World Cup 2019: How South Africa stumbled agai…

New Zealand v South Africa – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

The 25th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 saw South Africa getting defeated by New Zealand by 4 wickets. With this defeat, South Africa are almost out of this year’s contest.

In fact, history has an interesting tale to tell about the rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa. This is the third consecutive edition where the Black Caps have been responsible for the exit of the Proteas from the World Cup.

In the past two editions it happened during the quarter-finals and semi-finals, but this year it occurred during the group stage match. Let us look at how the Proteas have fared against their bogeyman opponents over the years:

2011 World Cup: New Zealand won by 49 runs

Jesse Ryder

In the third quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup, New Zealand batted first and lost both the openers cheaply. But a gritty partnership between Jesse Ryder (83 runs off 121 balls) and Ross Taylor (43 runs off 72 balls) bought them back into the game.

Kane Williamson (38 runs off 41 balls) scored some runs during the latter part of the innings which helped them post 221 runs on the board.

Chasing 222 for victory, South Africa were at a comfortable position of 108/2 after the 24 over mark. But Jacob Oram (9-1-39-4) and Nathan McCullum (10-1-24-3) ran through the Protean middle-order and they were eventually all out for 172.

Oram was the player of the match for his impressive bowling spell of 9-1-39-4.

2015 World Cup: New Zealand won by 4 wickets

Martin Guptill

In the first semi-final of the 2015 World Cup, South Africa came out to bat first. Even though they lost the Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock early, Faf du Plessis (82 runs from 107 balls) and Rilee Rossouw (39 runs from 53 balls) built a handy partnership in the middle overs which laid the platform for AB de Villiers (65 runs from 45 balls) and David Miller (49 runs from 18 balls) to unleash in the slog overs.

In the rain-affected match, the target for New Zealand was 298 from 43 overs. Martin Guptill (34 runs from 38 balls) and Brendon McCullum (59 runs from 26 balls) gave a dream start to the Kiwis as they scored 71 runs from the first 6 overs.

Even though they lost wickets at regular intervals, Grant Elliott made sure that New Zealand remained victorious in the end. Elliott was awarded the Man of the match award for his match winning knock of 84 from 73 balls.

2019 World Cup: New Zealand won by 4 wickets

New Zealand v South Africa – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

During the group stage match between South Africa and New Zealand, it was a must-win game for South Africa as they had lost their first three games against England, Bangladesh and India. The 4th game against West Indies ended without a result due to rain. They won the 5th game against Afghanistan by 9 wickets and they couldn’t afford to lose any more matches if they hoped to progress to the semi-finals.

Batting first, South Africa scored a fighting total of 241 on a tough pitch with the help of half-centuries from Hashim Amla (55 runs from 83 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (67 runs from 64 balls).

Chasing 242, New Zealand were at one stage 80/4, but Kane Williamson played a captain’s knock and led them from the front with his gritty 106 from 138 balls. Colin de Grandhomme with a 47 ball 60 eased the pressure off Williamson and gave him the liberty to leave good balls.

With 8 runs required off the last over, Williamson finished it off with a six and four off consecutive deliveries. This defeat all but shut down the hopes of South Africa to get into the semi-finals.

Williamson was awarded the Man of the match award for his unbeaten century.

South Africa also lost to New Zealand at the Super 8 stage of the 2007 World Cup, although that didn’t knock them out of the tournament (they went on to lose in the semifinals to Australia). The Proteas haven’t defeated the Kiwis at the World Cup since 1999, and it seems clear they have a mental block against this particular opposition.

World Cup 2019: The brain fade moment that cos…

New Zealand v South Africa – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

In Match 25 of ICC World Cup 2019, New Zealand defeated South Africa in a last-over thriller by 4 wickets. With this win, New Zealand moved to the top of the table with 9 points from 5 matches, and South Africa went down to the 7th position with just 3 points from 6 matches. With just three more matches remaining, it’s highly unlikely for South Africa to qualify to the semi-finals of this World Cup.

Batting first, South Africa started cautiously as they lost their opener Quinton de Kock (5 off 8 balls) early in the innings. Hashim Amla (55 off 83 balls) and Faf Du Plessis (23 off 35 balls) built a 50-run partnership before the latter was castled by Lockie Ferguson.

Aiden Markram (38 off 55 balls), Rassie van der Dussen (67 off 64 balls) and David Miller (36 off 37 balls) made handy contributions towards the end which gave South Africa a competitive total of 241.

Chasing 242 to win, New Zealand too lost their opener Colin Munro (9 off 5 balls) early in the innings. In came the skipper Kane Williamson, who played a wonderful knock (106 off 138 balls) which helped his team get to the finish line.

