On Feb 28, World Cup 2015 completed 15 days. The day had India play UAE and New Zealand play Australia. While India thumped Associates, the hosts played one of the most thrilling game of the tournament, unfortunately only the third close game among the 21 games played so far. 3 Bowlers ruled the two games giving some of the best performances of World Cup, the best one Starc ended on losing side, other two earned MOMs. The losing teams won the toss, elected to bat first, got bowled out at low score. Among the 30 wickets that fell both losing teams lost 20 wickets, and they will think for long about just the one wicket, one that Australia failed to take, and one that UAE took.
Statistics from the Day
- MOMs: Boult (NZ), Ashwin (Ind)
50s: Brendum McCullum and Rohit Sharma
Maidens: 3 Trent Boult (NZ), 2 Umesh Yadav (Ind), 1 Johnson (Aus), Ashwin, Mohit Sharma (Ind) and Guruge (UAE)
Most Economic: 2.30 Umesh Yadav, 2.50 Ashwin, 2.70 Boult
Most Wickets: Boult reached behind Southee on the bowlers with most wickets in World Cup 2015.
Biggest Partnership of the Day: 75* 2nd Rohit, Kohli (vs UAE)
102 by UAE is the lowest score of the tournament so far.
Aus Fail to Grab Last Wicket, Lose to New Zealand
The match of Group A between the hosts was the much awaited close game the World Cup wanted. The hosts did set the ball of thrill run at Eden Park, Auckland where chasing just 152 New Zealand almost lost it needing 6 runs with just 1 wicket in hand.
Electing to bat first, Australia did not have a bad start. Finch (14) went in 3rd over but it was already 30/1. Even in 13th over when Watson (23) fell, it was 80/2. But then the collapse started. Next ball saw Warner (34) and then Boult hit them with 5-wicket haul. Smith (4), Maxwell (1), Mitch Marsh (0), Captain Clarke (12), Johnson (1), Starc (0) all suffered as Aussies reached 106/9. Haddin was left alone with Cummins (7*) and they did fight adding 45 runs for the last wicket before Haddin (41-ball 43 runs with 2 6s and 4 4s fell to Anderson.
Kiwis actually used just three bowlers. Southee (9 overs 2/65), Boult (5/27 in 10 overs) and Vetori (2/41 in 10 overs). Milne (0/6 in 3 overs) and Anderson (1/6 in 0.2) bowled only 3.2 overs as Kiwis bundled Aussies in 32.2 overs.
Kiwis also followed the Australian batting pattern. They were 40 in 3.5 overs when Guptill (11) fell. Brendum McCullum (24-ball 50 runs with 3 6s & 7 4s) took them to 78 in 7.4 but he fell to Cummins. From there the Kiwi collapse started. Ross Taylor (1), Elliott (0), Anderson (42-ball 26), Ronchi (6), Vettori (2), Milne and Southee (both on 0) all went as Starc grabbed 6/28) and Cummins had 2/38 with Maxwell grabbing 1/7. Boult, the last man, faced the hattrick ball from Starc and again saved the match. He faced two probing balls of Starc and let Kane Williamson breathe easy as he was standing at the other end watching the collapse.
Kiwis needed 6 runs. Australia needed 1 wicket. Overs did not matter as only 24th over was about to start. Kane Williamson knew there is no further chance. Cummins bowled the next over. Kane hit a six on the first ball and New Zealand survived at home against their co-hosts Australia.
UAE grabbed Just One Wicket For Memory, Trounced by India
United Arab Emiraes had lost two matches respectably in Group B. But against India, they were facing not only facing their cricketing icons but also a team in crushing form. UAE won the toss and that was all they could. Electing to bat, they were bowled out for 102 runs in 31. 3 overs. Shaiman ANwar (35), their centurion of last match saved them from embarrassing 70-odd run all out.
Ashwin (4/25), Umesh YAdav (2/15), B Kumar (1/19), Mohit Sharma (1/16) and Jadeja (2/23) shared wickets.
Chasing 103 runs, India lost Shikhar Dhawan (14) in 7th over when Rohan Mustafa grabbed a smart catch on the bowling of Mohammad Naveed. Rohit Sharma (55-ball 57 runs with 1 six and 10 4s) and Kohli (41-ball 33 runs in 5 4s) added 75 runs for 2nd wicket to take India home.
Guruge (1/19 with a maiden in 6 overs) was the only impressive performer of UAE. Naveed (1/35), Amjad Javed (0/12), Krishna Chandran (0/17) and Mohammad Tauqir (0/21) could not make any breakthrough.
For the third consecutive match, Indians grabbed all the 10 wickets of the opponents, a no mean achievement by concerns regarding Indian bowling before the tournament started. With clean sheets so far, New Zealand and India remained on top of their respective Points Tally.