Rohit Sharma, the savior, Australia’s superb fightback, David Warner’s scintillating comeback and many more in top highlights from week 1 of World Cup 2019
The first week of World Cup 2019 has thrown-in a surprise in terms of the pitches being played on. The pitches that were supposed to be batting friendly, have in fact turned out to be bowler-friendly.
In the 11 matches so far, only five times have the teams crossed the magical 300 mark. Just goes on to show, how bowling friendly the pitches have been.
While some may say that the World Cup Pressure is showing up, but if we observe closely, the balls used in the tournament so far have had a slightly more shine; assisting swing and the nature of pitches has been slightly greenish, instead of dry.
So, after a surprising first week, let’s look at the top 5 highlights from week 1 of ICC World Cup 2019?.
#5: DAVID WARNER’s SCINTILLATING RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL CRICKET
After being banned for a year over the ball-tampering issue, David Warner returned to International Cricket with a scintillating knock of 89(114) against Afghanistan.
It has been a tough year for the star opener, who missed out on International Cricket and IPL 2018 over the ball-tampering issue.
David Warner’s comeback had a special return in IPL 2019 as he ended the tournament as the leading runs scorer. He also required a special knock to mark his return to International Cricket, and the low-scoring match against Afghanistan proved exactly the same.
Chasing 208, David Warner played a sensible knock as he guided Australia home with his 89(114) with 8 fours. His hunger to stay at the crease, and finish the match for Australia was clearly visible as Australia chased the target in 34.5 overs.
#4: ALL-ROUND BEN STOKES SHINES IN THE TOURNAMENT OPENER
The tournament opener saw an all-round, Ben Stokes helping England begin their World Cup 2019 campaign with a superb win against South Africa.
After a decent start, two quick wickets reduced England to 111-3 after 19.2 overs. England needed a good score to defend in what looked a good pitch to bat as Ben Stokes joined Eoin Morgan at the crease
Ben Stokes took time to settle himself in as he scored his first 20 runs off 26 deliveries. However, he settled soon as he started playing his shots.
He reached his 50 in 53 balls, and scored 39 runs from his next 36 deliveries. In the end, Ben Stokes’s superb 89(79) with 9 fours helped England reach a competitive target of 311 in 50 overs.
In response, South Africa were undone by England bowlers as they were bowled out for just 207 in 39.5 overs.
Ben Stokes took 2 wickets, while Jofra Archer took 3 wickets in England’s dominating win.
#3: PAKISTAN SURRENDER TO WEST INDIES’ PACERS
The unpredictable Pakistan side begin their World Cup campaign with a shocker as they surrender against the West Indies’ pacers.
After been asked to bat first, Fakhar Zaman started aggressively as he smashed 21 runs in just 12 balls. However, over-aggression cost him his wicket, and post that, Pakistani batsmen couldn’t recover as they kept losing wicket after wicket.
While the bowling was absolutely fantastic, part of the credit goes to poor shot selection by the Pakistani batsmen.
In the end, Pakistan were bundled out for a humiliating score of 105; the lowest this World Cup so far. Oshane Thomas took 4 wickets, while the trio of Holder, Russell and Cottrell shared 6 wickets.
West Indies chased the target in 21.4 overs as Chris Gayle scored a quick half-century.
#2: AUSTRALIA FIGHTBACK TO REGISTER AN INSPIRATIONAL WIN
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith make a fabulous fightback as Australia script a famous win against the West Indies.
The last time Australia played West Indies was in 2007 when they registered a hat-trick of World Cup wins, and the last time West Indies lost in Trent Bridge was in 1984. So, this match had a lot of significance going into it.
After being asked to bat first, Australia were reeling at 79-5 as the responsibility fell on Steve Smith’s shoulders to guide Australia to a respectable total.
Steve Smith looked very focused during his 73(103) as he played an anchor role during his superb partnerships with Alex Carey and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Nathan Coulter-Nile on the other adopted a completely different approach as he attacked from the start. It was his attacking knock of 92(60) that helped Australia reach an unbelievable score of 288-10 in 49 overs.
West Indies batsmen tried their best, but fell short of the target by 15 runs.
#1: ROHIT SHARMA, THE SAVIOR FOR INDIA
Rohit Sharma played with valor and determination as his century helped India start their World Cup campaign with a fabulous win.
It is no surprise that all eyes were set on Virat Kohli, who began his last two ODI World Cups with a century. One against Bangladesh in 2011 and other against Pakistan in 2015.
So, if Virat Kohli and even Shikhar Dhawan fail to impress, and Rohit Sharma, who tends to fail on the surface with a little movement, battles out India with a fabulous hundred, it is actually something special.
Chasing 228, the ball did a lot of talking in the first 15 overs. Rohit Sharma scored a patient 27(47) in that period, but kept going after that as he got to his fifty in 70 balls.
After decent partnerships, Rohit lost KL Rahul and MS Dhoni at the other, but he kept going as he scripted a fine victory for India with his determined 122(144) with 13 fours and 2 sixes.
Virat Kohli too praised Rohit Sharma in the post-match presentation by calling this innings to be the best he has seen Rohit play.
So, these were the top highlights from week 1 of ICC World Cup 2019.
Do watch out this space for more such awesome highlights.
WORLD CUP 2019 STATS:
- Most Runs: 215 | Jason Roy
- Most Wickets: 7 | Matt Henry
- Highest Score: 153(121) | Jason Roy
- Best Bowling Figures: 5-46 | Mitchell Starc
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.