The Cricket World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and scoring a century in the tournament is one of the greatest achievements for a batsman. In this article, we take a look at the list of players who scored the first century in each edition of the World Cup:
World Cup History: List of Players Who Scored the First Century in Each Edition
The wait for a century in the 2019 Cricket World Cup finally came to an end in the first five matches, with England’s Joe Root and Jos Buttler scoring centuries in a losing effort against Pakistan.
Root became the first batsman to score a century in the tournament, and his achievement was particularly notable given that England were the tournament favorites and were expected to be high-scorers.
Hitting the first century of a World Cup is a big deal, and in the past, the feat has been accomplished by some of the greatest cricketers in the world. Here is a look at the players who have scored the first century in each edition of the Cricket World Cup
#1 Dennis Amiss Scores the First World Cup Century (1975 )
The inaugural match of the 1975 Cricket World Cup was a historic one, as it saw the first century in the tournament’s history. English opener Dennis Amiss feasted on the hapless Indian bowlers to score a magnificent 137 runs, helping his team post a total of 334/4. Amiss’s century was scored at a good strike rate, and he was awarded the Man of the Match award for his performance.
In the same match, Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar played a notoriously slow innings of 174 balls for 36 runs, which is still considered one of the slowest innings in ODI cricket history.
Amiss finished the inaugural World Cup as the second-highest run-getter, with 243 runs in 4 innings. West Indies went on to win the tournament, defeating England in the final.
#2 1979 World Cup: Gordon Greenidge
The West Indies were the defending champions at the 1979 Cricket World Cup, and they began their title defense in style by humiliating India in the first match of the tournament. Chasing a target of 191 was a breeze for the star-studded Windies batting lineup, and Gordon Greenidge made the job even easier by scoring a brilliant century.
Greenidge’s century guided West Indies to a nine-wicket victory, and he went on to finish the tournament as the top run-getter with 253 runs, including one century and two half-centuries.
#3 Allan Lamb Scores a Magnificent First Century in the 1983 World Cup
England had lost to the West Indies in the final of the 1975 Cricket World Cup, and they were determined to go one step further in the 1983 edition. Their journey began with a convincing 106-run victory over New Zealand in the first match of the tournament, thanks in large part to Allan Lamb’s brilliant century.
Lamb scored 102 runs off just 105 balls, helping England post a mammoth 322 for 6 on the board. His innings was a mixture of power and grace, and it set the tone for England’s campaign.
Lamb finished the tournament with 278 runs, but it was not enough to help England reach the final. They lost to India in the semi-finals, and India went on to beat the West Indies in the final to become the second team to win the World Cup.
#4 Javed Miandad Scores Match-Winning Century in 1987 World Cup Opener
Javed Miandad, widely regarded as one of the finest batsmen in cricket history, had a knack for rising to the big occasion, and the World Cup is one of the biggest of them all.
In the opening match of the 1987 World Cup against Sri Lanka, Miandad scored a match-winning century to help Pakistan win by 15 runs. He was rightly awarded the Man of the Match award for his performance.
Miandad’s century was a masterful display of batting. He paced his innings perfectly, accelerating towards the end to help Pakistan post a competitive total. He also played some stunning shots, including a six off the last ball of the innings to seal the victory.
Miandad finished the tournament with 274 runs, but Pakistan were unable to progress beyond the semi-finals, where they were defeated by Australia. Australia went on to win the tournament.
#5 1992 World Cup: Martin Crowe
New Zealand and Australia, the co-hosts of the 1992 Cricket World Cup, faced off in the tournament’s opening match. New Zealand did not have a good record in the World Cup before this edition, but they were determined to turn things around on their home turf.
New Zealand captain Martin Crowe led from the front, scoring a brilliant century against their arch-rivals. Crowe’s innings helped New Zealand post a total of 286/6, and they eventually went on to win the match by 37 runs. Crowe was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match award for his performance.
Crowe continued to shine in the remaining group stage matches, finishing the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 456 runs. He was also awarded the Player of the Series award for his outstanding performances.
#6 Nathan Astle: A Match-Winning Performance in the 1996 World Cup
Nathan Astle was a New Zealand cricketer known for his aggressive batting and ability to win matches on his own. He made his mark on the 1996 World Cup in the very first match, scoring a brilliant century against England.
Astle came to the crease with New Zealand struggling at 25/2. He batted with great composure and confidence, hitting boundaries and sixes at regular intervals. He was particularly severe on the English spinners, who were unable to contain his onslaught.
