Cricket World Cup 2019: Top 5 fastest hundreds of the tournament

Cricket World Cup 2019: Fastest hundreds

While the World Cup has seen plenty of tons, which have been the fastest hundreds in the tournament?

1. Eoin Morgan – 57 balls (vs Afghanistan)

All of England’s & Eoin Morgan’s record-breaking 25 sixes in 3 minutes

Batting at Old Trafford, England captain Eoin Morgan took cruise control as he smashed 100 runs off just 57 balls in England’s group stage game against minnows Afghanistan.

Granted, the quality of opposition on the show wasn’t exactly top-notch, but take nothing away from this innings – Morgan broke the record for most sixes by an Englishman in an ODI innings, while at the same time smashing the 4th fastest hundred in World Cup history.

Captain fantastic for sure!

2. Jos Buttler – 75 balls (vs Pakistan)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jos Buttler hits century, gets caught on the very next ball

Earmarked as a batsman’s paradise, Pakistan set England a mammoth 349 to claim victory at Trent Bridge and the hosts came very close indeed, on the back of Jos Buttler’s 75-ball hundred that had the Pakistanis shook. Buttler’s quickfire innings turned out to be the fastest hundred by an English player in ODIs, a record later broken by teammate Eoin Morgan against Afghanistan.

In fact, so devastating was his innings that the opposition began to celebrate wildly as soon as he was dismissed, in the belief that they had all but won the game, which to their credit, they went on to do.

3. Carlos Brathwaite – 80 balls (vs New Zealand)

Carlos Brathwaite claimed an unreal 80-ball hundred against New Zealand, and could anyone believe it was his first ODI ton? Dead and buried at 164/7, Brathwaite propelled his team to within six runs of a victory, only to be caught by Boult at the death to send the Kiwis into raptures.

The Caribbean sensation was inconsolable after the game, but his blistering century sure did provide a fitting consolation.

4. Rohit Sharma – 85 balls (vs Pakistan)

Rohit Sharma eases to a silken century

Having never lost a game against Pakistan in a World Cup finals event, the Indians were at it again. Tormentor-in-chief Rohit Sharma notched up the 3rd fastest hundred by an Indian against Pakistan as India cruised to a target of 228 with considerable ease.

It was a sign of things to come as ‘the Hitman’ eventually ended up as top-scorer at the tournament, although his tournament ended on a rather sour note.

5. Jonny Bairstow – 90 balls (vs India)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jonny Bairstow scores ton to put England in charge against India

Completing the list is Bairstow in fifth position with a 90-ball hundred against the Indian. Bairstow is the 3rd Englishman in the top-5, emphasizing England’s focus on free-flowing cricket and a commitment to playing on the front-foot.

With Pakistan breathing down their necks, the English were in for a do-or-die tie against high-flying India and Bairstow all but cemented their position in the semi-finals with his knock- becoming the first player to hit a ton against the Indians in World Cup 2019.

Cricket World Cup 2019: 5 best bowling spells of the tournament

The Cricket World Cup 2019 was lit up by some fantastic bowling spells, but which ones were the best of the bunch?

 

1. Shaheen Afridi – 6/35 (vs Bangladesh)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Shaheen Afridi castles Glenn Maxwell early

Cut to the start of the tournament and not a soul would have even heard of, let alone bet on Pakistan’s teenage sensation Shaheen Afridi. With the Pakistanis all but out of the tournament, Afridi’s 6/35 breathed life back into a nation so disappointed with their cricketing idols.

Moreover, Shaheen broke a host of records on the way to his 6-for, claiming the best bowling figures by a player at Lord’s, the most number of wickets by a teenager in a World Cup event, as well as the youngest to claim a five-wicket-haul at the home of cricket.

2. Mitchell Starc – 5/26 (vs New Zealand)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Mitchell Starc breaks Glenn McGrath’s record, becomes bowler with most wickets in single edition of CWC

On another day Starc would have been top of the pile, but for Afridi’s spell of teenage brilliance. The Australian, however, has still been the best bowler in the tournament and testament to that was his 5/26 against New Zealand that decimated the Black Caps.

In a game where contemporary Boult claimed a hat-trick, Starc went one step further and wiped out the Kiwi tail to bowl them out for a paltry 157 in response to Australia’s 243.

3. Shakib Al Hasan 5/29 (vs Afghanistan)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan sets record…

The complete all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan’s 5-wicket-haul came against minnows Afghanistan but is still worth a mention, especially considering how he scored a gritty 51 in the same game and then went on to bowl his full quota of 10 overs.

The highlight of his performance was when he claimed the crucial wickets of captain Naib as well as Nabi in the space of three balls to completely turn the tide in his team’s favour and all but win the game for them.

4. Mohammad Amir 5/30 (vs Australia)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Mohammad Amir starts with a bang, dismisses Martin Guptill on his first ball

Another one of the tournament’s best bowlers, Amir claimed career-best figures of 5/30 against the Australians, in a devastating spell. He conceded just a single boundary in his entire spell and crucially claimed both Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch.

Despite all his heroics, the tournament just wasn’t to be for Amir as Pakistan’s late fightback in the competition wasn’t enough to claim a knockout-spot.

5. Jimmy Neesham 5/31 (vs Afghanistan)

WATCH: James Neesham takes catch of the tournament to remove Dinesh Karthik

In the news currently for his World Cup heartbreak against England, one of Neesham’s best moments in the tournament came against Afghanistan – bowling Afghanistan out for a total of just 172 runs.

The all-rounder claimed career-best figures and Neesham along with Lockie Ferguson claimed 9 out of the oppositions 10 wickets.

