Faf Du Plessis’s does a Dhoni in World Cup opener, hands new ball to spinner Imran Tahir

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Updated: May 30, 2019 6:55:52 PM

South African opener Hashim Amla is also on the verge of becoming the fastest batsman to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs.

Amla needs 90 more runs to beat Virat Kohli, who currently holds the record.

South African leggie Imran Tahir made history by becoming the first spinner to bowl the first ball in a World Cup tournament. Faf Du Plessis gave the ball to Tahir and the leg spinner dismissed Jonny Bairstow on the second ball of the match. The decision to bring on Tahir in the very first over is very similar to the tactic that Dhoni employed in the recently concluded Indian Premier League. Dhoni opened the bowling with Harbhajan Singh in the first game of the IPL 2019. Faf Du Plessis and Imran Tahir are a part of the Chennai Super Kings and the South African captain might have picked up a thing or two from his Chennai Super Kings captain.

In the first match of the marquee tournament, South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first. England batsmen Jason Roy smashed the first fifty of the tournament. Many cricket experts have called England as the favourites to win the Cup this year. England, who last reached a World Cup final in 1992, is the number-one team in ODI rankings. South Africa, who have never reached the final having lost in the semi-finals four times, are ranked third, behind India.

England and South Africa have played 6 games against each other in the World Cups. Both teams have won three games each and it will be interesting to see who wins the match at Oval on Thursday. England has lost just 4 ODI’s out of the last 19 matches that they have played.

South African opener Hashim Amla is also on the verge of becoming the fastest batsman to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs. Amla needs 90 more runs to beat Virat Kohli, who currently holds the record.

South Africa World Cup Squad
Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, David Miller, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.

England World Cup Squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Alex Hales.

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