The Cricket World Cup concluded on Sunday following 46 days and 48 matches, massive totals, unexpected victories, painful defeats, records, and controversy.
The Cricket World Cup came to a conclusion on Sunday after 46 days and 48 matches, enormous totals, shocking victories, painful losses, records, and controversies. Australia won their sixth one-day international championship, defeating its hosts, India. Travis Head, the opener, stole the show in Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad, smashing a brilliant 137 off 120 deliveries to lead Australia to a commanding six-wicket victory. As the third Australian to score a century in a men’s World Cup final, Head joined Ricky Ponting and Gilchrist. Let’s examine some of the tournament’s 2023 highlights:
Markram, South Africa, moving quickly
When South Africa’s Aiden Markram hit the fastest World Cup century off 49 balls against Sri Lanka in New Delhi, the tournament had only been going for two days.
With a 102-run victory and the greatest tournament total ever (428), his squad also made history.
The amount of balls Kevin O’Brien needed to score a century against England in Bengaluru in 2011 was surpassed by Markram’s barrage.
By the end of the competition, Markram stated that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his record was surpassed. He was proved right by Glenn Maxwell just 18 days later.
Pakistan’s record chase
In Hyderabad, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets after Abdullah Shafique and Mohammed Rizwan both scored hundreds in the chase for the highest target in World Cup history.
Pakistan surpassed their 345-run target as Shafique struck 113 and Rizwan overcame leg cramps to score 131 not out.
The impressive 344-9 total of Sri Lanka was created primarily from the hundreds of Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama.
Afghanistan, Netherlands make mark
Afghanistan stunned England by 69 runs in New Delhi, the reigning champions, in one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever.
With Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking three wickets apiece, England was bowled out for 215 in pursuit of a 285-run victory, following an explosive 80-run opening partnership by Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Afghanistan shocked Pakistani neighbours by chasing down 283 eight days later in Chennai, where Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, and Gurbaz all scored fifty runs apiece.
Intermittently, the Proteas were stunned by 38 runs in what the Dutch media dubbed “the miracle of Dharamsala” as the Netherlands capitalised on South Africa’s aversion to chase.
Record-breaker Maxwell — part 1
Maxwell’s 40-ball century during Australia’s 309-run thumping of the Netherlands in New Delhi broke Markram’s mark for the fastest World Cup century.
Before the Dutch were bowled out for just 90 runs in 21 overs, Australia reached 399-8. In all ODIs, Maxwell’s century was also the fourth fastest.
Australia, New Zealand run festival
In Dharamsala, Australia defeated New Zealand with an only five runs, setting a record for the highest-scoring World Cup match ever.
Australia scored 388 runs, led by 109 from Travis Head and 81 from fellow opener David Warner.
Rachin Ravindra of New Zealand fought valiantly, scoring 116.
It surpassed the 754 runs achieved in South Africa’s victory over Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament with a total of 771 runs, making it the highest scoring game at a World Cup.
India add to Sri Lanka woes
India’s massive 302-run victory in Mumbai saw Mohammed Shami take five wickets as Sri Lanka was bowled out for just 55. This victory guaranteed India a spot in the semi-finals.
Five noughts were made in Sri Lanka’s miserable innings, as their two openers failed to make the run when they were chasing 358.
Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh, was handed a “timed out” after becoming the first player to receive such a designation in 146 years of international cricket. Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka called Hasan “disgraceful”.
When Mathews stepped out to bat in New Delhi, he was given two minutes to take a strike, but he was declared out.
Shakib declined to take the appeal down.
“I had to take a decision to make sure that my team wins,” he said.
Record-breaker Maxwell — part 2
Australia’s captain Pat Cummins referred to it as “the greatest one-day innings ever played” after his incredible 201 not out helped his side defeat Afghanistan three wickets to advance to the semi-finals in Mumbai.
Prior to Maxwell’s 128-ball innings, which included 21 fours and 10 sixes to become just the third batsman to score a double century in a World Cup, Australia was looking at defeat at 91-7 while needing to chase 292.
Even though he was suffering from back spasms and cramps, which limited him to walking with a limp, he managed to reach the mark. Meanwhile, Afghanistan was disappointed when Mujeeb Ur Rahman failed to make a straightforward catch when Maxwell had only scored 33.
In the Mumbai semi-final victory over New Zealand, Virat Kohli hit the 50th and record one-day international century, describing the achievement as “like a dream”.
After facing 106 balls and hitting eight fours and a six, Kohli, 35, achieved his century, his third of the tournament, with a two off fast bowler Lockie Ferguson. This broke the record of 49 ODI hundreds he had shared with Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar was among those cheering at Wankhede Stadium when Kohli bowed towards his childhood hero and fellow 2011 World Cup winner. He did it on the home pitch of his former India teammate.
Head breaks billion hearts
Australia defeated India by six wickets in the World Cup final to earn their sixth title. Opening batter Travis Head scored 137 runs and produced a breathtaking catch to remove Rohit Sharma.
Before Australia completed their target with seven overs remaining in front of over 90,000 spectators in Ahmedabad, India was bowled for 240.
“That’s huge, that’s the pinnacle in cricket, winning a World Cup, especially here in India, and these are the moments you remember for the rest of your life,” said Pat Cummins, the captain.