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

In the 11th edition of ICC World Cup 2015, eight teams have made to the quarterfinal stage after battling it out in the league stage. Four teams from Pool A and Pool B each have advanced to the quarterfinals. The Super-8 sta commenced from 18th March and will conclude on 21st March. Winners of the quarterfinals will proceed to the semi-finals. New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have qualified from Pool A. India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies have qualified from Pool B. Let’s have a look at their journey so far.

India – The defending champions of the ICC World Cup 2011 came into this edition of World Cup severely out of form and after losing to Australia in the ODI and Test series. But Dhoni and his men in blue raised the level of the game dramatically against its arch rival Pakistan in the opener game. India slowly inched forward and finished on top of the table with 12 points. They won all their six matches. They beat Pakistan by 76 runs, South Africa by 130 runs, West Indies by 4 wickets, UAE by 9 wickets, Ireland by 8 wickets and Zimbabwe by 6 wickets. There were serious doubts regarding India’s bowling attack but India stunned every team with their superlative bowling performance. Mohammed Shami has led the Indian bowling attack admirably. He is the second highest wicket taker, with 15 wickets from 5 matches.  India will be playing Bangladesh today in Melbourne.

South Africa – Tagged as ‘chokers’ can their dynamic captain AB de Villiers remove this tag and give South Africa the World Cup? Pegged as one of the favorites, South Africa finished second in Pool B with 8 points. They won 4 games out of the total 6 matches played. They won against Zimbabwe by 62 runs, West Indies by 257 runs, Ireland by 201 runs and UAE by 146 runs. They lost to India by 130 runs and Pakistan by 29 runs. The Protean captain AB de Villiers is their key player for the team. He amassed a total of 417 runs at a strike rate of 144.  South Africa has already played Sri Lanka on 18th March in Sydney. They won the match after choking Sri Lanka to a mere 133 runs and have marched to semi-finals. They will now meet the winner of New Zealand and West Indies quarterfinal match, on 24th March in Auckland.

Pakistan – After being consecutively defeated by India and West Indies, Pakistan upped their game thereon. They finished third with 8 points in Pool B by winning 4 out of the total 6 matches. They defeated Zimbabwe by 20 runs, UAE by 129 runs, South Africa by 29 runs and Ireland by 7 wickets. They lost to India by 76 runs and West Indies by 150 runs. The pacers have done a fairly decent job for the Pakistan team. Their key player is Wahab Riaz, who is their highest wicket taker with 14 matches from 6 games. Pakistan will now face Australia on 20th March in Adelaide.

West Indies – West Indies almost got derailed with their poor bowling and batting performances. They finished fourth in Pool B based on the net run rate and ousted Ireland who threatened to take their place. They won 3 matches out of the total 6 games played and scored 6 points in the league stage. They defeated Pakistan by 150 runs, UAE by 6 wickets and Zimbabwe by 73 runs. They lost to India by 4 wickets, South Africa by a whopping 257 runs and Ireland by 4 wickets. Jerome Taylor has given them the much needed breakthrough in most matches. He has taken 14 wickets in 6 matches so far. West Indies will face New Zealand on 21st March in Wellington.

All the best to India, Pakistan and West Indies! May the best teams march forward to the semi-finals.

Haider Ali (have 96 posts in total)

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