The dust has settled after an entertainment Cricket World Cup culminated with arguably the greatest game in the sport’s rich history.
England and New Zealand fought tooth and nail in the final before the former claimed victory after a tied Super Over, winning their first-ever title in front of their home support.
That final will live long in the memory, but there were a few other moments over the course of the tournament that are worth revisiting…
STOKED FOR AN OVERTHROW
The hosts needed nine to win off three balls and when Ben Stokes raced back for two after hitting Trent Boult to deep midwicket, the throw from Martin Guptill struck the Englishman’s outstretched bat in a freak incident and raced away to the boundary.
It was the kind of lucky break no one could’ve seen coming and New Zealand were helpless. As a result, England were awarded six runs instead of two, drastically changing the equation.
Requiring just three of the remaining two deliveries, Stokes was able to tie the scores and take the final to a Super Over but according to ICC rules, only five runs should’ve been awarded in that scenario as the batsmen hadn’t crossed when the throw was released.
Furthermore, that would’ve seen Adil Rashid on strike for the next ball instead of Stokes. It doesn’t automatically mean New Zealand would’ve won instead but certainly sparks controversy.
The fact that Boult had caught Stokes off a slower Jimmy Nesham ball in the previous over only adds to the drama.
As far as his own performances go, Shakib Al Hassan had the perfect tournament.
But the moment that stood out was his all-round display during a 62-run victory over Afghanistan because that’s when he sent numerous records tumbling at the Rose Bowl.
On a slow track, Shakib’s hard fought 51 helped Bangladesh to a competitive 262/7 before bamboozling batsmen with the ball and delivering figures of 5/29 as Afghanistan were dismissed for 200 in 47 overs.
In doing so, Shakib matched Yuvraj Singh’s record of scoring 50-plus runs and taking five wickets in the same World Cup match.
He also became the first cricketer in World Cup history to score 400-plus runs and pick up 10 wickets in the same tournament.
To further his status as one of the best all-rounders of all-time, Shakib became the first player to score 1000-plus runs and take 30-plus wickets in World Cups.
But what truly made his World Cup special was the progress he showed as a batsman. Having been promoted up the order recently, he has been remarkably consistent and became the joint-third fastest to 1000 ODI runs batting at No3.
SHARMA’S BIGGEST HIT
Ever since he first broke onto the international scene in 2007, Rohit Sharma has been hailed a batting prodigy but inconsistency has always haunted him.
The Mumbai-born opener was in ominous form during this tournament though, finishing as top scorer with 648 runs from just nine innings with an average of 81.
The crowning glory of his campaign was that blistering knock of 140 against Pakistan off just 113 balls. After launching Hassan Ali for six with a glorious pull-shot early on in his innings, he never looked back.
What followed was a masterful display of stroke play with the odd hefty blow adding an element of punch to a scintillating innings.
The fact that it came against fierce rivals Pakistan and helped India extend their winning streak against them at World Cups (now seven wins) only made it sweeter.
It was Rohit Sharma at his very best.
SHAHEEN SHINES BRIGHT
Shaheen Shah Afridi only featured in five of Pakistan’s eight league games but his tally of 16 wickets – the most by at teenage at a World Cup – was just one shy of Mohammad Amir’s who played every single one.
By the time Pakistan faced Bangladesh in their final league game, the knockout stages were beyond reach but that didn’t stop Shaheen from leaving his mark on the tournament.
The left-arm quick bowled phenomenally to deliver figures of 6/35 as he led his side to a 94-run win.
The dismissal of Mahmudullah was special. Bowling over the wicket to the right-hander, his in-swinging yorker couldn’t have been better placed. And with the stumps rattled, Shaheen became the youngest bowler to take five World Cup wickets in a single match.
His sixth scalp of the day meant his spell was the best-ever by a Pakistan bowler at a World Cup.
THE BUTTLER DID IT
England have waited 44 years for this precise moment and though this dominant side shouldn’t have left their fans sweating, it was fitting that they triumphed in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Chasing 16 runs for victory in the Super Over, New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham navigated the first five balls well, launching Jofra Archer for six in the second delivery. Aided by some excellent running between the wickets from Guptil, the Kiwis only needed two off the final ball.
However, it was Guptil on strike for the first time in the over and his punch to deep midwicket was straight to Jason Roy. He scampered back for a second but was never winning that race.
The throw wasn’t perfect and Buttler had to stretch to collect it before destroying the stumps in one big arcing motion as if sweeping away the misery of the last four decades along the way. Guptil was well short and the keeper instantly set off on wild celebration, tossing the ball away, then his glove.
The Super Over was tied but England had won on a technicality, scoring more boundaries in their six deliveries. By the slimmest margins imaginable, England were champions.
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