5 youngsters who can feature in Manchester United’s friendly against Perth Glory

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised a rewind to Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘youth first’ policy at Manchester United. Here, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at 5 youngsters who might feature in the Red Devils’ pre-season opener against Perth Glory.

 

 1. Axel Tuanzebe

The 21-year old English youngster is perhaps the one player everyone – his teammates included – are most excited about seeing on the tour. Tuanzebe spent the entirety of last season on loan at Aston Villa and established himself as first choice under Dean Smith.

The highlight of his season is definitely Villa’s win against Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the play-offs final which secured their return to the Premier League – a game in which he played the entire 90 minutes.

Moreover, with Tuanzebe learning the ropes under former Chelsea captain John Terry – he is the assistant manager at Villa Park, it seems the academy graduate is more than ready to make the jump up to Premier League football at Old Trafford.

2. Mason Greenwood

The youngest member of the travelling squad, much is expected of Mason Greenwood. He was handed a first start in Manchester United’s final game of last season and was described by Solskjaer as their ‘best player’ on the day.

Indeed, the 17-year-old striker managed to hit the bar and did not, at any point of time look out of place amongst the clubs array of stars.

Former Academy coach was quoted as saying – “People describe him as the new Robin Van Persie” – and if Romelu Lukaku is to depart this window, Greenwood could have a serious role to play for the first team.

3. Angel Gomes

One of the most prodigious talents to emerge from United’s academy set-up in recent years, Angel Gomes is another one to look out for. The attacking-midfielder is godson to former United winger Nani and seems set to follow on a similar path.

He is the youngest recipient of United’s famous ‘Young Player of the Year’ award in 2017 and also became the first player born in the 2000s to make a Premier League appearance.

Standing at a mere 5 feet 3 inches – the 18-year old Gomes still has some growing left to do but has been described by contemporaries as ‘similar to Paul Scholes’ in his reading of the game and how he always seems to have that extra second in matches.

4. Tahith Chong 

The Dutch youngster,  at just 19 years of age is one of the most recognizable players in United’s academy, owing partly to his distinctive hairstyle – but more to his natural footballing ability.

Rated as one of Holland’s hottest prospects, he was on the verge of joining Chelsea in 2016 before United snapped him up and he has impressed everyone at the club.

Chong featured sparingly for the first-team last season and unlike Gomes has already grown into his frame – standing at a good 6 feet 1 inch. Definitely one to keep an eye out for!

5. James Garner

Described as a natural leader, Garner captained the England U-17 side that reached the semifinals of the European Championships in 2018. He can play in defence as well as in midfield and has recently penned a contract extension until 2022.

Thought by many as a successor to Michael Carrick, much is expected from the young man who made his first-team debut in a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Cricket World Cup 2019: 3 reasons why India lost the semifinal vs New Zealand

Despite a stellar fightback, the Indians eventually succumbed to the shrewd Kiwis. FOX Sports Asia takes a look at 3 key reasons for India’s loss. 

A total of 3 runs from the top-3

Cricket World Cup 2019: Big blow for India as Rohit Sharma is dismissed in 2nd over of chase vs New Zealand

Rohit Sharma’s dismissal 9 balls into the Indian innings, although ominous, did not, in any way set the alarm bells ringing. Virat Kohli came walking in and as such, it seemed like a welcome opportunity for the Indians to flex their batting muscle, considering the relatively small run-chase that lay ahead.

WATCH: Virat Kohli dismissed soon after Rohit Sharma as India start their chase in dismal fashion

It was only when Kohli fell exactly 7 balls after Sharma’s dismissal that a deafening silence began to envelop the Indian-majority crowd. It took just 3 more balls for KL Rahul to bid adieu and by the time the crowd had managed to catch their collective breaths – India’s top 3 had all been sent back. Within a space of 10 balls – having scored 1 run each.

Cricket World Cup 2019: India down to 5/3 as KL Rahul follows Kohli and Rohit into the pavilion

Considering the fact that India went on to lose by a mere 18 runs, one cannot help but wonder what might have been.

 

Pant and Hardik throw wickets away

Infamous in the IPL as slog over specialists for their respective teams, this was a chance for both Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya to show that they were more than just pinch-hitters. Promoted up the order ahead of Dhoni in an act of questionable wisdom by itself, both were granted one metaphorical extra-life each during the course of their innings.

They failed to make the most of it and instead gave away their wickets cheaply with some unnecessarily flamboyant shots. It’s perhaps a fitting coincidence that both departed for identical scores of 32, in a classic case of ‘so close, yet so far’.

 

Dhoni’s run out

WATCH: MS Dhoni run out chasing a double as India’s chances fizzles out

The stage seemed set for a Dhoni special as the nation waited with bated breath for their 2011 World Cup hero to take the game home, in spite of Jadeja’s departure after a masterful innings.

What was supposed to be a poetic end to Dhoni’s career turned out to be the biggest anti-climax as India’s fastest runner between the wickets was sent back, ironically by a run-out, with 24 required off the 9 balls remaining.

From then on, it was a case of when rather than if for the Black Caps who eventually wrapped the game up with 3 balls to spare.

Not just 2 World Cups, MS Dhoni’s greatest contribution to India is Rohit Sharma-the opening batsman

dhoni rohit sharma

MS Dhoni’s hand in getting the Indian Cricket team to where it is has been invaluable, but does promoting Rohit Sharma to an opener rank as his greatest achievements ever?

From wasted talent to World Cup hero.

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma hits his fifth century, breaks record for most tons in one edition

It has been a 360-degree turnaround for Rohit Sharma, but it hasn’t been overnight. Indeed, it seems to be just yesterday that Sharma was the precocious blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket that you just ‘had to know’.

