Cricket fever is on, and no one can keep calm.
ICC World Cup is the entertainment of the season, and all eyes are on the scoreboards. Teams are putting their best foot forward to have the World Cup in their hands.
The last three matches had cricket fans stuck to their screen as that seemed the more entertaining weekend plan. NZ vs PAK on Saturday, November 4th was the opening match of the weekend. Played in Bengaluru, the rain-hit, 21-run win against NZ by PAK-starred captain Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman. The latter made history by scoring the fastest century for his country in World Cup history.
Pakistan’s charge was interrupted by rains in their deciding World Cup match against New Zealand when the team was 10 runs ahead on DLS par score.
A smooth scoring match of 160 for one in their chase of 402 runs for victory was cut in when rains stopped the play with 21.3 over bowled. The revised target set for PAK was 342 off 41 overs to beat NZ and to continue keeping their World Cup hopes alive.
Bowling first as PAK’s choice backfired when Rachin Ravindra bagged his third century of the ongoing World Cup and along with skipper Kane Williamson, shred 180 runs for the second wicket to set the game going for NZ’s total. PAK however wins the match by 21 runs.
The second match of the weekend was England vs Australia, played in Ahmedabad, on November 4. Aussie spinner Adam Zampa starred with bat and ball as Australia beat England out of the World Cup semi-final race by an impressive 33-run win.
Five-times World Cup champion Australia is closer to securing a semi-final win with India and South Africa already securing their positions with their fifth straight win. Zampa gave a tough fight with his 3-21 leg spin to puncture England’s winning hopes raised by a 63-run fifth wicket stand between England’s Stokes and Moeen Ali, who hit 42.
Zampa leads the World Cup bowling chart with 19 wickets, and took an excellent outfield catch to help dismiss England’s David Wiley.
Kolkata witnessed India winning another match as the weekend’s final play was between India vs South Africa. Adding to their winning streak, this was the eighth win by India in ICC World Cup 2023. Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday with his second century of the World Cup and Indians celebrate the 243 runs win.
Sir Ravindra Jadeja claimed five wickets at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Sunday afternoon. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers, shattering the stumps of three batsmen. Mohammed Siraj (1-11) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-7) also contributed heavily to the big win.
Kohli’s uninterrupted 101 had 10 fours and equaled him with the greatest Sachin Tendulkar on 49 one-day international hundreds, continuing his unmatched form of tally past 500 runs in the tournament. India elected to bat first and took advantage of an unruly bowling pace by Marco Jensen who made a blazing start. Both the playing teams have qualified for the semi-finals.
Matches are keeping the viewers hooked and on the edge of their seats as the semi-finals are nearing. Who gets to hold the cup is a question that will be answered soon