World Cup, first day, first show: How the hosts have fared

As England takes on South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup at The Oval, we take a look at how the hosts have fared in their opening contests over the years.

Published : May 30, 2019 21:08 IST

Host South Africa fell to a narrow three-run against the West Indies in the 2003 World Cup.
Host South Africa fell to a narrow three-run against the West Indies in the 2003 World Cup.

Host South Africa fell to a narrow three-run against the West Indies in the 2003 World Cup.

Each team participating in the World Cup has the expectations of the entire nation. For the host, however, the effect is amplified with crowds cheering them on at every venue.

In the ongoing World Cup, too, there has been plenty of excitement surrounding the World Cup host's first match of the tournament.

Here's a look at how the hosts performed in their opening match in each World Cup — from 1975 to 2015.

1975 World Cup — England

England played host in the first three editions and kicked things off at Lord's against India in the first-ever World Cup. Dennis Amiss led England from the front with a match-winning 137 as it posted 334 in 60 overs.

India, in reply, could only muster 132 for 3 in its 60 overs, with Sunil Gavaskar famously scoring an unbeaten 174-ball 36.

England secured a massive 202-run win.


1979 World Cup — England

While India and West Indies started the proceedings in the 1979 edition, England took on Australia on the same day at Lord's. A disciplined bowling effort from England led by spinner Geoffrey Boycott and Chris Old restricted Australia to 159 for 9 in 60 overs.

England trudged its way to victory because of skipper Mike Brearley's 147-ball 44 and Graham Gooch's 54; they helped chasing down the target in 47.1 overs with six wickets to spare.

1983 World Cup — England

England made it a hat-trick of opening day wins when it defeated New Zealand by 106 runs. Allan Lamb starred with the bat with a 105-ball 102 for the host as it posted 322 on the board. In response, the Kiwis crumbled to 216, with Bob Willis recording figures of 7-2-9-2.

Read | The 1983 World Cup win in Kapil Dev's words

1987 World Cup — India & Pakistan

Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka in Hyderabad (Sind) and came out with a narrow 15-run win. Javed Miandad smashed a 100-ball 103 as Pakistan posted 267 before Roshan Mahanama led the reply with 89. Mahanama's dismissal triggered a collapse as Sri Lanka was shot out for 252.

Neighbour India didn't have a perfect start in Chennai as it fell to a one-run defeat to eventual champion Australia.

World Cup fastest hundreds: 11 blistering knocks

1992 World Cup — Australia & New Zealand

New Zealand and Australia, the hosts, clashed in the opening game of the tournament in Auckland. Kiwi skipper Martin Crowe scored an unbeaten 100 as the side posted 248 in 50 overs.

For Australia, apart from David Boon (100) and Steve Waugh (38), no other batsman got going as it was dismissed for 211 and fell to a 37-run defeat.

Martin Crowe on his way to his century against Australia in the 1992 World Cup opener. PHOTO: N. Sridharan

1996 World Cup — India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Sri Lanka won its first match of the tournament after Australia forfeited the game in Colombo due to security reasons.

Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 127 paved the way for India's seven-wicket win over Kenya in Cuttack as it chased down a modest target of 200.

Pakistan made short work of the United Arab Emirates in its opening match in Gujranwala thanks to its fearsome bowling attack.

1999 World Cup — England

England fell to the reigning champion Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup opener at Lord's. Alan Mullally's four wickets restricted the Lankans to 204. England skipper Alec Stewart (88) and Graeme Hick (73) steered the host to an eight-wicket win.

Read | How India fared in all matches from 1999 to 2015

2003 World Cup — South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya

Co-host South Africa succumbed to the brilliance of Brian Lara as he slammed 116 to help West Indies post 278. The Proteas fell just three runs short in the end; its innings was curtailed to 49 overs due to a rain delay.

Zimbabwe had an easier ride against minnow Namibia by piling on the runs thanks to Craig Wishart's unbeaten 172. Namibia needed to chase down a D/L enforced target of 191 in 25 overs and fell short by 86 runs.

Kenya endured a nightmare start on its way to a semifinal appearance when it was handed a 10-wicket loss against South Africa in Potchefstroom.

Read | World Cup, rain, miscalculation and South Africa heartbreaks

2007 World Cup — West Indies

West Indies took on a misfiring Pakistan in its World Cup opener in Jamaica and ensured a 54-run win. Dwayne Smith starred with both bat and ball (32 and three wickets) to take the game away from Pakistan.

2011 World Cup — India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka

Virender Sehwag blasted a 140-ball 175 as India posted 370 in 50 overs in Dhaka. M. S. Dhoni's men coasted to an 87-run win and set itself on its way to a second World Cup triumph.

Mahela Jayawardena's 81-ball 100 and Kumar Sangakkara's 92 set Sri Lanka up for a massive 210-run win over Canada in Hambantota.

Read | 1975 World Cup final: West Indies' triumph of character and skill

2015 World Cup — Australia & New Zealand

Corey Anderson's all-round show (75 and two wickets) set up New Zealand for an opening day win over Sri Lanka.

Australia put arch-rival England to the sword in its opener in Melbourne as Aaron Finch slammed 135 to help the host post 342. Mitchell Marsh then ran through England's batting line-up with a five-wicket haul as the Aussies won by 111 runs.

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