The inaugural match of the 2019 World Cup reached an expected end, but it was not without gripping action. Hosts England entered the tournament as favourites and they proved why in the first match itself with a 104-run victory. South Africa faltered in the chase and failed to challenge the home side at the Oval as they lost wickets in heaps.
Another feature of the opening encounter was the number of milestones the players achieved. English Captain Eoin Morgan and South African skipper Faf du Plessis both contributed to the list. By the end of the match, the following achievements took place.
First spinner to open the World Cup
Against the English opening pair of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy, du Plessis decided to open the bowling with his legspinner rather than employing his seamers. Thus, Imran Tahir became the first spinner ever to bowl the first ball of the World Cup. In all 11 editions, right-arm seamers had opened the bowling.
Opening with the golden duck
In the opening match of the 1992 World Cup, co-hosts Australia and New Zealand met each other at Auckland. Australian pacer Craig McDermott struck on the very first ball and sent back John Wright for a golden duck, 0(1). Imran Tahir repeated the feat in the opening over yesterday by dismissing Bairstow for 0(1).
Eoin Morgan 200*
Ireland-born Eoin Morgan became the first cricketer to represent England in 200 ODIs. The 32-year old has played 23 ODIs for Ireland before he switched to the neighbouring country. Morgan overtook Ian Bell’s record of 161 appearances and yesterday became the first English cricketer to feature in 200 ODIs.
England top-order stands tall
The home team lost its first wicket on the second ball of the match but rest of the English batsmen stepped up. Jason Roy-Joe Root and Eoin Morgan-Ben Stokes added 100 runs together and carried England to a safe total. All four batsmen celebrated their half-centuries. This was the first instance for England in World Cups that they scored four fifties in a single innings.