A spirited comeback by India and South Africa

The first two encounters in Week 2 on New York`s drop-in pitch saw a never-give-up attitude from India and South Africa as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively. Both matches saw the losing teams dominate for almost 34-35 overs, but the last five-six overs didn’t go their way. With 40 required off the last 36 balls and seven wickets in hand, Pakistan were all set to enjoy only their second victory against India in the T20 World Cup, but the confident Indian bowlers conceded just 33 runs off the next six overs to hand the inaugural champions a thrilling six-run victory. Similarly, Bangladesh threw it away after dominating till the 15th over of the second innings despite needing 31 off 30 balls with six wickets in hand. Chasing 120, India restricted Pakistan to 113-7 to defend their lowest-ever total. It was also the joint-highest lowest total defended in a World Cup match before Proteas stopped Bangladesh from chasing 114 the next day. Four days later, the Proteas faced a similar position against minnows Nepal at Kingston. Chasing 116, with just 34 required off 42 balls and eight wickets in hand, Nepal looked all set for their maiden victory against an ICC full-member side. But thanks to spinner Tabraiz Shamsi`s 4-19, South Africa won the last-ball thriller by one run.

Big teams bow out

THIS T20 World Cup has not only seen big upsets, but to everyone`s surprise, no one expected three giants Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka to bow out in the first round itself. The 2009 champions Pakistan were stunned by first-timers USA and arch-rivals India as the last edition runner-up made a Round One exit. New Zealand, the 2021 finalist and last edition semi-finalists, were shocked by Rashid Khan’s spirited Afghanistan by a massive 84-run margin before losing to hosts and two-time champions West Indies by 13 runs, while 2014 champions Sri Lanka suffered their first-ever defeat to Bangladesh in T20 World Cup after going down to South Africa by six wickets in their opening encounter. Sri Lanka`s third match against Nepal in Florida was washed out.

Biggest win margin in T20 WC

ENGLAND players rose to the occasion when it mattered a during the do-or-die match against Scotland to register the biggest-ever victory margin (in terms of balls remaining) in the T20 World Cup. The Englishmen defeated Scotland by eight wickets and 101 balls to spare to up their net run-rate from -1.80 to 3.08 and go ahead of the then second-placed Scotland`s Net Run-Rate of 2.16. Batting first, England bundled out Oman for just 47, their lowest in T20Is. In reply, England chased the target in just 3.1 overs. A victory against Namibia in a rain-curtailed match on Saturday took England’s NRR to 3.61. 

Afghanistan bowlers yet to concede 100-plus

AFGHANISTAN are the only team in the ongoing World Cup who haven`t conceded over 95 in the 20-team tournament. The Rashid Khan-led team topped Group ‘B’ with three wins in as many matches, thanks to their superb bowling show that claimed all 30 wickets of the opposition team. The Afghans, who were winless in the previous edition, started the tournament with a massive 125-run victory over Uganda. Batting first, Afghanistan scored 183-5. In reply, the first-timers were bowled out for just 58. In the next match, they went on to stun the Kiwis after Kane Williamson-led side failed to chase 160 and were bowled out for just 75. There was no stopping the Asian team as they bundled out Papua New Guinea (PNG) for just 95 in the next match.

10 teams dismissed below 100 

THE Indian Premier League that concluded last month saw 200-plus runs scored every other day. However, in just two weeks, the ongoing T20 World Cup has seen teams dismissed 10 times under 100—the most in any edition of the multination T20 tournament. First-timers Uganda were dismissed thrice under 100, with their lowest (also T20 World Cup’s joint-lowest) 39 all out coming against hosts West Indies. They were dismissed for 40 by the New Zealanders on Saturday. PNG were bundled out below 100 twice, while Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Ireland, Namibia and Oman were dismissed under the three-figure mark once.

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