Williamson built a 60-run partnership with Martin Guptill (35 off 59 balls). But an unlucky hit-wicket meant the opener had to make his way back to the pavilion. He slipped and disturbed the stumps while taking off for a single off Andile Phehlukwayo, ending his innings in bizarre fashion.

Chris Morris then struck twice in consecutive overs to send back Ross Taylor (1 off 2 balls) and Tom Latham (1 off 4 balls), which made the game hang in a pendulum. But the cool-headed Williamson put together another 57-run partnership with James Neesham (23 off 34 balls), and finally combined brilliantly with Colin de Grandhomme to calm the nerves in the Kiwi camp.

De Grandhomme started hitting the ball well right from the word go. His contribution of 60 from 47 balls was invaluable in their chase.

That said, it wasn’t a chanceless innings by Williamson. He gave many opportunities to the South Africans, which went unutilised by the fielders. A dropped catch and a run-out opportunity missed by David Miller were the primary mistakes among those.

Aside from that, there was a complete brain-fade moment from the South Africans, which was possibly the biggest reason why they lost the match. During the 38th over of the innings bowled by Imran Tahir, Williamson played at a slower tossed up delivery and missed. Tahir felt an edge and appealed, but none of the others – not even the wicket-keeper – were interested.

It was shocking how De Kock missed the sound despite standing so close to the batsman. As the replays showed, there was a definite nick by Williamson, and if the South Africans had asked for DRS they would’ve been granted the all-important wicket.

Instead, Williamson was allowed to go scot-free and he batted till the end, finishing off the chase with a six and four off the last over of Phehlukwayo.

If DRS had been taken for that catch, Williamson would have walked back to the pavilion early and the entire result of the match might have turned upside down. But not for the first time in the history of the World Cup, South Africa dug their own grave.

World Cup 2019, Australia v Bangladesh: Why sh…

West Indies v Bangladesh – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

The 26th fixture of the 2019 World Cup will be a key encounter to watch out for as the defending champions Australia will be taking on an inspired Bangladesh unit on 20th June, 2019 at Nottingham.

With four wins from five matches, Australia are placed second spot on the points table while Bangladesh are at the 5th position with five points from as many matches. Both the teams will come into the contest with a whole lot of confidence with morale-boosting victories against Sri Lanka and West Indies respectively.

Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 87 runs as Aaron Finch led the way with a swashbucking 153 while Bangladesh’s seven-wicket win came courtesy of Shakib Al Hasan’s magnificent unbeaten 124 and a handy 69-ball unbeaten 94 from Liton Das.

Even though Australia hold the aces coming into this game, there is no reason why the defenfing champions should treat the Bangladesh challenge as a meek one.

Ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is going through a sensational phase in his career. During the first match against South Africa, he scored a 75 off 84 balls and took the wicket of dangerous David Miller, as he clinched the ‘man of the match’ award.

Even though Bangladesh lost the second match against New Zealand, Shakib scored 64 runs and took 2 wickets in the game. Against England, Shakib’s knock of 121, as he batted through pain was a bright spark in Bangladesh’s chase of 387.

Having claimed a crucial point due to a washed out encounter against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh needed a strong show against a in-form West Indies bowling unit. Bowling first, Shakib picked up two wickets from his eight overs as the Jason Holder-led unit put up 321/8 on the board.

Chasing a mammoth 322 in their path to register a record win, Bangladesh were rocked in the middle overs as the openers and Mushfiqur Rahim were back in the hut with the score on 133/3. Liton Das, making his World Cup debut walked in to join Shakib Al Hasan.

The onus was on Shakib to ensure that Bangladesh remained in the chase and the ace all-rounder did not dissappoint.

Shakib shouldered a majority of the responsibility as he farmed strike and peppered the boundaries with some glorious shots. Das, on the other hand, was given the license to go big and the alliance worked wonders as Bangladesh chased down the target in just 41.3 overs.

With the win against West Indies sure to be a shot in the arm, Bangladesh will be keen to put up a show against Australia. With 384 runs from just four matches, Shakib Al Hasan will yet again hold the key.

For Australia, the biggest key will be to get rid of Bangladesh’s top five nice and early. With the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan in some top nick, their contribution could go a long way in adding pressure on Australia.

In four matches, Bangladesh’s batting unit has put up scores of 320+ in two games, including a massive run-chase against West Indies and 330 against South Africa, which happened to be Bangladesh’s highest ever ODI score.

On the bowling front, Mohammad Saifuddin has made the most of the pace and zip on offer and has troubled batsmen with his swing at a lively pace. With Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steven Smith scoring the bulk of Australia’s runs, Bangladesh could certainly be in with a chance of causing an upset if the top three are sent back early.

Australia will undoubtedly walk into the contest with the ‘favorites’ tag, but one might not be surprised if Bangladesh repeat the famous victory they enjoyed against Australia during the Natwest series in 2005.

