Bernard Shaw said it was a game played by 11 fools with 11,000 fools watching, while Kipling was of the opinion that it was nothing but “flannelled fools at the wicket” (though he himself played for the Allahakbarries). Whatever it is that the hot shots of literature thought of cricket, we know they were wrong. The whole world is in a frenzy, for it is cricket time! With predictions and hoax messages of the matches being fixed flying around, Sports Rediscovered takes a look at how the journey has been.
10 days and 15 matches later, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has churned out a mixed bag of results. A few heartbreaks here, a few surprises there. Things started off with a bang on the 14th, with England losing to arch-rivals Australia by 111 runs in spite of James Taylor’s valiant efforts. It was a day for the hosts all through, with New Zealand triumphing over Sri Lanka by 98 runs. To add to all the cricketing drama, the Hagley Church crowd was “exposed” to some extra action when a streaker decided to invade the ground to have his 5 seconds. Saint Valentine must have been bamboozled by the sixes, instead of the kisses he was expecting, flying in the air.
Scotland joined Netherlands as the only teams to have lost their first 10 world cup matches with an ‘unsurprising’ loss to England at Hagley Oval. With a dismal run rate of 4.34 (as against England’s 303/8 at the rate of 6.06 rpo), Scotland’s batting line up fell down like a pack of cards. They could not keep up with the English bowling attack and were bundled out for 184.
In another match, the clouds opened up, owing to which the Australia vs Bangladesh match was abandoned.
In the second Pool B match on the 15th, India decimated sub-continental rivals Pakistan, with Virat Kohli scoring 107 off 126 balls, keeping intact India’s 100% success record against Pakistan in World cups (6 wins in 6 games). In the first match of the day, David Miller and J P Duminy set a record 5th wicket partnership to take South Africa to a match-winning total of 339/4 against Zimbabwe.
Ireland have turned out a force to be reckoned with. They proved their caliber, with Kevin O’Brien hitting the fastest century in World Cup history (reaching the mark in just 50 balls) against England in the 2011 World Cup. In their first match against West Indies in this edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Paul Stirling, Niall O’Brien and Ed Joyce took it on their shoulders to guide the green brigade to victory.
In the 10th match of the ICC Cricket world cup, West Indies recovered well from the loss to demolish Pakistan for 150 runs. With a second consecutive loss, Pakistan now occupy the last spot in the points table. Misbah-ul-Haq would be surely hoping that Lady Luck knocks on the team door in their next match against Zimbabwe on March 1. The real test lies, however, on the 7th, when they will have to face the formidable South Africans, who will also be trying to reverse their luck after the defeat to India.
Proteas lose a big match once again at the ICC Cricket World Cup:
South Africa failed in a big match once again. They had travelled to Sri Lanka and had beaten them on their home soil in the tri series last year. They also got the better of Australia, beating them twice. More recently South Africa beat the lower ranked Zimbabwe in their first match of the ICC Cricket World cup. Sadly, they could not keep up the good work against India.
Shikhar Dhawan silenced his critics with a brilliant century (137 off balls), while Ajinkya Rahane chipped in with a quick 79. The Proteas struggled, with Faf du Plessis’ half century being the only bright spot on their scorecard. They were bowled out for a mere 177 by the Indian bowlers.
Gayle Blazes West Indies to Victory:
Chris Gayle is a story in his own right – a hard hitting one at that. As it rained boundaries (16 sixes) at the Manuka Oval on the 24th of February, Gayle rewrote record books with the first and the fastest (215 from 147 balls) double century in World cup history.
Gayle helped West Indies to second place in the Pool B table. The Zimbabweans were at the receiving end and when their turn came to bat, they were dismissed for 289.
The “Gaylestorm” was accompanied by a brilliant innings from Marlon Samuels (133 not out). The duo added 372 runs which became the highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs. They bettered Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid’s 331 run stand against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.
So, this is how it has been till now. Stay tuned to Sports Rediscovered for more cricketing updates.