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CWC Opening day memories

One year to go until CWC19: Opening day memories

CWC article

We look at opening day fixtures at the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Today marks a year to go until the greatest celebration of cricket, the ICC Cricket World Cup, gets underway when hosts England take on South Africa at The Oval in London. To mark the occasion, we look back at opening-day games from past ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments.

1975

Australia started their 1975 tournament with a 73-run win over Pakistan in Leeds
Australia started their 1975 tournament with a 73-run win over Pakistan in Leeds


Four games took place on the opening day of the inaugural Men’s Cricket World Cup in 1975, with all eight competing teams taking to the field.

There were some convincing wins in the first round of games: England defeating India at Lord’s by 202 runs thanks to a fine 137 from Dennis Amiss, New Zealand beating East Africa by 181 runs in Birmingham, with captain Glenn Turner hitting 171*, and the Windies winning by nine wickets against Sri Lanka in Manchester. 

Elsewhere, Australia got off to a winning start as they saw off Pakistan by 73 runs in Leeds.

1979

In 1979, Michael Holding, the Windies paceman, took four wickets on his World Cup debut against India
In 1979, Michael Holding, the Windies paceman, took four wickets on his World Cup debut against India


The 1979 Cricket World Cup followed the same format as the inaugural tournament, with all eight sides playing on the opening day.

England again got their campaign off to a winning start at Lord’s, defeating Australia by six wickets.

Eventual champions West Indies beat India by nine wickets in Birmingham, with Michael Holding taking four wickets on his World Cup debut.

In Nottingham, New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets, while Pakistan beat Canada by eight wickets in Leeds.

1983

Zimbabwe got their 1983 campaign off to a winning start, beating Australia by 13 runs
Zimbabwe got their 1983 campaign off to a winning start, beating Australia by 13 runs


India’s 1983 World Cup-winning campaign got off to a perfect start as they defeated the current holders, West Indies, by 34 runs in Manchester.

England maintained their 100% record on the opening day of Cricket World Cups, this time beating New Zealand by 106 runs, with Allan Lamb hitting a century.

Zimbabwe pulled off a shock in Nottingham, beating Australia by 13 runs, while Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 50 runs in Swansea.

1987

Pakistan and Sri Lanka took centre stage in Hyderabad at the 1987 Cricket World Cup, the first time a standalone fixture had opened the tournament.

It was the hosts, Pakistan, who started the tournament in winning fashion, as they ran out victors by 15 runs.

They hit 267 batting first and managed to bowl Sri Lanka out for 252 in reply to claim the win.

1992

England started their 1992 tournament with a win, beating India in a tight affair by nine runs
England started their 1992 tournament with a win, beating India in a tight affair by nine runs


Two massive games – New Zealand v Australia and England v India – kicked off the 1992 World Cup, the first Men’s World Cup to take place in the Southern Hemisphere.

In Auckland, New Zealand got one over their Trans-Tasman rivals, winning by 37 runs, thanks to 100* from captain Martin Crowe.

Meanwhile, in Perth, England beat India in a tight affair, coming out winners by nine runs.

1996

New Zealand opened the 1996 Cricket World Cup against England in Ahmedabad, running out winners by 11 runs on Valentine’s Day.

Nathan Astle hit 101 as New Zealand reached 239, before they bowled England out for 228, with Dion Nash taking 3/26.

1999

England got off to a winning start in the 1999 edition, defeating Sri Lanka by eight wickets
England got off to a winning start in the 1999 edition, defeating Sri Lanka by eight wickets


England cruised to an eight-wicket victory against Sri Lanka on the opening day of the 1999 Cricket World Cup. 

Alan Mullally took four wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 204, before Alec Stewart (88) and Graeme Hick (73*) helped England reach the target with eight wickets remaining.

2003

Brian Lara’s 116 from 134 balls led Windies to a three-run victory over South Africa in 2003
Brian Lara’s 116 from 134 balls led Windies to a three-run victory over South Africa in 2003


Brian Lara led the Windies to victory over South Africa as the 2003 Cricket World Cup got underway in Cape Town.

Lara hit 116 as the Windies finished on 278 from their 50 overs.

Despite 69 from Gary Kirsten and 49 from Mark Boucher, the hosts fell four short of the target.

2007

Windies won the 2007 opener by defeating Pakistan by 54 runs on home soil
Windies won the 2007 opener by defeating Pakistan by 54 runs on home soil


The Windies also opened up the 2007 World Cup, and again came out on top, this time beating Pakistan by 54 runs on home soil.

Marlon Samuels top-scored for the hosts with 63 from 70 balls as they scored 241/9, before Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo took three wickets apiece to help skittle Pakistan for 187.

2011

Video
Virender Sehwag’s 175 v Bangladesh at ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Virender Sehwag’s 175 v Bangladesh at ICC Cricket World Cup 2011


India, who were crowned champions in 2011, got their campaign off to the perfect start by seeing off rivals Bangladesh by 87 runs in Dhaka.

A sensational 175 from 140 balls from Virender Sehwag, in addition to an equally impressive 100* off 83 balls from Virat Kohli, set India up nicely with a total of 387.

Munaf Patel was the star of the show with the ball for India, taking 4/48 as Bangladesh finished on 283/9.

2015 

Video
Man of the Match- Aaron Finch – AUS vs ENG
Man of the Match- Aaron Finch – AUS vs ENG


Co-hosts New Zealand and Australia both kicked off the 2015 Cricket World Cup with wins, as they beat Sri Lanka and England respectively on the opening day.

In Christchurch, New Zealand ran out winners by 98 runs, thanks to an excellent all-round performance from Corey Anderson, who hit 75 from 46 with the bat and took 2/18 with the ball.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, Australia thrashed England by 111 runs, Aaron Finch stealing the show with 135 from 128 balls.

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