Rain or raining runs, ICC World Cup 2015 got to a start 10 minutes later than the scheduled time, due to intermediate downpour at Christchurch. FIRST TOSS of the World Cup 2015 was won by Sri Lanka against New Zealand.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill faced the FIRST BALL bowled by Lankan speedster by Nuwan Kulasekara, a short delivery which the batsmen smartly let it go. The FIRST RUN, came on the board in form of a wide ball bowled by Kulasekara on the third delivery of the first over. FIRST BOUNDARY, was hit by New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum on the last ball of the first over.
Due to wet ball, the Sri Lankan bowlers were facing problems to bowl swing. Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga, who recovered from the injury, was at the receiving end, who besides bowling full toss bowled the FIRST NO-BALL of the tournament. It was Malinga again, who was generous enough to give the FIRST SIXER to McCullum in the eight over of the match. Malinga ended the day wicketless while conceding 84 from his 10 overs.
The FIRST STUMPING came in the form of Ross Taylor off the bowling of Jeevan Mendis by Kumar Sangakkara.
New Zealand reached to 100-mark in the 14th over but just two overs later FIRST WICKET fell in the form of McCullum who while going for a pre-determined shot off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath gave a catch to Mendis just mere inches from boundary ropes.
The second World Cup match between England and Australia too had its share of firsts.
The centurion of the day, Aaron Finch was the first batsman to get run-out.
England pacer Steven Finn took the FIRST HAT-TRICK of 2015 World Cup to become the seventh bowler to do so in the history of the event. It all began as far back in the 1987 edition when India pacer Chetan Sharma claimed the first hat-trick of the quadrennial event against New Zealand. Pakistan’s spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq, Sri Lanka spearhead Chaminda Vaas, West Indies pacer Kemar Roach, Australia pace great Brett Lee and Lasith Malinga (got it twice) have been the World Cup Hat-Trick takers in the past.
Finn clinched the hat-trick on the last three deliveries of the Australian innings. First, the Englishman got rid of wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin with the fourth ball of the 50th over. The latter swung his bat which got a thick outside edge and was caught by Stuart Broad at deep third man.
All-rounder Glen Maxwell was the next man to go when Joe Root took an absolute blinder. Finn’s delivery was darted into Maxwell who hit it with power but Root ran right from long-off, dived to his right and pulled off a stunner. The 25-year-old claimed his hat-trick when tail-ender Mitchell Johnson slapped the ball straight to James Anderson at mid-off.
The FIRST day of the ICC World Cup 2015 and the FIRSTS always makes an interesting start to the cricketing extravaganza. And this edition was no different.
(The writer is the News Editor with The Free Press Journal, heading Sports Desk)