Selected as a 20-year-old to feature in the T20 World Cup of 2007, when Dhoni had his first taste of success, Sharma’s 50 against South Africa that led India to the semis further cemented his reputation, at a time when contemporaries like Kohli were testing themselves in the waters of youth cricket.

Kohli himself laid bare the hype around Sharma on a popular Youtube series – “Everyone was talking about Rohit Sharma. We thought to ourselves – ‘ We’re youth cricketers too, what’s so special about this one? ‘ That’s when I saw him bat. It immediately became clear to me what the hype was all about! ” 

Sharma’s rise continued post the World Cup, but inconsistency issues dogged him leading to a continued pattern of getting picked – getting dropped, time and again. In fact, it took him until 2010 to get to his maiden ODI century, nearly 3 years following his debut.

Not much later came his lowest point – another inconsistent series just prior to the World Cup 2011 against South Africa meant Sharma would not be playing the World Cup – at home – with the finals scheduled at his very own Wankhede Stadium.

It’s at this point that Harsha Bhogle came up with his famous quote on Sharma – “One day, very soon, Rohit will realise that greatness is not about possessing talent but about having the discipline to summon that talent whenever needed.”

It seemed that Rohit Sharma had caught an inkling of Harsha’s words as post 2013, he set about rebuilding a career that had promised so very much.

Dhoni placed his faith in the much-maligned Sharma for the Champions Trophy 2013, and behind the scenes of India’s success was one of those ‘moments’ – epiphanies whose ripples go on to shape the future for years to come.

The Indian captain at the time, Dhoni asked Sharma to open for India in early 2013, with an eye towards the Champions Trophy later that year, a decision he now considers to be ‘career-changing’ in retrospect.

“I believe the decision to open in ODIs changed my career and it was a decision taken by MS Dhoni. I became a better batsman after that. He (Dhoni) just came up to me and said ‘I want you to open the innings as I am confident that you will do well. Since you can play both cut and pull shot well, you have the qualities to succeed as an opener’.”

Sharma scored two fifties in his opening two innings of the tournament and hasn’t looked back. India went on to win the tournament – at England against England in the finals and Sharma has been a changed man ever since.

A close look at his stats from 2007 – 2013 and from 2013 – 2019 brings forth the startling contrast in Sharma’s game.

From 2007-2013

In a 6 year on-off period, Sharma managed to accumulate only 2 ODI hundreds, a high score of 114, at an average of 30.43. In the 86 innings he played during this time, Sharma managed a paltry total of 1978 runs. To put that into perspective, Rohit Sharma managed to score 1196 runs in the year of 2013 alone.

From 2013-2019

Since changing positions to an opener, Sharma has nearly doubled his batting average – 60.17,  scored 25 ODI hundreds, and has a world-record top score of 264 runs. During the course of 128 innings, he has accumulated 6679 runs.

In a nutshell, Rohit Sharma’s claim about Dhoni’s decision to make him open is by no means an understatement. It has been statistically as well as visibly a career-changing decision for ‘the hitman’. Just a small tweak by ‘Mahi’ opened up a world of opportunities for a young cricketer and it is undoubtedly one of his biggest, if not the biggest contributions to Indian cricket.

It’s something which again brings us back to the ripples of one man’s actions – and how his contribution to Indian cricket goes far beyond just how many runs he can put up on the board as well as how his part in this World Cup 2019 began to play as far back as 2013.

5 records broken by Rohit Sharma in Cricket World Cup 2019 already

India’s Rohit Sharma continued his sensational form in the Cricket World Cup 2019 with another century against Sri Lanka to ensure his team finished top of the table.

Here, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the records  ‘The Hitman’ has broken.

#1 Most centuries in a single edition of the World Cup

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma hits his fifth century, breaks record for most tons in one edition

It was just yesterday that Rohit Sharma stood as a joint record-holder alongside Kumar Sangakkara – the two men with the most centuries in a single edition of the tournament (4 each). But with potentially three more matches to add to his tally, there was barely any doubt that the Indian would claim the record for himself within a matter of days.

Irony is, it was against Sangakkara’s very own team that Rohit decided to break the record. Like it has been throughout the tournament, it was a pleasure to watch him waltz his way towards another hundred and by the time he got out, there he stood – the man with the most centuries in an edition of a World Cup – in a league of his own.

#2 Most runs in the league/group stage of a World Cup

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma continues fine form by hitting half century

While Tendulkar(673) and Matthew Hayden (659) are still ahead of him in terms of the cumulative runs, Rohit has blown both of them out of the water in terms of runs scored in the group phases of a World Cup – 647 runs in the group phase alone is unprecedented.

#3 First Indian batsman to hit three consecutive World Cup centuries

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma on his way to yet another century

Another record where no one comes even close to the man, Sharma also became the first Indian to score three consecutive World Cup tons. In fact, only one other Indian – Virat Kohli, has ever scored three consecutive tons for India and when it comes to World Cups, not a single Indian batsman except him has scored even two tons on the trot.

#4 First player to score 5 World Cup tons against Test playing nations 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma hits ton to stabilize Indian innings

What makes his record even more special is the fact that Sharma’s hundreds in the World Cup have come against quality opposition, the very best of the bunch.

With all due respect, Sourav Ganguly’s 3 hundreds against Namibia and Kenya(2) in the 2003 World Cup, while important at the time, were admittedly against inferior opposition and in this regard, Rohit Sharma once again stands head and shoulders above others.

Bangladesh, South Africa, Pakistan, England and finally Sri Lanka – are all Test playing nations he has scored tons against this World Cup, making him the first player to score 5 tons against Test playing nations in a World Cup finals event. Definitely not a flat track bully!

