The dust continues to settle on the 2019 ICC World Cup after a six-week long tournament culminated with the most extraordinary final at Lord’s.
Hosts England capturing their maiden World Cup trophy in the most of dramatic of fashion was the perfect finale to an eventful and entertaining tournament that delivered on many fronts.
There were several players who rose to the occasion in England over the course of the World Cup while quite a few had disastrous campaigns to forget.
Here, we look at the five biggest hits and misses of the 2019 World Cup.
The Kiwi skipper won the hearts of cricket fans around the world with his immense grace and poise despite what was an extremely bitter pill to swallow for his side following their loss at Lord’s. His class was not just limited to gentlemanly behavior with Williamson also walking away with the player of the tournament award.
The right-hander scored almost 30 per cent of New Zealand’s total runs at an average of over 82 in their dream run to a second successive World Cup final. Williamson’s unbeaten ton to guide his side to win in a tough run chase against South Africa was arguably one of the best innings of the tournament.
Shakib Al Hasan
Nobody would have predicted that the Bangladesh man would end up as the third highest run-scorer in the tournament before the World Cup but the No1 ranked all-rounder managed to defy all odds and expectations with a stellar campaign.
Shakib became the first player in history to claim at least 10 wickets while also scoring 600 runs in the same World Cup in a record-breaking campaign. That 41 was the lowest score by the southpaw in eight innings tells you all you need to know about his magnificent tournament.
While Joe Root and Jofra Archer were the respective leading run-scorers and wicket-takers in England’s title winning campaign, it was Ben Stokes who was the heart and soul of the team.
The controversial all-rounder is now a national hero for England after his sensational display in the Lord’s final where he dug the team out from the jaws of defeat. From digging his team out of holes to pulling off some stunning catches in the outfield, Stokes was in the thick of things for England throughout the tournament.
He scored 465 runs overall and finished ahead of the likes of Virat Kohli and Jason Roy in the scoring charts while also picking up seven wickets with the ball.
While he will remain haunted by his semi-final failure for some time to come, there is no denying that Rohit Sharma was the best batsman on display in the tournament.
The India deputy skipper became the first batsman in history to slam five centuries in a single World Cup and he fell just short of overhauling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs scored in 2003.
With Kohli not registering a single ton and Shikhar Dhawan exiting the tournament through injury, it was Rohit who led India’s charge with the bat to the semi-final.
The Kiwi pacer was one of the biggest revelations of the tournament with a fine campaign that saw him pick up 21 wickets in total at an average of just 19.47.
He finished behind only Mitchell Starc in the wicket-taking charts and was up there among the quickest bowlers in the tournament when it came to raw pace.
Ferguson’s biggest strength was his incredible consistency with the Blackcaps pacer not going wicketless in any of his nine outings in the tournament. It was some turnaround from him after his previous 86 ODI appearances before the World Cup had yielded only 59 wickets at an average of more than 43.
Six wickets in nine games was an extremely poor return for a leg-spinner of the calibre of Rashid Khan who will wish to quickly forget the tournament.
The Afghanistan star was made to look ordinary on several occasions and had a nightmare of an outing against England where he went for 110 runs in nine overs. The No1 ranked T20I bowler now hold the infamous record of the worst figures by any bowler in World Cup history and his stellar reputation has taken an almighty beating.
The New Zealand opener’s stunning direct hit to run out MS Dhoni in the semi-final, and his general superb fielding, will remain his only positive abiding memories of a campaign where he simply failed to turn up with the bat.
Guptill has always been one of the more reliable performers for the Blackcaps in limited-overs cricket but his World Cup showings were a far cry from previous displays from a man who has scored an ODI double-ton.
The right-hander registered an unbeaten 73 against Sri Lanka in the campaign opener but was able to muster just 113 runs in his next nine innings with the bat.
Plenty was expected from the Australian maverick in the World Cup after some promising displays earlier this year but it didn’t really happen for Maxwell in England.
The all-rounder had brief flashes of brilliance but they were too few and far between for Australia’s liking. He scored a fine, unbeaten 46 against Sri Lanka but his overall tally in the tournament stood at just 177 runs after 10 innings.
The explosive cameos down the order in the crux stages simply did not arrive.
It was not the swansong from ODI cricket that Shoaib Malik would have envisioned with the veteran bowing out from the format with barely a whimper.
The 37-year-old had previously averaged around 12 with the bat in ODIs on English soil and that statistic reflected his struggles to follow in the World Cup.
