Summary of ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifying Tournament: Fairy Tale of Afghanistan, Nightmare of Zimbabwe

Back in 2015, ICC declared in 2019 it would be a ten teams’ world cup tournament. 8 of these 10, would be selected directly from the ICC Cricket Ranking table whereas remaining two would be selected from a qualifying tournament. Logic behind this system was to make Cricket World Cup more exciting and competitive. However, it created such controversy. The protest basically came from lower end teams. These teams usually wait to participate in World Cup or similar multi-team tournaments just to play against big cricket nations. It’s a great scope for them to generate some experience. Despite of such critics, ICC did remain unshaken in their position. According to ICC, teams who would be ranked within 8 within a specific date, they would go to ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019 directly. The cutoff date was September 30, 2017.

Within the cutoff date Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa, England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were able to qualify for the tournament. On the other hand, two times ICC cricket world cup champion put into the qualifying round. In total 10 teams have been participating from two different groups in the first part of the qualifying tournament. Second portion 6 teams, 3 teams from each group had been selected for super six round. 2 from these 6 teams would be qualified for ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019.

The qualifying round started on March 4, 2018, at Harare in Zimbabwe. Here are the 10 teams participated in the first portion of the qualifying match.

Group A Team:

West Indies
Ireland
United Arab Emirates
Netherlands
Papua New Guinea

Group B Team:

Zimbabwe
Scotland
Afghanistan
Nepal
Hong Kong

Based on the experience level, West Indies and Zimbabwe were hot favorites to win the tournament. However, the tournament offered much excitement than expected. The competitiveness of tournament and results were shocking as well.

Super Six Teams:

West Indies
Afghanistan
Zimbabwe
Scotland
Ireland
UAE

Based on the experience level, West Indies and Zimbabwe were hot favorites to win the tournament. However, the tournament offered much excitement than expected. The competitiveness of tournament and results were shocking as well.

From Group A, West Indies moved into Super Six pretty comfortably. They won 4 out of 4 matches. Ireland and UAE followed them to Super Six from Group A as well. Surprises came from Group B. Favorite Afghanistan showed a very poor performance in the group stage. They lost 3 out of their 4 matches including against Nepal. On the hand the on warding of Nepal was eye-catching. Zimbabwe and Ireland’s match were concluded with a tie result, however, both advanced to Super Six. Afghanistan narrowly escaped to next stage in the calculation of Net Run Rate.

Special Super Six Stage Rule

“Though six teams moved to Super Six Round; however, all teams did not need to face each other. Teams who came from the same group they would not play against each other in Super Six round again; rather their previous matchs result from group stage wdid carry forward to super six stage as well.”

Super Six stage was much more open-ended than assumed. 2 times World Cup Cricket champion West Indies was almost an escape trap while they lost the match against Afghanistan. Luckily they won against Scotland in D/S method where they were struggling as well. On the other hand, Afghanistan came back strongly in super six, especially the win against WI boosted them.

The real shock was waiting to come from Zimbabwe. The tie in the group stage carried forward as well in the Super Six, which worked as a disadvantage to them. However, the real surprise was to lose against UAE. It did not only cost them to qualify for ICC World Cup 2019 but it also made the home fan silence. Since 1983, for the first time, they would be out of Cricket World Cup Tournament.

In the final match in the tournament, West Indies and Afghanistan faced each other and Afghan ended their fairytale by winning the final.

Tournament Summary

Venue: Zimbabwe
Total No. of the match: 34

Winner: Afghanistan

Winner: Afghanistan
Image Source: Doha Stadium Plus

Runners Up: West Indies

Man of the Tournament: Sikandar Raza (Zim)

___________________

Highest Run Scorer: BRM Taylor (ZIM) – 357 Runs in 6 matches

BRM Taylor (ZIM) – 357 Runs in 6 matches
BRM Taylor (ZIM) – 357 Runs in 6 matches

Highest Run Scorer List (Top 5)

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS 100 50 0 4s 6s
BRM Taylor (ZIM) 6 6 0 357 138 1 1 0 37 7
CS MacLeod (SCOT) 6 6 1 288 157* 1 1 0 35 3
PR Stirling (IRE) 6 6 0 267 126 1 1 1 30 6
Mohammad Nabi (AFG) 7 7 1 257 92 0 2 0 14 6
WTS Porterfield (IRE) 6 6 0 247 111 1 1 1 26 3

Highest run in a match: CS MacLeod (Scottland) – 157* runs against Afghanistan

Highest wicket taker: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG) – 16 wickets in 6 matches.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG) – 16 wickets in 6 matches.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG) – 16 wickets in 6 matches.

Highest wicket taker list (Top 5)

Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG) 7 7 67.5 6 255 16 4/43 15.93 3.75
SM Sharif (SCOT) 6 6 53.2 4 216 15 5/33 14.40 4.05
JO Holder (WI) 7 7 61.0 1 299 15 5/53 19.93 4.90
Rashid Khan (AFG) 7 7 65.0 2 299 14 5/41 21.35 4.60
WB Rankin (IRE) 6 6 55.4 6 250 13 4/15 19.23 4.49

Best bowling figure: CR Brathwaite (WI) – 27/5 against P.N.G.

Most dismissal: NJ O’Brien (IRE) – 14 dismissal

Highest partnerships: S MacLeod, RD Berrington (Scottland) – 208 runs against Afghanistan

Despite an exciting tournament, the question remains same whether is it the right to deal with Cricket world? Ireland captain questioned the decision of ICC to reduce the number of teams to participate in World Cup Cricket. So much exciting cricket nations are being cut off from the tournament. They need to participate in big league to judge their position and show their talents to the world. Hopefully, ICC would find a different path to allow them to showcase them to the cricket world.

Final List of Participants in ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019

ICC Cricket World Cup - Final list of participants
Final List of Participants in ICC ODI Cricket World Cup, 2019

 

@Data Source: Cricinfo.com

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