Faf du Plessis surprised the English batsmen when he brought leg-spinner Imran Tahir to bowl the first over of the opening game of the World Cup. The tactic worked for the South African captain, as he removed Jonny Bairstow on the second ball of his over.
Tahir became the first spinner in the history of the cricket world cup to bowl the first over of the tournament. The South African bowler is the oldest player to feature in World Cup 2019.
Throughout the history of the competition, only fast bowlers have opened the bowling in the first match. Nuwan Kulasekara bowled the first over of the previous World Cup against New Zealand.
Tahir's victim, Jonny Bairstow was dismissed on a golden duck. However, Bairstow is not the first player to go out on the very first ball.
Former New Zealand batsman John Wright holds the unwanted record. The former Indian coach was dismissed by Australia's Craig McDermott in the opening game of the 1992 World Cup. However, the Kiwis went on to win the game, as Stephen Fleming scored a century.
Imran Tahir bowled three overs in his first spell before being replaced by Kagiso Rabada. Joe Root and Jason Roy steadied the English innings after the early setback, but both the batsmen lost their wickets in quick succession.