World Cup 2019: From Rohit Sharma to Carlos Brathwaite - top five batting performances in group stage
The group stage of the World Cup 2019 has come to an end. The tournament saw some young talent such as Nicholas Pooran (West Indies) and Ikram Alikhil (Afghanistan) make a name for themselves. It also saw some experienced campaigners such as Rohit Sharma (India) and (Babar Azam) extending their legacies. The tournament saw several teams crossing the 300-barrier more than once, though, the 400-plus total was not crossed by any team. Several players including Sharma, David Warner, Joe Root, scored multiple hundreds, while several big names such as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, could not get a single ton.
There were several noteworthy batting performances in the round robing stage of World Cup 2019. Here is a look at some of them:
Rohit Sharma (India) vs Pakistan
India vice-captain Rohit Sharma delivered performance of a lifetime in the round robin stage of World Cup 2019, as he went about scoring five hundreds in nine games. But his best came in the high pressure contest between and Pakisan, where he laid down the platform for a massive total for his side. Despite a slow start, Rohit went on to hammer 140 runs in 113 balls, with 14 fours and 3 sixes in his innings. The batsman showed calm and brains to tackle the early threat posed by Mohammad Amir, and then went on a rampage against considerably weaker bowling options. A soft dismissal ended Rohit’s chance of scoring his fourth double hundred in the ODIs, but it will certainly go down in history as one of the classic World Cup knocks.
Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) vs New Zealand
Can a memorable World Cup knock end up in the team’s defeat? In this World Cup, it certainly did. West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite’s innings against New Zealand turned the match into an instant thriller, even though he failed to lift his side to a win - by mere 5 runs. chasing 292, Windies were seven wickets down with just 164 runs on the board. But despite wickets tumbling on the other end, Brathwaite continued to deal in boundaries, in hopes of pulling off a miracle. The batsman hammered five sixes and nine fours as he scored his hundred in 81 balls. With one wicket in hand, West Indies needed 6 to win in 7 balls. Brathwaite slogged a slow oen from Jimmy Neesham but was caught by Trent Boult at long-on. Despite the defeat, the innings resurfaced “Carlos Brathwaite - remember the name” chants.
David Warner (Australia) vs Bangladesh
There was a time when there were a few voices in Australia’s cricket camp seeking exclusion of David Warner and Steve Smith from the World Cup squad. The players had served a 12-month ban for ball tampering which ended just before the big tournament, and there were concerns that the two might not fit into the newly-formed team immediately on return. But Warner has certainly dispelled all the doubts over him and redeemed himself with a consistent run in the group stages of the tournament. The left-handed batsman is currently the second-highest run getter in the tournament with 638 runs in 9 games at an average of 79.75. He has also scored three tons, the best of which came against Banladesh. The 32-year-old smashed 14 fours and five sixes in his 147-balls 166-runs innings, as he helped his side to 381/5 in 50 overs. Bangladesh fell short of the mammoth total by 48 runs.
Babar Azam (Pakistan) vs New Zealand
After a jittery start to their World Cup campaign which included three defeats in first five games, criticisms were being levelled on the entire Pakistan team. The experts and analysts raised concerns over Babar Azam’s form who was unable to convert starts into big totals. But, then he silenced the critics with just one game. Needing 242 to win against an in-form New Zealand side, Azam pulled off his best with the bat, as he hammered an unbeaten ton to help his side to a six-wicket win. It was not a reall heavy target to chase, but Pakistan had lost both openers cheaply, and needed someone to stick it out to the end to win the game. Azam stepped up the plate and produced a memorable World Cup performance.
Eoin Morgan (England) vs Afghanistan
England captain Eoin Morgan’s record-breaking performance against Afghanistan will certainly go down in history books. The left-handed batsman came out to bat when the hosts were two wickets down for 164 in 29.5 overs. Soon, he began the onslaught. The batsman smashed 17 sixes, one more than the previous joint record of 16 held by Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma, to script a big ton. Morgan was dismissed for 148 in 71 balls as he helped his side reach a mammoth total of 397/6 in 50 overs. In the match, Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan was hammered for 110 runs in 9 overs at an economy rate of 12.22, the most runs conceded by a spinner in an ODI. Afghanistan could only muster 247/8 in reply, losing the match by 150 runs.