World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka's win over England has given a new lease of life to the tournament
- Sri Lanka's shock win has shaken up the tournament in a big way.
One sided matches. Boring World Cup. Top 4 locked.
That was the story of the first half of the World Cup 2019, and many fans were feeling disgruntled about it all.
But nobody will be saying that any longer. The last three days have seen two thrillers, and suddenly the tournament has been thrown wide open.
Before the tournament there were talks about how 300 was no longer a par score, and that the 2019 edition would be an extremely high-scoring World Cup. And now, we are seeing old school 230-240 battles producing edge-of-the-seat thrillers.
We talk of batting friendly conditions in England and big scores, but there is no match for these low scoring thrillers.
First it was the old formula of SA-NZ which needed the ice-cool Kane Williamson to seal the victory in the last over. Now, the young and spirited Sri Lankans have produced the upset of the tournament by defeating the tournament favourites and hosts England.
The match everyone was looking forward in this rather boring first half of the World Cup finally came to pass.
What this upset has also done is that it has opened up the points table. Apart from South Africa and Afghanistan, each team suddenly has a chance of progressing to the next stage of the tournament.
England are currently on 8 points with 6 games but have the toughest matches coming up. They have to play the Aussies, India and the Kiwis and if things don't turn out well for them they can be in a bit of a tangle.
Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka would sense an opportunity here. If any of them win all their remaining matches, they might be able to take England's spot in the top four.
Who would have thought that England's chances of reaching the semifinals would be in jeopardy? All of this suggests that the tournament is heading in the right direction.
The last league phase certainly promises a lot of excitement. The points table is a free-for-all, and the top 4 teams will be facing each other soon; the India vs Australia and India vs New Zealand encounters are the only ones that are already over. There are some cracking contests lined up that will determine who finishes at the top of the table.
With so much at stake, the latter half of the World Cup league stage is all set to keep the spectators at the edge of their seats.
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