Group A and Group B provided contest between 7 teams each and 21 games were played between both teams. But, while the last matches of Group A were played to decide the ranking of final four, Group B matches went down to almost the last day to decide the top four for quarter-final.
Group A – One-sided Matches
Group A was unlucky to have neither an England nor an Ireland or Bangladesh who could spice up the group matches. To make the matter worse the much awaited Sri Lanka and Australia match was washed out. And other ‘Tough’ matches were not so closely fought. Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka and Australia with ease, although the winning margin would not indicate so. Australia sent New Zealand to cricket training academy. New Zealand punished Pakistan at the right time for topping the table, although later Pakistan reached the top.
Group B matches were Intense
Group B, on the other hand, opened on a high note. In the first match Bangladesh looked like reaching the high Indian total of 370. They did fail, but match was interesting. England played two very intense matches with South Africa and West Indies to win. They also played one of the most memorable tie with another title contender India. India also played two very close matches with South Africa and West Indies, losing first and winning another. South Africa and West Indies match was the only one-sided match.
Group A Minnows
In Group A, even the matches between minnows – Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya – were not closely fought. Zimbabwe crushed the other two minnows. Canada did not let Kenya fight. Overall the three minnows were no match to any of the top four teams – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. Their performances do support the decision of removing the minnows from World Cup matches.
Group B Minnows
Group B minnows – Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherland – played intense matches between them. The only easy match was on display when Bangladesh defeated Netherlands. Otherwise the three played hard-fought matches. The three teams – except Bangladesh – played tough matches against the top four teams – South Africa, India, England and West Indies – also. Bangladesh did provide an upset win against England. But Isn’t the Bangladesh team known for such results since a decade now!! They will provide one or two upset and then start celebrating as if they have won the tournament. As a result they are thrown out of the tournaments much sooner than expected.
Group B, as a result, takes honour of maximum leading scores. Among the top 10 run scorers, only two batsmen are from Group A. Among top wicket takers, the top honours appear equally shared.
The highest run scoring team in an inning was India. Maximum 300 were scored from Group B and 300 was chased twice successfully in Group B. Yet, due to the one-sided matches Group A has the maximum results of biggest victories.