#5 First player to score 3 consecutive ODI centuries in England

India’s Rohit Sharma ‘not here for records’

Noted for being the true test of a batsman’s ability,  Rohit Sharma can claim to have well and truly mastered the English conditions in this edition of the World Cup.

The tour of England where Virat Kohli famously struggled is still etched firmly in everyone’s mind and even though Kohli came back and conquered the land, for an Indian to dominate the conditions in such a manner is surely unprecedented.

With his century against the Lankans, Rohit Sharma became the first player ever to score 3 consecutive centuries in England and god knows he deserves it.

Cricket World Cup 2019: Team of the league stage

team of league stage

Ahead of the first semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup on the 9th of July, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the best eleven of the tournament so far. 

1. Rohit Sharma

Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma hits his fifth century, breaks record for most tons in one edition

The best batsman in the tournament by a country-mile, Rohit Sharma’s unquestionable ability as a natural has propelled him far above the others in this edition of the tournament.

While the ‘Big 4’ – Kohli, Smith, Williamson and Root have all done admirably, Sharma has been in a class of his own and with potentially two more matches to break the remaining records that stand in his way, he might well stand as the World Cup’s greatest ever batsman by the end of the tournament.

2. David Warner 

WATCH: Cricket World Cup 2019 – David Warner completes his century, Australia set for a big total

Drafted into the team straightaway after the end of his ban, Warner has repaid the faith put in him by the management almost instantaneously.

Slow and steady at the start, his blistering 166 laid down a warning for everyone else that he had well and truly taken “The Ferrari out for a spin” – in the words of Steve Waugh. Australia’s best along with Starc, his inclusion is a no-brainer.

3. Kane Williamson (captain)

Cricket World Cup 2019: Kane Williamson gets to 100* with a six and seals a victory for NZ soon after

A mind-boggling average of 96.20 along with his fine captaincy makes Kane Williamson a shoo-in for the captaincy position in our dream-team.

He has been Mr.Dependable for the Black Caps and his scoresheet makes it all the more obvious – he has managed less than 40 runs only once in his entire World Cup campaign.

4. Shakib Al Hasan 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan sets record…

His status as Bangladesh’s greatest ever had already been confirmed even before a single bowl had been bowled, but what Shakib has done in this tournament has cemented his reputation as one of the World Cup’s finest.

600+ runs and 11 wickets mark him out as the premier all-rounder in the World Cup as well as in our dream eleven.

5. Ben Stokes 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Ben Stokes holds on to one of greatest World Cup catches ever

Ben Stokes’s stunning catch early on in the tournament will be one for the highlights reel but he has proved he is more than just a man of moments in this tournament.

Like Bairstow, his runs have come at crucial times against the very best – India, Australia, South Africa, say no more. Moreover, his ability to get wickets out of nowhere is crucial, more than ever now that his team are into the semi-finals.

6. James Neesham 

Someone who has slightly gone under the radar, with the likes of Williamson, Ferguson and Boult taking the plaudits but make no mistake, Neesham has been just as instrumental. An unbeaten 91 against Pakistan and 5-for against Afghanistan stand out as key moments.

7. Alex Carey

Surely the age of specialists wicket-keepers is far gone by, but Alex Carey makes for a fine remnant of the past era. The Australian wicket-keeper has the most dismissals among keepers in the tournament and has chipped in well with crucial knocks of 38*, 55* and 45 against England, India and West Indies respectively.

8. Jofra Archer 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jofra Archer strikes early; dismisses Karunaratne

As someone who made his international debut just three months prior, Archer has been sensational. Amongst claims of his inclusion being “unfair”, Archer has shut each and every one of his critics up with 17 wickets in his maiden World Cup and – and only his 3rd full month of international cricket. What a player!

9. Mitchell Starc 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Mitchell Starc ends Ben Stokes’s resistance with best yorker of the tournament

With 24 wickets to his name, Starc has left the pretenders well and truly behind. He is in a league of his own and with potentially two more games to add to his tally, he is set to take over McGrath’s record of 26 wickets in a single edition.

10. Jasprit Bumrah 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jasprit Bumrah picks two wickets in two balls to trigger West Indies collapse

The joint third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, Bumrah’s contribution goes way beyond wickets. His economy of 4.48 far betters those of the ones ahead of him in the charts and as far as death-bowling goes, there is no one in the world we would rather prefer to bowl our penultimate over than Jasprit Bumrah.

11. Yuzvendra Chahal 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Yuzvendra Chahal claims third wicket of the match leaving South Africa in tatters

Perhaps not the best of choices, but Chahal has only been included to fulfil the need for an added spinner in the squad. Nevertheless, he is, in fact, the highest wicket-taker amongst spinners and can always spring up a surprise no matter the situation.

Cricket World Cup 2019: Top 5 bowlers of the league stage

Ahead of the first semi-final of the Cricket World Cup on the 9th of July, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at five of the best bowlers so far in the tournament. 

5. Mohammad Amir

Cricket World Cup 2019: Mohammad Amir starts with a bang, dismisses Martin Guptill on his first ball

Wickets: 17
Best figures: 5/30

Pakistan’s up-and-down World Cup campaign ended on a high against Bangladesh, but one man who’s tournament trajectory has only been upwards is Mohammad Amir. His five-for against Australia at an economy of 3.00 was devastating and similar to Jasprit Bumrah for India, Amir is indispensable for the Pakistanis.

Shaheen Afridi may be the name on everyone’s lips at the moment following his tournament-best 6/35 against Bangladesh. But make no mistake, Amir is the spearhead, architect, most-valuable player and everything in between for this crop of Pakistani players.

