Abid Hussain

Biggest upset in ICC World Cup 2019!

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Srinagar, June 22: The four top teams in the ICC World Cup 2019 were decided just after India buried Pakistan in a one-sided battle in Manchester and New Zealand’s win over South Africa in Birmingham. However, within a few days, new teams came in the race. With the latest one Sri Lanka, which roared back on Friday, defeating tournament favorites England in Leeds. Bangladesh and West Indies are also in the race for the top four.

Sri Lanka’s victory over England is so far as the biggest upset in the ICC tournament. Inconsistent Islanders managed to defend a low score of 230 against a team which was far stronger than the former in all the three departments. The performance of Sri Lanka has sent shivers down skipper Eoin Morgan’s spine. All thanks to Lasith Malinga for his impressive (4/43) figures who dismantled the top order.

The hosts would have never imagined the result, keeping in view their performance in the last few years under the leadership of Morgan which led them to top the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings.

England, which started its World Cup campaign with a massive win over South Africa on May 30, had to bite the dust in their second match in Nottingham too. They lost to unpredictable Pakistan in a nail-biter on June 12. Significantly, England lost both the matches while chasing the target of 232 against Island nation and 348 against Men in Green.

With Friday’s victory, Sri Lanka have not only made a comeback in the tournament but also helped Pakistan to remain alive in the tournament. England has three matches pending against top three performers Australia, New Zealand and India. They need to win at least two matches to proceed in the tournament. On the other side, Pakistan must win all the games with more focus on net rate.

With a solitary win from five clashes, Pakistan is staying at the ninth spot in the World Cup standings, only ahead of Afghanistan. The former Pakistan cricketers including the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram came down heavily on skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and team management after losing to India. The Rawalpindi Express went on to call Sarfaraz a “brainless captain” for his decisions.

Pakistan veterans were hoping wicketkeeper-batsman to bat first. Even Prime Minister Imran Khan in a series of tweets advised skipper against bowling first. But Sarfaraz, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and Coach Mickey Arthur had made their mind to bat second. But the million-dollar question remains why they did not go with seven batsmen in the match?

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