World Cup 2019: Five major highlights from the first week
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is off to a superb start with no team running away with points in the first week. There have been some fantastic individual as well as team performances so far, with some results going opposite to popular perceptions.
Ben Stokes’ unbelievable catch, Andre Russell’s menacing bouncers, Mohammad Amir’s return to wicket-taking form, Dale Steyn being ruled out due to injury and Jasprit Bumrah’s lethal new-ball spell have been some of the major individual highlights from the first week.
As we near the end of the first week, we look at 5 major talking points from the tournament.
#5 Bangladesh are here to win
Bangladesh surprised everyone when they reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup by beating England. Since then they have beaten every single nation participating in this World Cup, barring Australia.
They had consecutive series wins against Pakistan, India and South Africa at home, which helped them gain direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup. The last three World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015) have seen them beating India, South Africa and England (twice). Also, they managed to enter the semi-finals in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Cometh the World Cup, the Bangladeshi side have an experienced and dependable batting line-up and a decent bowling attack. However, nobody gave them a chance of finishing in the top four. Their opening game against South Africa was expected to be a game where the Proteas would return to winning ways.
But as it turned out, their experienced campaigners led from the front with both bat and ball and led them to an inspiring win. They scored their highest ever ODI total against a decent South African attack and then put up a clinical performance with the ball to win the game rather convincingly.
This was by no means an upset, considering the kind of cricket the Bangladesh team has played over the past four years. However, their win has put a big question mark over the qualification scenarios for other teams.
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