Astle eventually reached his century off 128 balls, with 18 fours and 2 sixes. His innings helped New Zealand to post a decent total of 239 runs on the board. The Kiwi bowlers then managed to restrict England to 229 runs, giving New Zealand a victory by 10 runs.
Astle was awarded the Man of the Match award for his match-winning performance. However, he was unable to replicate his form in the rest of the tournament, scoring only 10 runs in the next five innings. New Zealand eventually lost to Australia in the quarterfinals.
Despite his modest overall performance in the tournament, Astle’s century in the opening match remains one of the most memorable innings of the 1996 World Cup. It was an innings that showed his class and potential, and it helped New Zealand to start their campaign on a winning note.
#7 Sachin Tendulkar’s 1999 World Cup Century
Sachin Tendulkar’s name is synonymous with the Cricket World Cup. The Master Blaster is one of the most successful players in the history of the tournament, and his century against Kenya in the 1999 edition is one of his most memorable innings.
Tendulkar’s father passed away just days before the match, but the right-handed batsman showed incredible mental resolve to score a brilliant 140 off just 101 balls. His century helped India post a huge total on the board, and they eventually won the match by a comfortable margin.
Tendulkar’s century against Kenya is a testament to his greatness as a cricketer. It is also a reminder of his mental toughness and his ability to perform at the highest level, even in the face of personal adversity.
#8 2003 World Cup: Brian Lara, the Lone Warrior
Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, was the lone warrior for West Indies in the 2003 World Cup. In the opening match against hosts South Africa, Lara scored a scintillating century to help his team win a thriller by three runs. However, he could not replicate that performance in the rest of the tournament, managing only 248 runs in total. As a result, West Indies were knocked out in the league stage itself, winning just three games.
Lara’s performance in the 2003 World Cup was a microcosm of West Indies’ decline as a cricketing power. Once the undisputed kings of the game, the Windies were now a shadow of their former selves. Lara was the only player in the team who could match the best in the world, but his brilliance was not enough to carry the team on his own.
Despite their disappointing performance in the 2003 World Cup, Lara’s century in the opening match remains one of the most memorable innings of the tournament. He batted with grace and poise, even as the South African bowlers threw everything at him. His innings showed that he was still one of the best batsmen in the world, even though his team was struggling.
#9 2007 World Cup Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting was one of the most successful captains in cricket history, and his performance in the 2007 World Cup was a prime example of why. Ponting was a true leader from the front, and he inspired his team to victory with his brilliant batting and astute captaincy.
Ponting began the tournament in style with a century against Scotland, and he continued to score runs consistently throughout the tournament. He finished as the third-leading run-scorer in the tournament, with 539 runs at an average of 67.37. Ponting’s most important innings came in the final against Sri Lanka, where he scored a match-winning 105 runs to lead Australia to their third consecutive World Cup title.
#10 2011 World Cup: Virender Sehwag
In the first match of the tournament, against Bangladesh, Sehwag unleashed a masterclass of destructive batting. He smashed 175 runs off just 140 balls, including 14 fours and 5 sixes. His innings helped India post a mammoth total of 370/4, and they eventually won the match by 87 runs.
Sehwag’s performance in the opening match was a sign of things to come. He continued to bat aggressively throughout the tournament, and he finished as the third-highest run-scorer for India, with 380 runs in 8 matches.
Sehwag’s innings against Bangladesh was particularly significant because it came after a period of poor form. He had been struggling to score runs in the months leading up to the World Cup, and many critics had doubted whether he still had the ability to perform at the highest level. However, Sehwag answered his critics in emphatic fashion with his innings against Bangladesh.
#11 2015 World Cup: Aaron Finch
Finch, the Australian opener, scored a blistering 135 runs off 128 balls, to help his team post a mammoth 342 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs. Finch’s innings was laced with 12 fours and three sixes, and he displayed a wide range of strokes, from his trademark pull shots to delicate dabs through the third-man region.
England’s bowlers were simply out of sorts against Finch’s onslaught. They tried everything in their arsenal, but Finch was simply too good for them on the day.
Finch’s century not only helped Australia post a big total, but it also set the tone for the rest of the tournament. The Aussies went on to win their next six matches in a row, before losing to New Zealand in a group match. However, they bounced back strongly in the knockout stages, defeating Pakistan, India, and New Zealand on their way to lifting the World Cup trophy.
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