After 45 games of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the group stage is complete, and the final four now know who will play who in the semi-finals. The suspense remained till the very last over of the last match as South Africa provided a late twist to the tale.
Australia, India, England and New Zealand knew prior to Saturday’s final group matches that they would be in the top four and all that was to be decided was the end of group standings.
India’s seven wicket win over Sri Lanka at Headingley ensured that they ended on a winning note and leapfrogged Australia after their 10 run defeat by South Africa.
|New Zealand (Q)||9||5||3||1||+0.175||11|
And here is how the two semi-finals will look this week.
Semi-final 1 – India vs New Zealand
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Day: 9 July, Tuesday
Time: 3 pm IST
India’s win over Sri Lanka and Australia’s defeat by South Africa meant that India topped the group and face fourth place New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
It will be an intriguing match-up as these two sides have not played each other at this World Cup. Their game at Trent Bridge on June 13 was abandoned without a ball bowled.
India finished the group stage with just one defeat – to England – to finish on 15 points from their nine matches. While after a good start to this World Cup, New Zealand lost three games – to Pakistan, Australia and England – and ended on 11 points from their nine games.
Rohit Sharma is India’s dangerman with the bat with 647 runs in the group stage while Black Caps captain Kane Williamson has 481 runs.
Semi-final 2 – Australia vs England
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Day: 11 July, Thursday
Time: 3 pm IST
The meeting of the oldest rivals in cricket for a place in the World Cup final.
Australia’s defeat in their final game to South Africa means they slipped down to second at the end of the group stages and set up a meeting with England.
Aaron Finch’s men beat England by 64 runs at Lord’s at the end of June.
On that day, Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field and restricted Australia to 285/7 from their 50 overs.
But Australia’s Jason Behrendorff set about defending that total and finished with figures of 5/44 as England were bowled out for 221.
Captain Finch (507) and David Warner (634) have been Australia’s stars with the bat while Joe Root (500) and Bairstow (462) are England’s leading run scorers.
With the ball Mitchell Starc has 26 wickets at this World Cup, while England’s Jofra Archer has 17.
Final: July 14, Lord’s
(With inputs from ICC Media Zone)