4. Lockie Ferguson 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Lockie Ferguson gets rid of Faf Du Plessis with a terrific yorker

Wickets: 17
Best figures: 4/37

Coming ahead of team-mate Trent Boult in our list is fellow pacer Lockie Ferguson. Ferguson has been key to the Kiwis making the semis.

The second-fastest bowler as well as joint third-highest wicket-taker at the tournament, such has been his impact that New Zealand’s credibility as potential winners was called into question by fans and pundits alike following his hamstring injury. Fortunately for both, no such question will arise as he should be fit enough to return for the Black Caps’ semi-finals tie.

3. Jofra Archer 

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jofra Archer strikes early; dismisses Karunaratne

Wickets: 17
Best figures: 3/27

For someone who wasn’t even supposed to be in the World Cup squad, Archer has been a revelation. He wasn’t included in the preliminary squad, following which Andrew Flintoff famously claimed he would “drop anyone” to include Archer in England’s roster.

Despite complaints about his inclusion being “not fair”, most notably by fellow team-mate Chris Woakes, the Barbados-born Englishman has shut everyone up with his 17 wicket haul, having made his international debut just three months prior.

2. Jasprit Bumrah

Cricket World Cup 2019: Jasprit Bumrah picks two wickets in two balls to trigger West Indies collapse

Wickets: 17
Best figures: 4/55

India’s pace spearhead has proved at the World Cup exactly why he is the number one ODI bowler in the world with some scintillating performances. He is third only to Mustafizur and Starc in the wicket-takers chart and boasts of a much superior average.

Indeed, Bumrah’s death-bowling has been invaluable and such is his confidence that he cheekily remarked something along the lines of how it “didn’t really matter” who his bowling partner was when questioned on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury earlier in the tournament.

1. Mitchell Starc

Cricket World Cup 2019: Mitchell Starc ends Ben Stokes’s resistance with best yorker of the tournament

Wickets: 24
Best figures: 5/26

Vindicating his decision not to enroll for IPL 2019 to focus on the World Cup, Mitchell Starc has been in sensational form for Australia. Two five-wicket hauls in one World Cup is no mean feat and Starc has now broken his personal record of 22 wickets in the 2015 edition.

With three more wickets, he can break Glenn McGrath’s record of 26 in a single edition but for the man himself – he has his eyes set on the collective prize, admitting the record would mean “not so much” if his side don’t win the cup.

Stats updated till India vs Sri Lanka encounter

Cricket World Cup 2019: Top 5 batsmen of the league stage

Ahead of the first semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup on the 9th of July, FOX Sports Asia looks at five of the best batsmen in the tournament so far. 

5. Jonny Bairstow

Runs: 462
Average: 51.33
Top Score: 111

Despite the fact that Joe Root has scored more runs, Bairstow’s knocks have proved more crucial – none more so than his last two. 106 and 111 runs respectively against India and New Zealand firmly put England in the driver’s seat and in control of their own destiny, when at one point they seemed in danger of missing out.

The best players thrive in the highest of pressure situations and Bairstow is one shining example.

4. Babar Azam 

Runs: 474
Average: 67.71
Top Score: 101*

After being ridiculed by their own fans after their loss against India, Pakistan have shown great character and steel – pushing the Kiwis and England all the way before eventually finishing 5th.

Babar Azam has been the key cog in their wheel – often standing tall when others around him have been faltering, and had a fitting end to the tournament – taking home the record for Pakistan’s top scorer in a single edition of the tournament after breaking Javed Miandad’s record of 437.

3. David Warner 

Runs: 516
Average: 73.71
Top Score: 166

After a stellar comeback in the IPL where he finished with 692 runs at an average of 69.20 in only 12 games, Warner has picked up right where he left off with Australia. After a steady start – Steve Waugh quipped early on in the tournament how Warner ‘hadn’t taken his Ferrari for a spin’ – he has moved up the runs ladder and has been key to Australia’s rise to top of the pile.

In fact, his 166 off Bangladesh made him the first man ever to grab two 150+ scores in World Cup history (he scored 178 against Afghanistan back in 2015.)

2. Shakib Al Hasan

Runs: 606
Average: 86.67
Top Score:  124*

His status back home in Bangladesh was never in doubt but Shakib Al Hasan has also taken the world by storm in this edition of the cup. Not only is he the first player to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a World Cup, but also only the third player ever to pass the 600 runs margin in a single edition of the competition – the other two being Tendulkar and Hayden.

It’s a fitting testament to his undoubted ability that despite not making the semi-finals, his 124* off 99 balls to chase a total of 321 against the Windies will arguably be remembered as this year’s finest innings.

1. Rohit Sharma

Runs: 544
Average: 90.66
Top Score: 140

What more can anyone say about the man? With 4 centuries to his name, Rohit Sharma is two clear of any other batsman in the tournament. Moreover, he now holds the joint-record for the highest number of centuries in a single edition of the tournament, together with Kumar Sangakkara, who managed four as well back in 2015.

A stunning average of 90.66 is second only to Kane Williamson and if the ‘hitman’ manages another century he will equal another record – the most number of centuries in World Cups(cumulative) – currently held by Sachin Tendulkar with 6 centuries to his name.

(Stats updated till Pakistan vs Bangladesh match)

5 IPL flops who have had a successful World Cup 2019

The IPL season was less than memorable for some cricketers, who were subsequently handed a shot at redemption by the Cricket World Cup. FOX Sports Asia takes a look at 5 such IPL flops who have grabbed the chance to reverse their fortunes with open arms.

