Hosts England made the perfect start to their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup campaign with a 104-run victory against South Africa at The Oval. Despite the Proteas’ best attempt to stall England’s batting stalwarts, the home team ended up with 311 on the board. South Africa made a decent start but lost steam in the middle overs, only to be bundled out for 207.
Here are some of the interesting things from the ENG vs SA match:
Spinner opens the attack
For the first time in history, a spin bowler opened the bowling innings in the first match of the World Cup. South Africa’s Imran Tahir bowled the first over in the tournament opener against England. It was a move that paid off, as the leggie picked up the dangerous Jonny Bairstow on the second ball of his over.
England’s unbeaten record in opening matches at home
In the 1975 World Cup, England thrashed India by 202 runs in the first match. Since then, England haven’t lost any of their World Cup openers as hosts. They won against Australia in 1979, against New Zealand in 1983, against Sri Lanka in 1999 and against South Africa in 2019.
South Africa’s string of losses
This is the second time that the South African team has lost their opening encounter in the World Cup. Back in 2003, the Proteas lost their first match to West Indies by a mere 3 runs. This is also South Africa’s second-biggest loss in terms of runs in the World Cup. They lost to India by a whopping 130 runs in the 2015 edition.
Teams with the most 300+ totals
In 2019, England have crossed the 300-run mark 5 times so far. Before England, Australia had scored 300+ runs 6 times in 2007, while Sri Lanka and India have crossed the barrier 5 times each, in 2006 and 2015 respectively.
De Kock’s form continues
South Africa’s wicket-keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has been in prime form over the last few months and has continued the same coming into the World Cup. In his last 7 innings in ODI cricket, de Kock has crossed 50 runs on 6 occasions. His scores – 83, 81, 94, 121, 51, 6, 68