Over the past week, India have shown themselves to be the best team in the tournament, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Pakistan have kept the battle for fourth place alive and England have finally been knocked out.
India continue to dominate
Coming into the World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries would have been on Virat Kohli’s mind. Kohli needed two centuries to equal the record, which he has now achieved after an exceptional innings against South Africa on his 35th birthday.
Kohli after equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries
India won emphatically, ensuring they will finish top of the group, winning eight out of eight so far. They have been comfortably the best team of the tournament.
A key reason for this has been their bowling attack, which was once again on top form against South Africa. While Kohli will take the headlines because of his record-equaling knock, Ravindra Jadeja was excellent, taking five wickets as South Africa were bowled out for just 83 runs.
Jadeja and Kohli embrace after South Africa are bowled out for 83
The victory came days after their demolition job of Sri Lanka, in which they bowled their opponents out for 55. Incredibly, Sri Lanka’s top five batters achieved a combined total of two runs.
The destructive performances of the India bowlers in recent games will soften the blow of the news that Hardik Pandya has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament. In his absence, Mohammed Shami has come into the attack and taken 16 wickets in four games, in which he has only actually bowled 26 overs.
South Africa thrash injury hit New Zealand
Earlier in the week, New Zealand began to lose their grip on the semi-final spots in a devastating loss to South Africa.
Quinton de Kock continued his imperious form, scoring another century and becoming the first South African to reach 500 runs in an ODI World Cup as South Africa posted 357 runs for New Zealand to chase.
De Kock is the top scorer in the World Cup so far with 550 runs
Rassie Van der Dussen top scored with 133 runs. He has also been excellent this tournament in the shadow of de Kock.
During the South Africa innings Matt Henry, New Zealand’s best bowler of the tournament so far suffered a hamstring injury and has since been ruled out of the tournament.
This adds to New Zealand’s aggravating list of injury problems. Kane Williamson and Tim Southee have just returned from injuries and Mark Chapman is playing but nursing a calf issue. Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham have also both been ruled out with respective hamstring and wrist issues.
Pakistan keep the race for fourth place alive
After a comfortable victory against Bangladesh on Tuesday, Pakistan controversially beat New Zealand in a crucial game for semi-final qualification on Saturday.
New Zealand posted an impressive 401 for Pakistan to chase after another century from the breakout star of the tournament Rachin Ravindra and a 95-run innings from the recently recovered Kane Williamson.
Pakistan were aided in their chase by the rain. They started well, racing to 160-1 before the weather brought their innings to a halt. Only four more overs were able to be bowled and Pakistan finished on 200-1, thanks to a devastating 126 run innings off just 81 balls from Fakhar Zaman.
Pakistan won by 21 runs according to the DLS method thanks to Fakhar Zaman’s innings
After Afghanistan’s comfortable victory against the Netherlands on Friday, this result has left the race for fourth spot wide open.
If Afghanistan beat Australia on Tuesday, they will be in pole position for a historic fourth place finish. It is a tall order as Australia are on form, but they have been the story of the tournament so far and should be everyone’s favourite team going into the last round of fixtures.
Zampa finishes England off
England are finally mathematically out of the World Cup, after another tame batting performance against Australia. The Aussies have now all but secured their place in the semi-final with the win.
Before the game, Glenn Maxwell was injured in a freak golf buggy incident and Mitchell Marsh had to fly home for personal reasons. This may have contributed to Australia’s disappointing score of 286 all out.
But England ‘s chase was even worse.
Adam Zampa bowled excellently, producing figures of 3-21 from his 10 overs. He stalled the England chase well and took the key wickets of Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali at times when England looked to be in a good position to complete the chase. Having piled on 29 runs from 19 balls in the first innings, Zampa proved to be the difference between the two teams.
Zampa is now the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 19 wickets
England did bowl well; Chris Woakes was the pick of the bowlers with 4-54, David Willey also bowled well and Adil Rashid was once again excellent with figures of 2-38.
No matter how bad England are, Adil Rashid always seems to perform, he has bowled exceptionally well this World Cup while others around him have crumbled under the pressure.
Controversial Matthews dismissal takes centre stage in fiery contest
The Bangladesh v Sri Lanka match was something of a dead rubber, with neither team realistically able to qualify for the semi-finals.
However, during Sri Lanka’s innings Angelo Matthews was given out before he had even faced a ball. He was timed out, and is the first batter in professional history to be given out in this manner.
He had issues with his helmet and took too long to be ready to face his first ball. The rules state that if you are not ready to face your first ball within two minutes of the start of your innings, then you should be given out.
Tune in to Wednesday’s episode of the Sports Gazette’s One Short Podcast to hear our thoughts on the contentious issue.