Cricket World Cup 2019: Kedar Jadhav defends India's batting after tense win over Afghanistan

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Kedar Jadhav hit a crucial fifty for India.

Kedar Jadhav has defended India’s middle-order batting after their tense 11-run World Cup victory over Afghanistan in Southampton.

Mohammed Shami bagged a final-over hat-trick and Jasprit Bumrah plundered two crucial wickets as the pace attack dug India out of jail on the south coast.

Jadhav hit 52 and captain Virat Kohli 67 as India mustered a miserly 224 for eight from their full 50 overs, only for Afghanistan to fall just shy of what would have proved a famous upset.

Jadhav insisted however that the Hampshire Bowl pitch played a crucial role in the low-scoring affair, despite India still appearing to keep their powder dry with the knockout stages in mind.

“When I went in to bat I felt the wicket was not on the flatter side,” said Jadhav.

“The ball was not coming that easily onto the bat so we had to take our time. And they had two or three quality spinners. And that doesn’t help when the wicket is slow.

“I think we can definitely improve on this, but I don’t see any other team having three or four quality spinners.”

Shami’s stunning hat-trick finally put paid to Afghanistan’s hopes of pulling off the mother of all World Cup shocks.

And Jadhav hailed his character for shaking off being hit for four in the first ball of that final over to recover and skittle Mohammad Nabi, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in succession.

“We believe in our fast bowlers to do the job for us at the death,” said Jadhav.

“It’s about how you come back after you are hit for four. And that’s what Shami did today. That’s when character comes into play.

“The pitch was slow so it was difficult to play shots. Our actual plan was 250, but we fell short.

“We knew we’d need to make up 20 or 30 runs in the field, so credit to the bowlers for defending this total.”

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Kane Williamson rescues New Zealand with best-ever ODI showing

Ashish Peter 22/06/2019
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Back-to-back tons for Kane Williamson.

Kane Williamson’s reputation as being a man for a crisis has long been known and the New Zealand skipper was it at again on Saturday with a superb century under pressure against the West Indies.

The Kiwi skipper had registered a brilliant unbeaten ton against South Africa to take his side to victory in a thrilling 2019 ICC World Cup clash recently and he followed it up with another century of the highest quality against the Windies at Old Trafford.

Williamson arrived at the crease on Saturday with his side in a spot of bother after Sheldon Cottrell removed both New Zealand openers for golden ducks in the very first over of the match.

The right-hander stabilised the Kiwi innings in the company of Ross Taylor by stitching together a 160-run stand for the third wicket before bringing up his 13th ODI hundred. Though Windies hit back with some important dismissals, Williamson continued to march on before he was dismissed for 148 by Cottrell.

It was the New Zealand skipper’s highest ODI score and it helped his side post a challenging 291-9 ultimately despite being 7-2 at one stage.

The 28-year-old’s form has been getting better with each passing match with his tournament tally now extending to 373 runs.

WILLIAMSON’S UNBEATEN RUN COMES TO AN END

Williamson’s dismissal by Cottrell in the 47th over of the New Zealand innings brought to an end to a 390-ball unbeaten run by the New Zealand stalwart.

Since being dismissed on 40 by Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan Miraz on June 5, Williamson had registered unbeaten scores of 79 and 106 respectively against Afghanistan and South Africa before coming into the clash against Windies.

On Saturday, his 154-ball stay at the crease meant that it had taken a total of 390 deliveries between Williamson’s two dismissals in the ongoing World Cup. In between those dismissals, a total of 213 wickets fell in the 2019 World Cup according to a statistic by The CricViz Analyst.

The right-hander has now scored a total of 373 runs in four innings in the World Cup at a staggering average of 186.50.

WILLIAMSON’S ENGLAND LOVE AFFAIR CONTINUES

The Kiwi skipper simply loves batting in English conditions and his 148 against the Windies is now the fourth ODI century he has registered in the country in just 14 innings.

It is the joint-highest number of ODI tons scored by any visiting batsman in England and it pulls Williamson level alongside the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.

For reference, Williamson has scored only four ODI tons on New Zealand soil. His last 11 ODI innings have yielded scores of 148, 106, 79, 40, 57, 87, 100, 50, 90, 118 and 93.

TON AGAINST ALL-TEST PLAYING NATIONS

With his latest century against West Indies, Williamson has joined an exclusive club of batsmen who have registered centuries against all 10 Test playing nations including Afghanistan and Ireland.

He is the third New Zealand batsman to do so after Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill.

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Cricket World Cup 2019 moment: Mohammed Shami joins elite club with hat-trick against Afghanistan

Ashish Peter 22/06/2019
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Shami becomes second Indian to take a World Cup hat-trick.

We are just past the halfway mark in the 2019 ICC World Cup and we continue to witness some outstanding individual efforts by the stars of the 10 participating nations.

The ongoing tournament has already thrown up some unbelievable individual displays in the past month – be it with the bat, the ball or in the field.

Saturday’s double-header in the World Cup was no different with New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson slamming his second consecutive ton of the competition in a record innings against the Windies.

However, the day belonged to Mohammed Shami who picked up a sensational hat-trick to help India edge past Afghanistan by 11 runs in a thriller of a clash at Southampton.

We have been compiling all the special individual moments in the tournament so far and Shami’s remarkable feat sees the India pacer become the latest to feature in this section.

WHAT HAPPENED

India were expected to have it easy against Afghanistan but the tournament minnows had the Men in Blue on the ropes after restricting them to just 224-8 with the bat.

Afghanistan’s run-chase had been a brave one and 12 runs were required for a win off the final three deliveries bowled by Shami.

The India pacer first removed the well-set Mohammad Nabi with a fuller delivery in the fourth ball of the over before castling the stumps of Aftab Alam off the very next ball.

Mujeeb ur Rahman took guard for the hat-trick ball but the Afghan spinner lost his stumps in the same fashion with Shami hitting the bulls-eye again.

WHY IT WAS SPECIAL

It was only the second hat-trick picked by an Indian bowler in the World Cup and it came at a very important stage. Chetan Sharma was the first Indian to do so with the pacer performing the feat in the 1987 edition.

On Saturday, Nabi had kept Afghanistan afloat in the chase with a superb half-century and the all-rounder possesses all the tools in the book to land some big blows with the bat. His dismissal by Shami off the fourth ball of the last over all but ended Afghanistan’s hopes of pulling off a shock upset.

The hat-trick was the icing on the cake for Shami and India but the Nabi wicket was pivotal. Shami is now the fourth Indian bowler to pick up an ODI hat-trick after Chetan Sharma, Kapil Dev and Kuldeep Yadav.

There have now been a total of 10 hat-tricks in the World Cups with Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga accounting for two of them.

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