mitchell Johnson, Tymal Mills and Wahab Riaz in his career – is fully aware of how dangerous he is.

He said: ‘Jofra is amazing. He just makes good batters do different things, that pace he has is incredible. He is the fastest I have ever faced.

‘It is unbelievable. He gives us that something else, he can win you games even if he goes for a few runs.

‘Knowing you have him in your side makes a big difference.’

At The Oval England recovered from a few early troubles to post 311 for eight led by Stokes’ 89.

That appeared to be about par at the interval but Archer’s express pace, along with the savvy spin of Moeen and Adil Rashid, saw off South Africa for 207.

The hosts face Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday and Moeen says they can now relax after getting through their first major test.

He said: ‘I felt, losing the toss and with it being a 10.30 start, that there was a lot of pressure. More than we have ever faced. We would have liked to have chased.

‘To bat like that showed we really adapted to the wicket and it was great, I thought the guys did really well on what was a tough wicket.’