 

1. Shakib Al Hasan

The Bangladesh all-rounder has well and truly come alive in this World Cup. Notwithstanding his team’s exit from the tournament, Shakib has had a fantastic time – becoming the first player ever to score 500 runs and take 10 wickets in an edition of the World Cup, that too at average of 90.33.

In stark contrast, he had a torrid time in the IPL with the Sunrisers. 3 matches, 9 runs and 2 wickets makes for a grim reading, indicating how he was largely left out of a star-studded line up that boasted of the likes of Williamson, Nabi and Warner, among others.

2. Ben Stokes 

English all-rounder Stokes came into the World Cup on the back of a disastrous IPL season. A miserly total of 123 runs and 6 wickets in 9 games represented his worst return in a 3-year-old IPL career that has been going downhill year on year.

Nevertheless, he was assured of a starting spot for his country and has not disappointed – grabbing 7 wickets and 381 runs, all of which have been crucial in ensuring England do not bow out of the group stages once again.

3. Trent Boult 

Boult openly spoke of his disappointment at not being given opportunities in the IPL post the conclusion of the tournament – with Rabada being Delhi’s preferred spearhead. As a result, his stats naturally give a mediocre reading of 5 games – 5 wickets. An IPL season in which he was not given much chance has however spurred the New Zealand bowler to life in the World Cup.

He has claimed 15 wickets, guiding his team to the semi-finals in tandem with Lockie Ferguson – also becoming the first New Zealand international to take a World Cup hat-trick, a feat which he achieved against the Australians.

4. Kane Williamson

Retained by the Sunrisers after having captained them to the finals in the absence of Warner back in 2018, Williamson’s IPL was a massive let-down. The New Zealand skipper missed the initial games owing to a shoulder injury and in the 9 games he did play, he looked a shadow of himself – scoring just 156 runs.

Conversely, World Cup 2019 has brought out the player in him and at 481 runs he is the 6th highest run scorer – not far behind India’s Rohit Sharma who sits top of the runs chart with 544 runs. Even more impressively, Williamson boasts of the highest average in the tournament – a mind-boggling 96.20.

5. Lockie Ferguson

A couple of steps ahead of Trent Boult for New Zealand is Lockie Ferguson. The 28-year-old has been one of the stars of the tournament, sitting joint-second in the wicket-takers chart with 17 wickets along with Joffra Archer, behind only Mitchell Starc.

IPL 2019, meanwhile, was a different story altogether. Signed to replace Starc and Johnson, Ferguson played only 5 games and claimed an embarrassing 2 wickets at an economy of 10.76 – a nightmare indeed!

5 superstars who might retire after the Cricket World Cup 2019

With rumors of their retirement circulating in full swing, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at which of the premier cricketing superstars of this generation might well hang up their boots at the end of the ongoing Cricket World Cup. 

#1 MS Dhoni 

WATCH – MS Dhoni refuses single on first two deliveries of final over before getting out on third ball vs Bangladesh

After a bizarre inning against England, social media was abuzz with criticism of the former Indian captain. Dhoni loyalist stuck to their guns, using past records as a means to defend their idol but the die had long been cast.

Another lukewarm performance against Bangladesh set tongues wagging once again – but with sources now claiming that the wicketkeeper-batsman would be retiring at the end of the current World Cup. Depending on whether India go all the way as well as on Dhoni’s own performances – it could turn out to be either a nightmare or a dream sendoff for the man from Jharkhand.

 

#2 Lasith Malinga 

“I have fought … I have fought. I am tired now too. I hope to play the Twenty20 World Cup. But I will go back to Sri Lanka after the World Cup and discuss it with the SLC. I will show them what my vision is.”, the Sri Lankan pacer was quoted as saying some days ago and as it stands , his days do appear numbered.

Despite shining for Sri Lanka in this World Cup, the pacer is a far cry from the one who burst onto the scene as a lanky fast bowler, even claiming 4 wickets in 4 balls during the 2007 World Cup. He has declared his dream of playing at the T20 World Cup but with Sri Lankan cricket in serious need of a revamp, whether that dream will be fulfilled remains to be seen.

 

#3 Imran Tahir

Cricket World Cup 2019: Imran Tahir removes Jonny Bairstow on second ball of the match

South Africa’s long-time number 1 spinner will finally call time on his ODI career post the World Cup, or so it seems. Tahir had announced the decision to wrap up his 50-over career after the World Cup as long ago as March, during South Africa’s series with Sri Lanka.

Even though South Africa’s disastrous World Cup denied him the chance of a memorable sendoff, he managed to create some interesting records during the tournament. Not only did he become the oldest player to play a World Cup for South Africa – he even took the first wicket of the World Cup by dismissing Bairstow for a duck. In the process, Tahir also became the first spinner to bowl the first over in a World Cup. Talk about memorable firsts!

#4 Hashim Amla 

South Africa’s failure at the World Cup has put the spotlight on the senior members of the team – none more so than Hashim Amla. Having picked up the pace in recent matches, Amla failed to deliver, however – when it mattered the most.

Amla’s scores of 13, 6, and 6 in South Africa’s opening 3 games cost the Proteas dear as they further cemented their ‘choker’ reputation. Captain Du Plessis has reaffirmed Amla’s commitment to keep going despite calls for him to retire and in stark contrast to compatriot Tahir, Hashim Amla’s future post Cricket World Cup 2019 is far from clear.

#5 Chris Gayle 

The self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ has had a decent World Cup, even though the Windies have been embarrassed by the huge gulf in class.

Gayle had confirmed his decision to retire from ODI’s back in February but appears to have performed a sensational u-turn – indicating his desire to play ‘at least one’ test match against India, as well the ODI series against them. However, he last played a test match 5 years ago and such outlandish claims may well be without any substance in them. With Chris Gayle though, you just never know.

