The Cricket World Cup is upon us, and this year’s edition delivers some high-scoring action from almost all the teams. Amid the high-scoring action, Afghanistan is the rising underdog, punching way above their weight class to dish out exceptional performances.
Their recent triumph against Pakistan got everyone with cricket tickets to the game in Chennai in sheer joy.
Thrilling Win in Chennai
Afghanistan achieved a historic victory over Pakistan in a thrilling one-day cricket World Cup match, marking their first-ever win against Pakistan in ODIs.
Their win came in exceptional fashion, with the side bringing in their most successful run chase in ODI cricket.
For the fans at Chennai with cricket tickets, the Afghan batsmen Ibrahim Zadran (87), Ibrahim Zadran (87), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65), and Rahmat Shah (77 not out) brought out some exceptional batting performances.
For Pakistan, it was the story of not having enough runs on board. Captain Babar Azam brought in a valuable contribution of 74 runs but on a pitch that favored the batters, it was not enough.
The team finished at 282-7. Teenage spinner Noor Ahmad was a standout among the Afghanistan bowlers, taking three wickets.
The Afghans chased the target, conceding only two wickets.
This win propelled Afghanistan to the sixth position in the World Cup rankings, leaving England at the bottom.
This remarkable victory highlighted Afghanistan’s growing prowess in cricket and solidified their victory over England earlier in the tournament.
Since Afghanistan achieved associate member status, their tale to the top tier has been a fairytale.
This is the first time the side has won two back-to-back games against full member nations. While the side had to toil hard for the England win, the Pakistan win was relatively straightforward.
Afghanistan’s fans with cricket tickets celebrated this historic win, and it was reminiscent of their thrilling 2019 World Cup encounter with Pakistan, where they narrowly missed victory.
Shoaib Akthar Commends India
The hosts, India, have had a great run in the Cricket World Cup they are hosting, and the Indian fans with cricket tickets love it.
India has had one of the best starts in the competition, and they sit on top of the points table with wins against Australia, Pakistan, and New Zealand.
The four-wicket win against Pakistan was memorable as India continued their unbeaten streak against their neighboring nation in the ODI format at the World Cup stage.
Former Pakistan cricketer and bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar has massive praise for the Indian outfit and took to his YouTube channel to commend the performance.
Earlier, he had made a bold prediction that players such as Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and skipper Rohit Sharma can take on the Kiwis.
Following the win, he was praised for Virat Kohli, for his stature to chase down the target effortlessly.
He noted that Kohli thrives under pressure and seizes opportunities to score centuries and deliver match-winning performances.
He praised Shami, who brought out a match-winning five-wicket haul and was crucial in breaking the partnership in the New Zealand chase.
Shami featured in this year’s Cricket World Cup for the first time, indicating for skipper Rohit Sharma that Shami needs to continue.
How Can England Qualify?
It is a disappointment for all English fans with cricket tickets to the World Cup. After planning to see a repeat of the 2019 tale of triumph, England is now faced with the challenging uphill task of winning.
The defending champions of the Cricket World Cup fight ahead.
They need to win all the games they have ahead of them. Indeed, this was not what England expected coming to India after an outstanding two years of ODI cricket.
They are just above bottom-ranked Afghanistan with a net run rate difference of 0.002.
England’s chances of reaching the semifinals appear uncertain but possible.
With the bottom five teams, Bangladesh (sixth), the Netherlands (seventh), and Sri Lanka (eighth) having two points, England are in 6th.
The difference in net run rate between Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the top and bottom of this group, is only 0.466. While England has the 9th spot, there is still a chance for them to make it to the semifinals.
Australia and Pakistan, in joint 4th, have four points. This means the gap between 4th and 10th is one win.
But one worrying concern will be the net run rate, at -1.248, but it will not matter if the matches favor England. In a scenario where they play against Pakistan (which they do not), a significant win could elevate them above Pakistan in both points and net run rate, moving them to the fifth position.
In reality, it is uncommon for a single team to win all of the games in the round-robin tournament.
The competition is built so that a team winning seven games will not be in the top 4, and a team winning just three can qualify.
Even if England finishes with six wins, more is needed with their net run rate. More than four teams may have six wins, including England, who we assume will win the next few games.
Consider the following scenario: Australia wins against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
New Zealand goes to defeat Sri Lanka and South Africa.
In this scenario, India defeats the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. South Africa will emerge victorious against India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Pakistan secured wins against New Zealand, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Even if England wins all their next five matches in this situation, six teams will have at least six wins, and England’s net run rate may become a deciding factor.
In converse situations, even if England loses one more match, they will get tied to one of the teams who have the chance to make the semifinal.
But that will be where the net run rate will come into play.
New Zealand will reach five wins by defeating Sri Lanka. With their form, South Africa will only need one more win to make the semifinals after their convincing win against Bangladesh.
India’s fifth win will come when they beat the Netherlands or Sri Lanka.
This will all be before counting the matches before the games involving the top 4 teams.
So, the situation is that England cannot afford another loss.
But winning 5 in a row even will not be a semifinal guarantee. To actually make it through and impress everyone with cricket fans, they will need to bring out their ‘A’, something similar to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, where they lost consecutive games against Australia and Sri Lanka, and eventually made the semifinals.
After losing to Australia and Sri Lanka, they went on to win the rest of the games and defeated New Zealand in the finals.