We’re now three weeks into the 2019 Cricket World Cup. It’s been a tournament that’s already produced plenty of highs and lows – and that’s without even mentioning the odd rain delay.
Now we’ve reached the halfway point of the group stage, here’s our look at the story so far and assess the top teams’ chances of glory.
Cricket World Cup Review
So far, it looks as if a ‘Big Four’ breakaway is already on the cards in terms of the cricket betting stakes for this year’s outright Cricket World Cup winner. New Zealand, England, India and Australia are making the early running in this competition. That suggests the odds will be stacked against a left-field winner emerging as champions at Lord’s next month.
Pakistan sent pre-tournament favourites England an early warning sign that complacency could cost them a maiden Cricket World Cup win on home soil. However, the hosts have looked far more convincing since that early slip-up.
Who could be England’s biggest threat?
India appear to be England’s most serious competition having come through a hard start against Pakistan, Australia and South Africa unscathed. Crucially, they are also still playing catch-up on their rivals after a delayed start to their Cricket World Cup campaign. Reigning champions Australia are also beginning to build momentum, although India dealt them an early psychological blow with a relatively comfortable win at The Oval.
The group stages could ultimately end up being a phoney war before England, India, Australia and New Zealand meet again for higher-stakes battles later in this tournament. Bangladesh deserve credit as arguably the surprise package so far in this competition. Impressive wins over South Africa and West Indies suggest they could be ‘best of the rest’.
Six of the best – Cricket World Cup 2019…
Best team performance
Bangladesh showing they are not at this World Cup simply to make up the numbers. They delivered an outstanding collective performance in their opener against South Africa to take a 21-run victory against a side struggling to make an impact in this competition.
Best batting performance
Eoin Morgan vs Afghanistan. An extraordinary 148 from 71 balls, including a record 17 sixes. That form bodes well for England.
Ben Stokes’ one-handed catch against South Africa. That moment lit up the first day of the Cricket World Cup and has already been labelled ‘the catch of the century’.
Pakistan holding their nerve to pull off a famous win against England by 14 runs. A rude awakening for the heavily-fancied hosts to secure the first major upset of the tournament.
Indian captain Virat Kohli adding a touch of class to this tournament. The legendary batsman asked fans not to boo Australia’s Steve Smith, with the former Aussie captain the ‘pantomime villain’ of this tournament after last year’s ball-tampering controversy.
Finally, an honorary mention for July’s weather forecast. A week with uninterrupted play could finally be on the cards with a brighter outlook for the month ahead. Let’s keep our fingers crossed…
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