• Opening World Cup centuries since 1975

    England’s Joe Root recorded the first century of the 2019 World Cup, against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Monday. Which batsman scored the opening ton in other World Cups since 1975?

    England’s trio

    • England’s three are the most opening centuries in World Cup cricket. Opener Dennis Amiss’ 137 carried England to a 202-run triumph in the first-ever World Cup match, against India at Lord’s in London in 1975. The South African-born Allan Lamb scored the other – 102 in defeat to New Zealand in the opening match of the 1983 World Cup at The Oval in London.

    West Indies’ duo

    • South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and others haven’t had a player welcome the first century of a World Cup. The West Indies, New Zealand, India and Australia have two each. India were again the opposition as West Indian opener Gordon Greenidge struck 106 not out in a nine-wicket triumph in the opening fixture of the 1979 World Cup. Two dozen years later, the left-handed Brian Lara opened the 2003 World Cup with 116 in victory over the hosts.

    New Zealand’s consecutive tons

    • New Zealand are the only nation with first centurions at successive World Cups. Opener Nathan Astle’s 101 ensured an 11-run victory over South Africa in the opening fixture of the 1996 edition in Ahmedabad, while captain Martin Crowe’s 100 not out capped a 37-run success against Australia in Auckland in 1992.

    India’s pair

    • The 1999 World Cup had to wait for the 15th match to witness a first centurion – and India’ Sachin Tendulkar obliged to the tune of 140 in victory over Kenya in Bristol. Three World Cups later, this time in Dhaka, opener Virender Sehwag amassed 175 in the opening fixture against Bangladesh.

    Australia’s twosome

    • Captain Ricky Ponting milked Scotland to all parts of Warner Park en route to 113 as Australia won the second match of the 2007 World Cup. Opener Aaron Finch, during the 2015 World Cup in Melbourne, also capitalised in the second match – this time with 135 in victory over England.

    Pakistan’s lonesome

    • Pakistan have one World Cup opening centurion. The first fixture of the 1987 tournament brought middle-order batsman Javed Miandad 103 in victory over Sri Lanka in Hyderabad. Like the Proteas, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Ireland and others haven’t had a batsman score the first ton of a World Cup.

    Photo: Getty Images

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