A Look at Pool A in ICC World Cup 2015.....So Far!!

Eight teams have made to the quarterfinal stage of the ICC World Cup 2015. After fighting it out in the league stage, the eight teams to quali for the knockout stage are – New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Pool A; India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies from Pool B.

New Zealand – Spearheaded by Brendon McCullum, New Zealand’s performance in the league stage has been immensely impressive. They     romped to victories in all their six games and earned the top spot in Pool A with 12 points. They beat Australia by a wicket, Bangladesh by 3 wickets, Afghanistan by 6 wickets, England by 8 wickets, Scotland by 3 wickets and Sri Lanka by 98 runs. Trent Boult and Tim Southee are the formidable Kiwi bowlers who have troubled batsmen with their rapid space and swing. Undoubtedly, they are one of the favorites to win this World Cup.New Zealand will play West Indies on 21st March in Wellington.

Australia – Australia came into the World Cup 2015 as favorites and rightfully earned the tag. They won 4 games after playing 5 completed matches and finished second in Pool A with 9 points. They lost to co-hosts New Zealand by a wicket and their game with Bangladesh got wiped off because of rains. They beat Scotland by 7 wickets, Sri Lanka by 64 runs, Afghanistan by an astounding 275 runs and England by a margin of 111 runs. Mitchell Starc was their key player and the leading wicket-taker at the end of the league stage. He is in superb form and has so far taken 16 wickets in 5 matches, including a 6-wicket haul against New Zealand. Australia will now face Pakistan on 20th March in Adelaide.

Sri Lanka – After losing to New Zealand in ODI series and their warm-up matches to South Africa and Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka still managed to finish third in Pool A. Injuries to key players only doubled their miseries. They won 4 out of their 6 matches and scored 8 points. They defeated Scotland by 148 runs, England by 9 wickets, Bangladesh by 92 runs and Afghanistan by 4 wickets. They lost to New Zealand by 98 runs and Australia by 64 runs. Kumar Sangakkara remains their key player. This could well be his last World Cup tournament but he has shown the world why he is so good at the game. He is the tournament’s leading run scorer with 496 runs at an average of 124. He also became the first player in the history of cricket to score four consecutive centuries in ODI’s after smashing tons against England, Bangladesh, Australia and Scotland.   Sri Lanka is now playing South Africa in Sydney.

Bangladesh – For team Bangladesh, qualifying for the knockout stage is a huge achievement. They have made it to the quarterfinals for the first time by winning three of their five completed matches. Their 15-run victory against England was stunning and put an end to England’s hopes in this World Cup. Bangladesh beat England by 15 runs, Scotland by 6 wickets and Afghanistan by 105 runs. They lost to New Zealand by 3 wickets and Sri Lanka by 92 runs, and their match against Australia was abandoned due to heavy shower. Mahmudullah’s consecutive centuries against England and New Zealand changed the fortunes for the team. Bangladesh will now face defending champions India on 19th March in Melbourne.

Here’s wishing Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Australia all the very best for their respective matches. May the best teams proceed forward to the semi-finals!

Haider Ali (have 96 posts in total)

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