World Cup 2019, England vs Afghanistan: 2 reas…

Eoin Morgan smashed his way to a record number sixes in a single inning of ODI cricket

The 24th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 saw Afghanistan succumbing to a massive loss against England by a huge margin of 150 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Batting first, England posted a mammoth 397/6 on the board courtesy of Eoin Morgan’s record-breaking 71-ball 148 and half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Afghanistan did manage to play out their entire quota of fifty overs as a gritty 100-ball 76 from Hashmatullah Shahidi led the way for his team.

Yet, despite Shahidi’s half-century and 40s from Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan finished off with just 247 runs from 50 overs and ended a whopping 150 runs short.

With this win, England moved to the top of the table with eight points from five matches while Afghanistan went closer to being knocked out of the competition. Here, we take look at the two main reasons for Afghanistan’s defeat.


#1 The dropped catch of Eoin Morgan by Dawlat Zadran

England v Afghanistan – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

At the end of 35th over, England were at 199/2 and had laid a good platform to go big in the final overs. The second ball of the 36th over bowled by Rashid Khan saw Dawlat Zadran dropping a regulation chance handed out by Eoin Morgan.

The England skipper slog-swept a turning ball from Rashid Khan which went straight up in the air, only to be dropped by Zadran, who was back-tracking at deep mid-wicket and to add insult to injury, the ball trickled away for four.

Morgan, who was on 28 off 25 balls went on a hitting spree from then on as he collected a record 17 sixes at the end of the innings and got to a 71-ball 148 that took the game away from Afghanistan.


#2 The slow run-rate maintained by the Afghan batsmen till the 30th over

With a herculian 399 to chase down, every team would want one of their batsmen to be aggressive at one end. However, barring Gubadin Naib’s assault in the first few overs, Afghanistan got off to a slow start as Jofra Archer sent the opener Noor Ali back to pavilion in the second over and Mark Wood took the wicket of Naib in the 12th over.

While Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi did put up good scores, they were only at 125/3 from 30 overs, requiring 274 more runs from the remaining 20 overs. Even though it was not impossible, it was almost improbable for them to score at 14 runs per over and win the game.

Cricket World Cup History: 3 bowlers who have …

India v Pakistan – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Taking a wicket with your first ball in a World Cup match is a sensational achievement for any bowler.

There’s a lot of pressure when you are making your World Cup debut, and the stakes are higher than ever. To take a wicket right out of the gate in such circumstances requires tremendous composure, which is why so few have accomplished the feat.

Here, let us look at the three players who have taken a wicket off their first delivery in the World Cup.

#1 Ian Harvey (Australia) – against Pakistan in 2003 World Cup

Ian Harvey

During the group stage match between Australia and Pakistan, Ian Harvey took the wicket of a well-set Salim Elahi with his first ball of the World Cup.

Batting first, Australia scored 310 runs from 50 overs courtesy a brilliant century from Andrew Symonds. Coming to bat at No. 6, he scored 143 runs from 125 balls including 18 fours and 2 sixes.

Chasing 311 for victory, Pakistan lost 3 wickets before registering 50 runs on the board. Just when it seemed like Salim Elahi and Mohammad Yousuf were building a partnership, Ilahi nicked the first ball of Harvey straight into the hands of Brett Lee.

Australia went on to win the game by 82 runs and Harvey finished his spell with a magnificent 4/58.

#2 Malachi Jones (Bermuda) – against India in 2007 World Cup

Group B, Bermuda v India – Cricket World Cup 2007

During the group stage match between India and Bermuda in 2007, Malachi Jones (Bermuda) took the wicket of Robin Uthappa with his very first ball. However, this was the only moment of happiness for them as India went on to score a mammoth 413, with the help of a fine ton from Virender Sehwag (114 off 87-balls) and half-centuries from Sourav Ganguly (89 off 114 balls), Yuvraj Singh (83 off 46 balls) and Sachin Tendulkar (57 off 29 balls).

Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar took 3 wickets each and restricted Bermuda to a paltry 156. Even though India won the game by a record margin of 257 runs, they were knocked out of the tournament in the group stage itself, following their defeats against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

# 3 Vijay Shankar (India) – against Pakistan in 2019 World Cup

When India faced Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup, a magnificent century from Rohit Sharma (140 runs from 113 balls, 14*4, 3*6) helped India post a commendable 336 runs on the board. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while bowling his third over, suffered a hamstring injury and Vijay Shankar came on to complete the over.

The first ball that Shankar delivered saw Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq getting trapped in front of the wicket. In the rain-affected match, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short by 89 runs (DLS method).

World Cup 2019: 4 cricketers who are not playi…

Ben Stokes

There have been many players in International cricket who have played for a country other than their country of birth. Kevin Pieterson was born in South Africa and played for England, Shivnarine Chanderpaul born in India and played for West Indies are some of the well-known examples. Here let’s look at the 4 players who are playing the ICC World Cup 2019, for the countries other than their country of birth.

