The 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) saw England play its fourth final while New Zealand played its second final in history. In the end, England emerged victorious by beating New Zealand on the last ball of the Super Over to take home the World Cup trophy for the first time. The 2019 CWC was a showdown of perseverance, persistence and passion as displayed by the teams and its players. Let’s take a look at some of the major moments from this year’s CWC.
Australia, New Zealand, India and England showed consistency during their group stage matches. By the end of this stage, India emerged on top of the points table with one loss out of their nine matches. With 15 points and a net run rate (NRR) of 0.809, India proved its might and strategy during its matches but could not emerge on top during the semi-final. Australia, one point behind India, with 14 points and a net run rate of 0.868, lost two of its matches against India and South Africa. England, began their campaign with a bang by scoring 311 runs against South Africa, but lost three matches and ended the group stage with 12 points and an NRR of 1.152. New Zealand, with 11 points and a net run rate of 0.175, was placed on the fourth place at the points table after losing three matches.
England’s big dreams
England, hosts of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, played the first match of the tournament against South Africa and made a major impact. They gave South Africa a target of 311 and won the match by 104 runs. While playing against Pakistan, England chased 348 and came close to achieving the target before losing the match by 14 runs. The team, led by Eoin Morgan, scored 386 against Bangladesh, winning the encounter by 106 runs. While playing against Afghanistan, England scored 397, the highest team score during the 2019 Cricket World Cup, and won the match by 150 runs. Against India, England scored 337 and against New Zealand, they scored 305; it won both matches with ease. During their nine group matches, England scored over 300 runs in six matches.
India comprehensively won its match against South Africa while chasing 227 runs. It scored 352 runs against defending champions Australia and won the match by 36 runs, a major shock of this World Cup. Against Pakistan, India scored 336 and won the match by 89 runs based on the DLS method.
Afghanistan, the minnows of the tournament, could not win a single match. They did give Pakistan a tough time in their match. Pakistan managed to contain Afghanistan on 243 runs, however, and won the match with two balls to spare in a nail-biting encounter.
Bangladesh, once considered minnows, proved their worth and made their presence felt at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. During their first match, they scored 330 against South Africa and won the match by 21 runs. Although they won three matches in the group stage, their players showed power. Shakib Al Hasan scored 606 runs for Bangladesh in eight innings with 124 (not out), his highest, which he scored against the West Indies. His unbeaten knock helped Bangladesh chase West Indies’ target of 321.
Sri Lanka’s bad luck
Former World Cup Champions, Sri Lanka, once an intimidating team, could not make an impact at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Two of Sri Lanka’s matches, against Bangladesh and Pakistan, were abandoned because of rain. Sri Lanka did score 338 against the West Indies but gave an average performance in other matches and lost four matches at the group stage.
The social media was abuzz with how identical was Pakistan’s performance during the World Cups of 2019 and 1992. Even though drawing such parallels proved nothing, the team’s efforts could have led them into the semi-finals. Despite a mediocre display of scoring 105 runs against the West Indies in the first match, Pakistan scored 348 against England. Pakistan also scored 308 against South Africa and defeated New Zealand and Bangladesh. However, its match against Sri Lanka being abandoned must have been a sign for the Green Team to really add runs to the board. With a run rate that was just at the edge of qualification, Pakistan needed to win its last match against Bangladesh by a margin of 316 runs. The result was not in our favor and we crashed out from the group stages for the fourth time in 12 World Cups.
Former five-time World Cup Champions, Australia, lost two matches and kept their run rate at a high during the group stage. Australia’s powerhouse batsman, David Warner, was among the top five run-scorers in this World Cup. He scored 647 runs, with 166 being his highest, at an average of 71.88 including three 50s and three 100s. Australia’s Mitchell Starc took 27 wickets, the highest of this World Cup at an average of 18.59 with his best figures of 5/26 against New Zealand.
The first semi-final between New Zealand and India was interrupted due to rain when 3.5 overs of New Zealand’s innings were left. New Zealand decided to bat first after winning the toss. Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor put up a decent fight to give New Zealand a modest total of 239. However, the fireworks for New Zealand began early when its bowlers took wickets of India’s first three batsmen on a score of five. India lost the semi-final by 18 runs giving New Zealand a chance to play the World Cup final for the second time.
During the second semi-final, defending champions Australia could score only 223 while batting first and were all-out in 49 overs. Seven of its batsmen scored in single figures. England won the second semi-final in 32.1 overs by eight wickets. England knocking Australia out of the semi-finals was the most shocking moment of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The final match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup between England and New Zealand was decided twice. First, chasing New Zealand’s score of 241, England tied the score on the last ball. During the Super Over, England scored 15 runs and in reply, New Zealand leveling the score meant England were the World Cup Champions.