Malik was able to score just three runs in eight innings while bagging two ducks and he was deservedly axed from the Pakistan playing XI in the latter stages.
The hype around the Windies all-rounder before the start of the World Cup was immense after his MVP showing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Russell had plundered sixes for fun the in the T20 competition and the same was expected in England but it turned out to be a disappointing campaign with the bat in the end.
Although he was quite decent with the ball in hand, Russell was guilty of some shoddy shot-making with the bat and could only register a high-score of 21 runs in four innings. His World Cup campaign ended in misery with the all-rounder leaving the tournament midway through due to his knee struggles.
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Ben Stokes has drawn the line at suggestions of redemption but admitted his part in England’s World Cup win was made all the sweeter by the memory of his court battle two years ago.
Stokes was found not guilty of affray following a night out in Bristol in 2017 but was banned and fined by the England and Wales cricket Board after accepting a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
Stokes, who was also stripped of the Test vice-captaincy and missed the Ashes tour, was the star of England’s dramatic last-gasp win over New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.
Stokes told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I won’t look back and say I redeemed myself or anything like that – I’m an athlete and a cricketer and it’s what we are paid to do, to win trophies.
“It was coming back from all of that, it was tough. Getting back into cricket obviously massively helped [me get] straight after that.
“It was a stressful time for me, my wife, my family back home. I had amazing people around me, my team-mates, friends, family. They have to take a lot of credit for helping me to get through that.
“I got emotional there, at the end, and that was probably a culmination of lots of things, happiness that we won it and subconsciously thinking and remembering back to what I went through.”
Despite the ongoing celebrations in the wake of such a famous victory, Stokes insisted England must already start preparing for future challenges including the Ashes later this year.
“We’ve achieved half of what we wanted to do, which is winning the World Cup,” added Stokes.
“Everyone who is involved in the Test team as well as the one-day team has sort of had to get their heads around the fact that we have an Ashes series coming up and we still have a serious amount of work to do.”
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Two days since arguably the greatest Cricket World Cup final of all time and the game is still being dissected.
England were declared winners even after the Super Over ended in a tie for having a superior boundary count. Needless to say, the decision has not been well received by many.
Congratulations to England!— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) July 14, 2019
Commiserations New Zealand.
I’ve got to say that it’s a horrible way to decide the winner. This rule has to change.
What other tie-breakers could have been used and which team would have come out on top? We visit a few options.
1. Super Over count-down
What if England and New Zealand had scored the same number of boundaries? As it turns out, in such a case, a Super Over count-down would have declared the winner. This means that the team that scored more runs on the last ball of their respective Super Over would have lifted the trophy. If the two teams scored the same number of runs, the scores on the fifth ball would be compared and so on.
Should this tie-breaker have been used ahead of the boundary rule, England would have still won. Jos Buttler scored a four off the last ball while Martin Guptill could manage just one run.
2. Runs off the bat
What if we subtract the extras from the teams’ totals and award the team that scored more runs off the bat? The Kiwis scored 211 runs off the bat, with England feeling very generous with the extras (30). The hosts scored 224 runs off the bat and would hence be champions if this tie-breaker was used.
3. Wickets lost
New Zealand (9) lost fewer wickets than England (10) in the 51 overs played and would have hence clinched the World Cup if this tie-breaker was used. But it’s worth noting that the team batting second is likely to lose more wickets, given they are chasing a set target.
Winners: New Zealand
4. Super Over sudden death
Successive Super Overs could have been played until we had a clear winner. This means that we would have a succession of Super Overs until one team came out on top, not dissimilar to sudden death of penalty shootouts in football. Theoretically it could go on forever, but practically we should have a winner by the end of the second or at least the third Super Over.
5. League standings
The first semi-final featuring India and New Zealand was played over two days due to rain playing a spoilsport on the first day and forcing the game to the reserve day. If the game was washed out on the reserve day, India would have qualified to the final by virtue of finishing higher up the table in the group stage.
If the same tie-breaker was used after England and New Zealand tied in the Super Over, the former would still be crowned champions. England finished in third place with 12 points while New Zealand finished a position below.
6. Head-to-head result
However, New Zealand had a game washed out and could theoretically have finished higher than England. With nothing to separate the two teams in the final, we take a look at what happened when the two teams met in the group stage. Since the game was part of the same tournament, it should make sense to use that as a tie-breaker to declare the champion. England (308/5) destroyed the Kiwis (186) at the Riverside Ground.