# Ben Stokes – born in New Zealand and playing for England

Ben Stokes, one of the top all-rounders to have played for England, was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He is an aggressive batsman who is equally good with the ball and has been a match-winner for England over the past few years. During the first game of this edition’s World Cup, he scored a 79-ball 89 and scalped 2 wickets which helped England a smooth victory over South Africa. He has scored over 2300 runs in ODIs and 3100 runs in Tests along with 65 ODI wickets and 127 Test wickets.

# Imad Wasim – born in England and playing for Pakstan

Imad Wasim

Imad Wasim who was born in Swansea, Wales and wished to be a pacer, but eventually turned out to be a left-arm spinner who is handy with the bat too. He is known for his dangerous in-sliders to the right-handed batsmen. When he took a fifer against West Indies in 2016, he became the first Pakistani bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in T20s. He has scored 779 runs at an average of 39 in ODIs and picked 39 wickets. In this World Cup, he has played only one game in which he got out for a single run (against West Indies).

# Jason Roy – born in South Africa and playing for England

Jason Roy

Jason Roy, the hard-hitting English opener was born in Durban, South Africa. He currently holds the highest individual ODI score by an England batsmen, when he made a quick fire 180 against Australia at MCG. During the first match of this World Cup, he scored a brisk 54 which gave a solid start for them. He has scored 3000 runs in ODIs at an average of 40.54 including 8 centuries.

# Colin de Grandhomme – born in Zimbabwe and playing for New Zealand

Colin de Grandhomme

Colin de Grandhomme is an excellent all-rounder who plays for New Zealand but was born in Zimbabwe. He had even represented Zimbabwe during the U-19 World Cup in 2004. He holds the record for the best bowling figures for a New Zealand bowler in the debut Test match. He picked up 6 wickets for 41 runs against Pakistan during the first Test at Christchurch. In this World Cup he has taken 2 wickets from 2 matches as of now. He has also scored 820 runs in Tests at a healthy average of 37.

Batsmen with the highest proportion of ducks-t…

Kusal Mendis

The sport of cricket is one that has in recent times started to incline towards favoring the batsmen. With the short boundaries coming into play and bats nowadays customised for either stroke-making or big-hitting, batting has become slightly easier.

Yet, bowlers have also developed various skills to counter the batting prowess and have come out top with the variations. There have been multiple occasions when the best of batsmen have gone back for a duck, with the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya (34), Shahid Afridi (28) and Mahela Jayawardene (28) some of the big names in the list.

In this article, we have a look at four players who have the worst duck-to-innings ratio and have scored a minimum of 1000 runs in ODI cricket.


#4 Kusal Mendis – 0.1613 (Sri Lanka)

The promising wicket-keeper batsman from Sri Lanka rose to fame after a magnificent Test century against Australia in 2016, which eventually helped Sri Lanka beat the Australians.He was also one of the youngest players to score more than 1000 Test runs in a year, which he achieved in 2018.

However, with 10 ducks from 62 ODIs, he holds the 4th position in the list of players with the worst duck-to-innings ratio. He has scored 1692 runs at an average of 28.20 despite this poor record and continues to be an important part of the Sri Lankan batting unit.


#3 Habibul Bashar – 0.1714 (Bangladesh)

Habibul Bashar

One of Bangladesh’s best captains in the country’s history, it was under his capataincy that Bangladesh started showing the world that they are not just minnows in world cricket. He led them to the super-eight stage in the 2007 World Cup.

Yet, his batting skills did not fetch him great numbers throughout his career. He scored 2168 runs from 111 ODIs at an average of 21.68 and had a poor ratio of 0.1714.


#2 Anamul Haque – 0.1765 (Bangladesh)

Anamul Haque attempts a reverse sweep

Anamul Haque was an elegant wicket-keeper batsman who was praised to be the next big thing for Bangladesh. He led his country in the 2012 U-19 World Cup in Australia and ended as the highest run-scorer for Bangladesh including two centuries.

He scored 1038 runs from 37 ODIs at a healthy average of 30.53 but was also not very consistent, having fallen to a duck on six occasions during his career.


#1 Salman Butt – 0.1923 (Pakistan)

Salman Butt had a short-lived career for Pakistan

Salman Butt was one of those talented players whose career got cut-short due to the spot fixing activities. He was hailed as the next ‘Saeed Anwar’ for Pakistan in his early days.

From 78 ODI games, he scored 2725 runs at an average of 36.33 including 8 centuries. The southpaw enjoyed batting against India with five centuries out of his eight coming against the ‘Men in Blue’.

However, his form was not consistent and his poor show towards the end of his career saw him falling to a number of ducks as he recorded 15 ducks from a total of 78 ODI matches.