Ireland triumphed in one of their most significant T20 cricket matches in Hobart, when it was forecast to rain all day. Ireland eliminated two-time winners West Indies and advanced to the Super-12 round of the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup.
The two players who stood out the most from Ireland’s thrilling performance were legspinner Gareth Delany and leadoff hitter Paul Stirling. Ireland sped to the goal in the 18th over, not allowing their opponents a chance after holding West Indies to 146 for 5. This converted a potentially nerve-wracking chase in a quarterfinal game into a cruise.
The sizable contingent of Ireland supporters who had come out in support erupted into their customary song and dance while enthusiastically waving the Irish flag in windy Bellerive when Lorcan Tucker went out to loft Obed McCoy inside out over extra cover to score the winning runs.
Ireland has only ever advanced to the second round of a T20 World Cup once before, at the 2009 event held in England.
West Indies Struggles
West Indies got off to a bad start, losing Kyle Mayers and Johnson Charles to huge shots while in the powerplay. If offspinner Simi Singh had not given up on a quick return opportunity to knock Brandon King for one in the fifth over, things may have turned even worse.
As the innings went on, it became more and more obvious that certain deliveries, particularly those that were dug in, held up a little bit longer than the others and that the batters needed to adjust their approach. West Indies didn’t really start to take off until the eighth over, when King smashed two boundaries square of the wicket as medium bowler Curtis Campher miscued the length.
They slowly recovered some speed after wandering at a run-a-ball. However, just as they were getting going, Delany made a breakthrough to end a 44-run stand by dismissing a faltering Ewin Lewis with the first of his three strikes for the evening. At 71 for 3 in the eleventh over, Ireland had once more regained control.
Brandon Fight for Win
King, who was unwell and missed the game against Zimbabwe, transitioned into hitting mode with ease and shown no signs of rust. He was serious from the first ball, as he darted out to drill an extra cover drive to the boundary.
In order to keep the strike moving and prevent the bowlers from settling in, he played the fields well, focusing on the small boundaries and pushing gaps. Ireland was briefly shaken by the presence of King and Nicholas Pooran, but when Delany struck—drifting one across such that Pooran could reach out and hit straight to sweeper cover—Ireland was back in the game.
Rovman Powell, a powerful hitter, was tricked by Delany in his third over both in the air and off the pitch. He was caught at deep midwicket while attempting to collect a slog sweep from outside off, towards the longer boundary, in an over that only produced one run. West Indies were suffering at 112 for 5 at the end of Delany’s session, which he concluded with 3 for 16 from four overs.
Stirling The Savior :
Even though it seemed as though they were at least 20 points short of where they would have liked to be, they were ultimately given a late boost thanks to some superb end-overs hitting from King and Odean Smith.
Smith’s record was not very encouraging, as it showed an economy of 11.18 in 11 overs during this period for just three wickets. The record was damaged further by the Ireland captain, who took him on for a sequence of 4,6,4 off his first three deliveries to put him under pressure right immediately. On McCoy, there was more of the same, and the consistent, slower variations continued getting picked off. Ireland had reached 64 runs without losing any wickets in the first six overs of the match before West Indies even realised what had happened.
Stirling broke the tie by smashing Alzarri Joseph for six over the grass banks at deep midwicket. He then brought up his half-century off of just 32 balls by slashing Smith behind point for four in the 12th over of the innings. At this point, the West Indies were on their last legs.
The fact that Smith caught Lorcan Tucker and bowled him in the same over, only to find out afterwards that he had overstepped, encapsulated the day for West Indies. They put their hands on their heads, let out a collective sigh of astonishment, and gradually came to the understanding that they would have to catch a trip back to the United States three weeks sooner than they had planned.
1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy
On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.
Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs
Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.
Sachin Tendulkar with god of cricket Virat Kohli pic.twitter.com/zmztejNBBB— Kevin (@imkevin149) November 2, 2023
An Unforgettable Journey
In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.
Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets
Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.
A Landmark Moment
In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.
Surpassing Preceding Records
Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Legacy of Excellence
Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.
Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
A Testament to Talent and Dedication
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.
ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.
India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation
In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.
India’s Path to World Cup Glory
Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.
Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism
Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli
Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.
In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.
In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.