World Cup 2019: 3 most defining moments for each team in this tournament
Team England are the new World champions. They have finally won a World Cup after three previous unsuccessful attempts in the final of a World Cup. The 2019 World Cup final between England and New Zealand was the best final in World Cup history as both the match and the super-over ended in a tie. Finally, England emerged victorious on boundary count.
England was by far the most balanced team of the tournament and richly deserved to win. But at the same time, one must not forget the lion-hearted effort of the New Zealand team in this World Cup. While England won the cup, New Zealand won the hearts of millions of cricket fans all over the world.
The England all-rounder Ben Stokes was adjudged the player of the final for his innings of 84. Kane Williamson received the Player of the Tournament award.
The four best teams in the tournament, India, Australia, England, and New Zealand had all made it to the last four. For India, the World Cup juggernaut continued till the semi-final when they ran into the determined Kiwis. The defending champion Australia walked into the rampaging hosts England in the semi-final and were decimated.
In this World Cup, each team had its most defining moments, It could be an exceptional catch or a drop of a sitter or a direct hit affecting a run-out or an injury to a key player at a key moment of the tournament. The successful teams of the tournament have fared better in such defining moments while the not so successful teams found themselves sucked into such challenging situations.
These defining moments were the difference between teams reaching the semi-final or the final or returning home empty-handed. For the winning teams, these defining moments were the turning point for the better while for the losers it was an opportunity lost. Again in such a long tournament like the World Cup, one single instance alone could not be the reason for the disaster. It could be a combination of 3 or more mishaps resulting in a team’s exit.
In this article, let us discuss 3 most defining moments for each team in this World Cup.
#1 Batting collapse against Sri Lanka
The Afghan bowlers led by Mohammad Nabi did a commendable job by restricting Sri Lanka from 144 for 1 to 201 all out. The target was revised to 187 from 41 overs under D/L method.
In reply, Afghanistan reached 42 for 1 in 8 overs before bad shot selection led to Afghanistan reduced to 57 for 5. Lasith Malinga (3 for 39) and Nuwan Pradeep (4 for 31) ripped through the Afghanistan batting line-up to earn their team a hard-earned victory. Had the Afghanistan batsmen shown some patience, they could have won their very second match of the tournament.
#2 So near and yet so far against India
Afghanistan came so close to causing the biggest upset of the World Cup when they found themselves in a winning position against India. They needed 40 runs from 30 balls with 4 wickets in hand. Mohammad Nabi was leading the chase batting on 30. But he was up against an in-form Mohammad Shami and the best death bowler in the world, Jasprit Bumrah.
Nabi managed to bring it down to 24 in 18 balls. Here was the opportunity for Afghanistan to upset the World’s No 1 ODI team. But some exceptional death bowling from Shami and Bumrah ensured that India won by a narrow margin of 11 runs. Shami finished the Afghanistan innings with a hat-trick.
#3 That over by Gulbadin Nabi against Pakistan
Against Pakistan, Afghanistan was in the driver’s seat with Pakistan needing 46 runs from 30 balls with 4 wickets in hand. The spinners had kept the Pakistan batsmen on a tight leash and Imad Wasim was looking to break free. All Afghanistan had to do was feed the Pakistan batsmen with more and more spin. A loss for Pakistan could have ended their World Cup campaign then and there.
But for some strange reasons, the Afghanistan Captain and medium pacer Gulbadin Nabi decided to bring himself on. And that was it for Afghanistan as Imad Wasim plundered 18 runs in that over to open the flood gates. In the end, Pakistan won by 3 wickets with 2 balls to spare and kept their campaign alive.
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