2034 FIFA World Cup in ASEAN: The stadiums that will be eligible to host the tournament

FIFA World Cup ASEAN

A joint-bid from the ASEAN nations to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup was confirmed on the 23rd of June, 2019 by Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha.

A quick look at sporting infrastructure in Southeast Asia shows that seven ASEAN nations at present have the facilities to host the quadrennial showpiece, while Philippines, Laos and Brunei Darussalam will miss out if they cannot create better infrastructure ahead of the World Cup.

Here, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the stadiums which could be eligible to host the matches at the 2034 World Cup if the bid is successful.

Indonesia

1. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium

Once touted as one of the largest stadiums in the world with a capacity of 110,000, Gelora Bung Karno’s capacity has twice been reduced during renovation, once in 2006 for the AFC Asian Cup 2007 and then as part of restructuring for the 2018 Asian Games (as well as the Asian Para Games). It is the home of the Indonesia national football team and the largest stadium by capacity in the country.
Location: Jakarta
Capacity: 77,193
Year of opening: 1960

2. Gelora Bandung Lautan Api Stadium


The literal translation of the name is ‘Bandung Sea of Fire Sports Arena Stadium’. It is a state-of-the-art stadium owned by the provincial government and acts as the home ground for Indonesia Liga 1 giants Persib Bandung, who also plays at the smaller capacity Si Jalak Harupat Stadium nearby.
Location: Bandung
Capacity: 38,000
Year of opening: 2016.

3. Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium


Named after national hero Bung Tomo, the stadium was built as a replacement for Gelora 10 November Stadium. It is the second-largest stadium in Indonesia by capacity and is home to the Persebaya Surabaya.
Location: Surabaya
Capacity: 55,000
Year of opening: 2010.

4. Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium

Also known as the Stadion Jakabaring Palembang, it was constructed to host the 2004 Indonesian National Games. Named ‘Sriwijaya’ to honour the famous Indonesian Empire, it is home to Sriwijaya FC, who were recently relegated to the second division of Indonesian football. With a capacity of only 23,000, the stadium will require a major renovation and increase its capacity by at least 17,000 if it is to host the World Cup.
Location: Palembang
Capacity: 23,000
Year of opening: 2004

Malaysia

1. Bukit Jalil National Stadium

The largest of all the stadiums in the ASEAN nations, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium could be the crux of the ASEAN bid to host the 2034 World Cup. It is the ninth largest football stadium in the world and is home of the Malaysian national football team.
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Capacity: 87,411
Year of opening: 1998

2. Stadium Shah Alam


The second-largest stadium in Malaysia, the Shah Alam Stadium, interestingly, is home to 3 teams – PKNS FC, Selangor FA and PDRM FA. It has hosted many famous European teams, with Dundee United playing against Selangor FA at it’s inauguration and most recently Arsenal playing a Malaysia XI team in 2011 as part of it’s Asia tour.
Location: Selangor
Capacity: 80,372
Year of opening: 1994

3. Sultan Ibrahim Stadium (Under construction)


Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) under construction stadium, due to be completed later this year is also expected to be FIFA-approved, although delays have pushed back the date of it’s completion by over a year.
Location: Iskander Puteri
Capacity: 40,000
Year of opening: 2019 (expected)

Thailand

1. Rajamangala Stadium

Initially constructed for the 1998 Asian Games, it has since become the home of the Thailand national football team. The Rajamangala Stadium is also the national stadium of Thailand and the largest stadium in the country – which is host to most of the major international footballing events in the nation.
Location: Bangkok
Capacity: 49,722
Year of opening: 1998

2. Buriram Stadium


Known as the ‘Chang Stadium’ owing to sponsorship reasons, the Chang Arena is the home to Buriram United FC. The Thunder Castle Stadium recently hosted the King’s Cup 2019 in which Curacao emerged as the winners defeating Vietnam in the final.
Location: Buriram
Capacity: 32,600
Year of opening: 2011

Singapore

1. National Stadium

The National Stadium in Kallang was opened in 2014 replacing the old National Stadium at the same site. The stadium hosts a string of events including in football, cricket, rugby and athletics and is part of the Singapore Sports Hub.
Location: Kallang
Capacity: 55,000
Year of opening: 2014

Cambodia

1. Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium


It is a multipurpose-stadium which is the home of the Cambodia national football team. Interestingly, despite it’s name, the stadium has never hosted an Olympic Games.
Location: Phnom Penh
Capacity: 50,000
Year of opening: 1964

2. Stadium at Morodok Techo National Sports Complex


Work on a new stadium in Phnom Penh, which is being funded by China PR is ongoing and in expected to be completed by 2020 – part of Cambodia’s venues for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games.
Location: Phnom Penh
Capacity: 55,000
Year of opening: 2020 (expected)

Vietnam

1. My Dinh National Stadium


It is the home to the Vietnam national football team and the only FIFA-approved stadium in the country. It hosts almost all of the international footballing events scheduled in the country and has also famously hosted games involving European teams – the most recent ones being Vietnam vs Manchester City in 2015 and Vietnam vs Arsenal in 2013.
Location: Hanoi
Capacity: 55,000
Year of opening: 2003

Myanmar

1. Thuwunna Stadium


Like Vietnam, Myanmar has only one stadium that meets FIFA standards – the Thuwunna Stadium which is home to it’s national team and host to most international and national events.
Location: Yangon
Capacity: 32,000
Year of opening: 1985

5 replacements for Brazil star Neymar at the Copa America

Neymar lying down in pain after being tackled by Qatar defender

Chelsea’s Willian has been called in as the official replacement for the injured Neymar at the Copa America, but who can actually fill up for the Brazilian superstar’s influence on the pitch?

