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[Watch] Markram's Fielding Ploy Proves Successful As Joe Root Departs Cheaply In Mammoth Chase

image-lo03tl7kJoe Root departs cheaply for 2 (AP Photo)

England's ambitions to chase down a colossal target of 400 took a severe blow in Match 20 of the World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium. The Three Lions' pursuit was hindered notably by the departure of their linchpin, Joe Root.

ENG vs SA: England's hope dims as Root falls to well-planned trap

In a strategic move that reflected South Africa's meticulous planning, the hosts, led by captain Aiden Markram, devised a trap for the English batsman, known for his batting skills at the crease. Markram, along with bowler Marco Jansen, placed a fielder precisely at short fine leg – a tactical choice stemming from Root's known liking to play shots in that direction. The ploy bore fruit almost instantly.

Jansen delivered a back-of-a-length ball that darted in after hitting the deck. While Root did manage to connect with a flick, the ball sailed directly to the fielder placed at short fine leg, resulting in his untimely exit after contributing just 2 runs. This particular dismissal was a clear indication of South Africa's sharp tactics, as they capitalized on Root's tendencies.

It's worth noting that England's journey had been rocky from the outset. With a paltry 18 runs on the scoreboard, dynamic opener, Jonny Bairstow, departed in the third over. Root's subsequent dismissal added to their woes, and the scoreline soon read a worrisome 28/3 after 6 overs. Dawid Malan too made his way back to the pavillion, leaving England's hopes pinned on Harry Brook and Ben Stokes.

Earlier in the day, the South African batting line-up, firing on all cylinders, posted a massive 399/7. Heinrich Klaasen was the standout performer, scoring a magnificent 109, while Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, and the multifaceted Jansen bolstered the innings with valuable half-centuries.

Now, as England grapples with the challenge ahead, the team's requirement is a monumental partnership from the pair at the crease. With 372 runs still needed in 44 overs, the contest has been firmly tilted in South Africa's favour, largely due to the strategic dismissal of Joe Root.