With the first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 underway between England and South Africa, the hosts, who are batting first, broke a 44-year-old record at The Oval, on Thursday. This match witnessed, for the first time, four Englishmen scoring above-50 in an innings in World Cup.
Earlier, the record was of 1975 Prudential Cup when three English batsmen had scored more than 50 runs in an innings against India. Interestingly, it was also the first match of that World Cup when Denis Amiss, Keith Fletcher and Chris Old became the three half-centurion. Denis, however, had gone on to reach the triple figure mark as he had scored 137
Cut to the 2019 edition, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes scored their respective half centuries in their ongoing match against the Proteas. As England were asked to bat first in a flat track, the Eoin Morgan-led side lost Jonny Bairstow in the first over. Roy along with joined by Root then started building the innings and both the batsmen scored 50 in quick time as they stitched a century stand.
However, Faf du Plesis’ side hit back strongly by showing both the batsmen the way of pavilion in quick succession. Root was removed by Kagiso Rabada while the batsman tried to guide a ball from outside the off-stump but ended up edging it to point. Roy, on the other hand, top-edged an Andile Phehlukwayo delivery to mid-off where du Plesis took an easy catch.
Captain Morgan was then joined by all-rounder Ben Stokes who took control of the English innings and put South Africa in the back foot again. Both of them played their shorts easily and English fans were relieved to see Stokes finding his form again. However, to their despair their captain couldn’t continue his merry going as he, trying to clear long-on, misjudged a googly from Imran Tahir and Aiden Markram took a blinded to dismiss the English captain.
Also, with Tahir taking England’s first wicket in just the second ball of the innings, he became the first ever spinner to take the first wicket of a World Cup. He has also become the first spinner to bowl the first over in the mega event.