5. Vinicius Jr.

Vinicius Jr

The ‘Junior’ appended to the end of their respective names isn’t the only similarity between the two stalwarts, with their journey from Brazilian super-clubs to the two Spanish giants also drawing comparisons.

It doesn’t end there – Vinicius’s running with the ball is as similar to Neymar’s as someone’s can ever be and if there is a youngster in world football who can step into his shoes, it’s none other than the Real Madrid man.

Overlooked due to his relative inexperience as well as recent injury, there is no doubt Vinicius’ time will come sooner or later.

4. Everton Soares

Gremio forward Everton Soares opened his international account for Brazil in their 3-0 victory over Bolivia with a screamer and has already set tongues wagging with many comparing him to former captain Neymar.

Not one to shy away, the striker has declared he would ‘fit in well’ at European clubs, singling out Manchester United in particular.

To earn a move however, he must first successfully fill in Neymar’s void – that too by continuing to make telling contributions from the bench, considering how his chances of being awarded a starting spot are relatively slim.

3. David Neres

David Neres in action for Brazil
 

The Ajax hitman is coming off the back of a stunning season in the Eredivisie and has been Tite’s first choice in Brazil’s first two games.

Despite failing to make the Champions League finals after an unbelievable collapse in the semis, Ajax went on to claim the domestic crown and Neres must now channel the experience to lift his game on the international stage.

There can be no better way to repay the coach’s trust than to perform and if Neres is to ever become the talisman for his side on the international stage, the moment is now.

2. Richarlison

Everton forward Richarlison
 

Everton’s go-to man has slowly but steadily worked his way into the Brazilian team and like for his club side, he is also indispensable for his national team.

Richarlison’s goal threat and unique play-style make him a player whose ilk Brazil do not possess at the moment and like Neres, he has started the opening two games.

He is a mere 22 years of age and it was a similar moment in the 2014 World Cup when Neymar too – the the age of 22, first came to the fore as the Selecao’s main man, before an injury ended his and his country’s World Cup dream.

If Richarlison wants to emulate his former captain, the stage, as well as the age, is perfect.

1. Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus and Brazil were frustrated by Venezuela
 

Goals win games and in terms of goals, there is no one better placed to match Neymar than Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City man has the highest number of goals for Brazil amongst players in the list bar none and is also one of Tite’s trusted comrades.

He started all of Brazil’s games at last year’s World Cup and even though he is yet to start one in this tournament – it’s him that the gaffer turns to first whenever in need of assistance from the bench.

Such is the player’s nonchalance and self-assurance that it wouldn’t be far from the truth to state how Neymar’s own pick for a replacement, if asked for one, would zero in on Jesus.

Cricket World Cup 2019: 5 talking points from India’s thrilling victory over Afghanistan

Following India’s last-over victory over the Afghans at the Rose Bowl, FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the key talking points.

Indian openers falter for the first time

India’s opening pair had been key to their first three victories – whether it be the destructive Rohit-Dhawan combination or the more measured duo of Rahul and Rohit. It was no surprise then, when Kohli opted to bat after winning the toss.

Not to mention, this was a Rose Bowl track where England had scored 361 against Pakistan just prior to the commencement of the World Cup. Who’s to say India wouldn’t be able to surpass that against the Afghans?

Rohit Sharma’s wicket was the first shocker – Mujeeb’s delivery beating him all end’s up and kissing the top of the stumps. Rahul fared a little better – managing a 50-odd partnership with Kohli before being caught at short third man following an audacious reverse sweep off Nabi.

Rashid comes back strong after England debacle

After being taken apart by the English in Afghanistan’s previous game – he went for 110 runs in nine overs, the onus was on Rashid Khan to come back strong and the man delivered. On a track that had certainly something in it for the spinners, Rashid took full advantage.

He got the dangerous MS Dhoni out, although truth be told, it was more of a favor to the Indians considering he was scoring at almost a run every two balls. More than that, however, it was the fact that he went for a miserly 38 off his 10 overs that was most important in restricting the Indians to a paltry 224 runs.

Batsmen except Kohli and Jadhav fail miserably

It would be fair to say that all Indian batsmen bar Kohli and Kedhar Jadhav were schooled by Afghanistan’s bowling attack which, with due respect, isn’t exactly world class. The Indian captain continued his strong start to the tournament without being spectacular and guided the Indian innings nicely after the opening pair faltered.

It was a pity that he wasn’t able to bat through the innings and India’s reliance on him was bared for all to see post his dismissal – they managed only 88 runs in the 19.3 remaining overs after Kohli’s dismissal, a bulk of which were scored courtesy of Kedar Jadhav’s fighting 52(off 68).

No Bhuvi? No problem for world’s best Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah’s brutally honest reply to Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury was a welcome indication of where his confidence is at the moment, even if a little brash. When posed a question regarding Kumar and his injury, Bumrah curtly replied he was not in the slightest affected by the identity of his bowling partner and followed it up with a demonstration in this game.

Just when it looked like Afghanistan were taking the game away from India, Bumrah struck with a double wicket-maiden to swing the game back in his team’s favour. India’s total, which seemed attainable just six balls prior, was suddenly looking mammoth.

Hat-trick hero Shami puts the game to bed

Nabi’s boundary off the first ball of the last over made Indians all over the world skip a beat but it was Shami who got the blood pumping through their veins when he dismissed Nabi first before going on to claim a hat-trick.

With every team bar New Zealand and India having lost at least one game in this tournament, Shami’s heroics ensured the Indians kept pace with the Kiwis and came through unscathed from what was their first real test in this tournament in terms of a perilous match situation.