World Cup 2019 roundup: Rohit Sharma, Shakib excel as league stage ends
India, New Zealand, Australia and hosts England move to the semi-final of the cricket world cup. We highlight the moments that grabbed the headlines at the end of the league stage
The World Cup 2019 in England and Wales has been a record-breaking affair with various records being broken throughout the league stage. As we come to the end of the league stage of the World Cup, the four pre-tournament favourites, India, Australia, England and New Zealand, have expectedly played at the top of their game and have leap-frogged into the semi-finals.
The tournament started with hosts England facing an AB de Villiers'-less South Africa and the match turned out to be a one-sided game with England registering an easy104-run win. India started their campaign in style beating South Africa by a comfortable six-wicket margin, thanks to Rohit Sharma's first of the five tons in this year's tournament. India's only loss of the tournament was against hosts England but Virat Kohli and his team rallied to end on top of the league table.
Australia, bolstered by the inclusion of two of their best batsman, Steve Smith and David Warner, played against tournament minnows Afghanistan and ended up with a dominating seven-wicket win in their first World Cup game. Australia finished second behind India.
It was a roller coaster ride for one of the pre-tournament favourites and hosts England who were in danger of missing out on a semis berth. However, a victory over India put their campaign back on track and to the delight of the home fans, England made it to the semi-final finishing third in the league table.
New Zealand kicked off their campaign in clinical fashion with a massive 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka. However, the Kiwis lost steam at the fag end of the league stage and were a bit fortunate to reach the semi-final pipping Pakistan on better run-rate.
Top 5 run-scorers of the World Cup 2019, League stage:
1 - Rohit Sharma: The talented batsman from Mumbai referred to as the 'hitman' was at his hitting best. He scored 647 runs in 8 innings so far, at an average of 92.43 and a strike rate of 98.78. He is currently the leading run scorer in World Cup 2019 and has notched up five hundred to his name to surpass the record of most number of centuries in one World Cup
2 - David Warner: The controversial David Warner walked into the World Cup 2019 with a point to prove and he left no stone unturned to make the tournament his own. The southpaw scored 638 runs at an average of 79.75 and a strike rate of 89.48 which included three centuries.
3 - Shakib Al Hasan: The Bangladeshi all-rounder has had a phenomenal World Cup 2019 by becoming the first all-rounder ever to score more than 500 runs and take more than 10 wickets in a single tournament. Shakib single-handedly kept Bangladesh in the hunt for a semis spot throughout the tournament. Shakib scored 606 runs at an average of 86.57 and a strike rate of 96.04, which included 2 hundreds and 5 fifties. However, Bangladesh failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
4 - Aaron Finch: Australian captain Aaron Finch made sure that he was not overshadowed by the brilliance of his opening partner David Warner. Aaron Finch scored 507 runs at an average of 56.33 and a strike rate of 102.22. Finch notched up 2 centuries and 3 fifties in the bargain.
5 - Joe Root: England's premier batsman Joe Root scored 500 runs at an average of 62 and a strike rate of 91. Root scored 2 hundreds and three fifties and anchored the middle overs during the tournament, to ensure England got 300+ scores consistently
The tournament was expected to be dominated by the batsman before the series started, but the bowlers had the last word during the league stage with multiple hattricks and five-wicket hauls that added the much-needed zing in the series and the teams with better bowling attacks ended up winning more matches.
Top 5 wicket-takers in the World Cup 2019:
1 - Mitchell Starc: Lightning Starc struck in the World Cup and how! The Aussie who was also one of the top wicket-takers in the 2015 World Cup, also has dominated in the 2019 World Cup so far. Mitchell Starc has taken 26 wickets in 9 matches, at an economy rate of 5.18.
2 - Mustafizur Rahman: The Fizz was buzzing for Bangladesh, with regular wickets in almost all games for the sub-continental team. Mustafizur took 20 wickets in 8 games that he played, at an economy rate of 6.71
3 - Jasprit Bumrah: The No. 1 ranked bowler in the bowler and India's bowling spearhead has been in ominous form throughout the World Cup. The current king of yorkers has taken 17 wickets in 8 matches and has ensured India top the table in the league stage.
4 - Jofra Archer: England team's newest superstar Jofra Archer was the talk of the town before the World Cup started. And he made sure he remained on everyone's mind during the tournament with 17 wickets in 9 matches. Jofra Archer bowled at an impressive economy rate of 4.71 as well.
5 - Mohammad Amir: Pakistan may not have had the best of World Cups but their strike bowler Amir surely did. He took 17 wickets in 8 matches and won a few matches for Pakistan at the later stages of the tournament to almost sneak his team in to the semi-finals of the tournament. Pakistan ended up on equal points as New Zealand, however, New Zealand grabbed the fourth spot due to a better net run rate through the World Cup 2019.
Cricket World Cup 2019 has been one of the longest World Cup formats in the history of the tournament, with every team playing a maximum of 11 matches and a minimum of 9 matches. The longest format also meant a heap of records have already been broken and a host of records are on the verge of being broken.
Let's take a look at some all-time World Cup records that have been broken so far in the tournament.
Most hundreds by a player in one World Cup: The man who has scored an astonishing three double tons in ODIs, has also broken one of the most unscalable World Cup records in history. Rohit Sharma has scored 5 tons in World Cup 2019, which is the highest number of tons by a single player in one edition of the tournament. The previous highest of four tons scored by Kumara Sangakkara in 2015 World Cup was usurped.
Most runs and wickets by an All-rounder: Shakib Al Hasan is regarded as the best all-rounder in the world and he proved that he is one of the best all-rounders ever to play in a cricket World Cup. Shakib Al Hasan became the first all-rounder to score more than 500 runs and take more than 10 wickets in a single tournament.
The league stage of the Cricket World Cup 2019 is over and now only 4 teams are left in pursuit of the coveted trophy. On 14 July, one team will create history and etch itself in the memory of every cricket lover of this generation. It will be interesting to see if Australia or India add to their tally of World Cups or hosts England or New Zealand are able to lift their very first trophy.
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