OCTOBER 25, 2023
R.Satish BABU. –
The ongoing Cricket World Cup has thrown up some shock results, huge totals and incredible performances in its three weeks of action.
Unbeaten India lead the 10-team table with all the sides having played five games each in the round-robin tournament.
AFP Sport takes a look at five talking points after five rounds.
– Heartbreak for England and Pakistan –
Afghanistan caused the first big shock of this edition when they humbled defending champions England by 69 runs in New Delhi.
Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz made 80 in his team’s 284 to give their world-class spin attack including Rashid Khan enough to defend against a faltering opposition.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid picked up three wickets each to bundle out Jos Buttler’s side for 215 as Delhi’s Afghan population savoured the win.
But Afghanistan remained hungry for more and took down former champions Pakistan eight days later in Chennai by eight wickets.
Pakistan’s first ever ODI loss to Afghanistan infuriated fans and pundits who have questioned skipper Babar Azam’s planning and selection.
England suffered another setback on Thursday when an eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka pushed them to the brink of elimination with four defeats in five matches.
– Dutch stun Proteas –
South Africa posted the World Cup’s highest ever total of 428 in their first match against Sri Lanka and looked unbeatable after two games but then ran into a spirited Netherlands.
INDRANIL MUKHERJEE. –
The Dutch side brought South Africa crashing down to a 38-run loss in a rain-hit match under the shadows of the Himalayas at Dharamsala.
This was Netherlands’ second win over the Proteas inside a year after they beat them in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Adelaide.
Scott Edwards led from the front with his unbeaten 78 that steered them to 245 in 43 overs and then bundled out the Proteas for 207.
Punit PARANJPE. –
– Run feast for De kock and South Africa –
Barring the Dutch hiccup, the South Africans have played an impressive brand of cricket with Quinton de Kock leading their batting charge with 407 runs, including three centuries.
The wicketkeeper-batsman will retire from one-day internationals after the World Cup and he has starred in a run-filled tournament where the Proteas have posted 300-plus totals in four of their five outings.
The left-handed De Kock hit 174 off 140 balls in his team’s win over Bangladesh to top the tournament batting chart, hitting 39 fours and 15 sixes.
Stand-in-skipper Aiden Markram said the team just wants “to let him fly”.
– King Kohli drives India –
India remain top of the table with five convincing victories and star batsman Virat Kohli has made a stellar impact with a century and three half-tons.
Former skipper Kohli is just one century away from equalling compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI hundreds.
The top-order batsman fell agonisingly short of the milestone when he was out for 95 in the win over New Zealand but guided his team in a tricky chase in Dharamsala.
India captain Rohit Sharma has also been among the runs and scored a record seventh World Cup century earlier in the tournament to go past Tendulkar’s previous record of six.
– Record breaker Maxwell –
Glenn Maxwell stole David Warner’s thunder in Australia’s third straight win as the swashbuckling batsman scored the fastest World Cup century in just 40 balls to pulverise the Netherlands.
Maxwell, dubbed “The Big Show” for his flamboyant shot-making, walked into bat in the 40th over and soon lost partner Warner for 104 but took the attack to the opposition with his fifty coming off a reverse sweep for six in 27 balls.
But it was in the next 13 balls that he took his hitting to another level and reached his 100 with two fours and three sixes off Bas de Leede in a 28-run over.
The knock beat Aiden Markram’s previous quickest ton record in 49 balls earlier in the tournament. Australia posted 399-8 and won by a record 309 runs.
Sunil Gavaskar, on Star Sports, said: “Glenn Maxwell scored a hundred in 40 balls; I used to take 40 balls to get off the mark.”