CWC 2019 review: Ben Stokes lights up the tournament opener and other top all-round displays

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Stokes was brilliant in the tournament opener at the Oval.

The 2019 ICC World Cup will live long in the memory of cricket fans after the most epic finale at Lord’s which saw England pip New Zealand to a maiden title.

While the final was as thrilling a cricket match as they come, the entire tournament was also an eventful one with some sensational individual and team displays along the way.

Here, we look at the top five batting knocks of the tournament.

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

52 and 2-33 vs India

The Afghanistan man was unfortunate to end up on the losing side after what was a fine all-round display from him at Southampton.

On a slow and tricky surface at Southampton, Nabi helped Afghanistan restrict India’s formidable batting order to just 224-8 by picking up the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

He followed it up with a superb batting display that nearly helped Afghanistan pull of the biggest shock of the tournament. The right-hander’s quick-fire fifty put Afghanistan on the brink before a final over hat-trick from Mohammed Shami helped the Men in Blue pull off an 11-run win.

It was a heroic display from Nabi nevertheless with the Afghanistan managing to look the second most fluent batsman at the crease after Kohli on what was a really difficult surface to bat on.

Nabi nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament.

Nabi nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament.

Joe Root (England)

100 not out and 2-27 vs West Indies

The England stalwart’s part-time off spin was put to lethal use in the clash against Windies where he managed to grab the important wickets of the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer and Jason Holder.

Those two wickets helped England bowl out the Caribbean side for just 212 runs before the hosts chased down the target with considerable ease.

With Jason Roy tweaking his hamstring in the clash, Root was promoted to open the innings alongside Jonny Bairstow and the duo put on a commanding 95 run stand. Bairstow perished but Root continued to march on in effortless style before bringing up his second ton of the tournament in the closing stages.

Root’s brilliance meant England romped to victory with nearly 17 overs to spare in the end.

Root's off-spin did serious damage.

Root’s off-spin did serious damage.

Ravindra Jadeja (India)

77 and 1-34 vs New Zealand

That it ultimately ended in defeat for India was a shame but Jadeja’s heroics at Old Trafford in the semi-final against New Zealand is worthy of a mention.

The all-rounder was excellent with the ball to start up with his 10 overs going for just 34 runs while fetching the important wicket of the well-set Henry Nicholls. To top it, Jadeja took two fine catches and a brilliant run-out of Ross Taylor.

India were ultimately set a target of 240 but their top-order were completely disintegrated by the Kiwis at the very start of the run chase.

India were tottering at 92-6 in the 31st over when Jadeja walked in to bat and the southpaw immediately unleashed a stunning counter-attack on New Zealand’s bowlers. On a pitch where nearly every batsman struggled, Jadeja was in a league of his own as he smashed the ball to all parts of the ground.

His 59-ball 77 gave India a new lease of life but the run-rate pressure ultimately told on him and he perished in the pursuit of another big hit.

A valiant display from Jadeja went in vain in the end.

A valiant display from Jadeja went in vain in the end.

Ben Stokes (England)

89 and 2-12 vs South Africa

The star England man’s display in the Lord’s final will forever be his crowning achievement but his best all-round show in the World Cup came in the tournament opener against South Africa at the Oval.

Stokes arrived at the crease with England at 111-3 and was content to bide his time in the early stages before going on the offensive. The left-hander switched gears in the death overs to unleash a flurry of boundaries while the Proteas kept chipping away with wickets at the other end.

Stokes was the last England batsman to be dismissed but not before he had helped the side breach the 300-run mark. He then pulled off one of the best catches of the tournament with a one-handed grab on the boundary ropes before picking up two late wickets to cap off a complete all-round display.

Stokes pulled off a stunning one-handed catch in the deep.

Stokes pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

124 not out and 2-54 vs West Indies

The Bangladesh stalwart was the all-rounder of the tournament with more than 600 runs and 11 wickets to his name. The No1 ODI all-rounder was brilliant from start to finish for the Tigers but his best arguably came in the clash against Windies at Taunton.

The southpaw’s 2-54 with the ball was a respectable effort with West Indies piling up 321-8 in their 50 overs. What followed in Bangladesh’s innings was nothing short of spectacular with Shakib’s whirlwind 124 (99) helping the Tigers chase down the stiff target with more than eight overs to spare.

The left-hander feasted on the short-pitched bowling approach by Windies to register what was a second consecutive ODI ton. That explosive knock helped Bangladesh equal their highest run-chase in ODIs with Shakib becoming the first batsman from his country to register 6,000 runs in the process.

Shakib and Litton Das made short work of a 322-run chase.

Shakib and Litton Das made short work of a 322-run chase.

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