World Cup Coverage, Week 3

Week 3 of the ICC World Cup has culminated with its fair share of amazing cricket on display! This week has seen both stunning displays of batting and bowling, as well as some disappointments. We at DoJMA are back to cover the highlights from cricket’s biggest spectacle.

So, how’s everyone performed so far?

The points table is beginning to get interesting, as each team has played 5 out of 9 matches, with the exception of South Africa and India who have played 6 and  4. The top 4 teams are on good form, with New Zealand having 4 wins and 1 washout from 5, England and Australia with 4 wins and 1 loss, and India yet to be beaten in this tournament with 3 wins and 1 washout. Bangladesh sits in 5th and have impressed throughout this tournament. At the bottom sit Afghanistan, who are yet to notch up a point.

Best match this week?

This week consisted of mostly one-sided matches, barring the match we have chosen, which was NZ vs SA. The match started off late due to a wet outfield, and therefore had to be reduced to 49 overs instead of 50. South Africa were sent in to bat first, and lost Quinton de Kock cheaply to an amazing ball by Boult. Faf Du Plessis and Amla were settling in on a slow wicket, when Ferguson came up with a yorker that uprooted Faf’s stumps. Amla and Markram plodded on slowly till they got dismissed, and didn’t really get going. However, van der Dussen and Miller stroke at decent pace to bring South Africa up to a decent total, and even after Miller fell to Ferguson, van der Dussen played a pivotal innings to steer South Africa to 241. Lockie Ferguson, although expensive, picked up three pivotal wickets, although he also dropped van der Dussen in the later stages of the innings.

New Zealand started out by losing Colin Munro early to Rabada, and Guptill and Kane Williamson slowly etched out a score on the sticky outfield. But Guptill fell at 72, and Taylor and Latham fell immediately after, leaving New Zealand at 80/4. New Zealand found themselves in a hole, but they still had Williamson. He stitched together a valuable 51 run partnership with Neesham, but Neesham departed as well. It was now all on Williamson, who’d reached 63 playing against all odds, and Colin de Grandhomme. De Grandhomme was up for the challenge and started scoring briskly. Tahir was bowling his last over, and what an over it was. Two balls, soaring in the air, falling just short of Miller, and New Zealand couldn’t believe their luck. The last ball of the over beat Williamson’s bat according to the umpire-but wait. The replays showed an edge! South Africa, however, had decided not to use their review and Williamson wasn’t given out. From this point onwards, things just seemed to go New Zealand’s way. A run out chance caught Williamson far from safety, but Miller didn’t hold on to the ball and hit the stumps with his bare hands. Another chance was dropped, but it turned out to be a no ball. New Zealand took full advantage of these reprieves, and de Grandhomme and Williamson played their hearts out to take them close. When de Grandhomme fell after a brilliant 60, South Africa saw a bit of hope. It came down to 8 of the last over, but captain Kane Williamson hit a beautiful six to bring up his century, and sealed the match the following ball, bringing heartbreak to South Africa.

This week’s top performers?

Shakib Al Hasan makes it here the third time running, with a sensational century against West Indies to become the top run scorer of the tournament. He also picked up two crucial wickets for Bangladesh in the same match.

Joe Root has continued his sensational run of form with a great century, opening against the West Indies, and an equally stunning 88 playing against a hapless Afghanistan bowling attack, and looks in fine touch. He also picked up two handy wickets against WI, complimenting his already indispensable batting.

From the bowling side of things, Jofra Archer has consistently rattled batsmen with his lightning pace and quick bounce, and picked up two three-wicket hauls this week against WI and AFG. He is now the second highest wicket-taker so far of this World Cup.

Chris Morris also looked pretty good this week, with two three-wicket hauls against AFG and NZ. In a bowling attack with Rabada and Tahir as their main men, he has shone and managed to pick up crucial wickets.

This week’s underperformers?

Rashid Khan was pretty off in the game against South Africa, but he got smashed to all ends by the English batsmen, ending with horrible figures of 9 overs for 110 runs. He was only 3 runs away from the dubious distinction of the most ever runs conceded by a single bowler in an ODI innings.

Hasan Ali was another bowler who looked woeful in the match he played against India, and was punished by Rohit and Virat to end up with 84 runs coming off of his 9 overs. He hasn’t been able to live up to expectations this tournament with his inconsistent line and lengths.

Best performances this week?

Rohit Sharma put up a sensational batting performance against Pakistan, helping India reach a commanding 336 with his stylish 140 of just 113 deliveries. Dhawan’s absence due to injury was hardly felt by India.

Imran Tahir thoroughly dismantled a poor batting line up in Afghanistan to earn four wickets as they succumbed to a lowly 125. This provided the Proteas with some much-needed confidence going forward.

Eoin Morgan went all out, scoring sixes almost at will as he notched up 148 of off just 71 balls. In a truly destructive innings, he scored 17 sixes, the highest ever by an individual batsman. England ended up with their highest score ever in a World Cup. They scored 142 runs off of the last ten overs to end up at 398, and ended with 25 sixes, the highest ever in a single ODI innings.

Sheldon Cottrell performed an incredible bit of fielding to get Tamim Iqbal run out. Bowling at the time, Cottrell grabbed the ball hit back at him and threw it instantly at the stumps, catching Tamim unawares. Though West Indies lost, this run out was one of the best fielding efforts of this World Cup.

Kane Williamson made an outstanding century under hard to bat conditions to propel New Zealand past an erratic South Africa. He received two reprieves, one due to a miscall by the umpire and another due to a run-out mistake by Miller, and capitalised on them to see his side through. Colin de Grandhomme also played a sensational knock to get New Zealand to the cusp of victory.

What should I look forward to next week?

Next week, Australia takes on Bangladesh in what promises to be an interesting encounter, after which they play England on the 25th in what should be one of the most competitive matches of the tournament. Pakistan vs South Africa should be thrilling as both teams desperately need wins to keep any playoff chances alive, as will West Indies vs New Zealand – the warm-up match between the two teams was, after all, the first announcement of Windies’ intent here, with them racking up 421.

DoJMA Predicts…

England and India should win comfortably against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan respectively. New Zealand are slight favourites against West Indies and Pakistan, but the unpredictability of both teams could catalyse an upset. South Africa vs Pakistan is a match with no clear favourites, but South Africa could edge past the erratic Pakistan side. Bangladesh should beat Afghanistan and lose to Australia despite their good form, and England’s raw power should be enough to keep Australia at bay. But, this is cricket, a sport in which any team is capable of an inspired performance.