The Cricket World Cup 2015 concluded today, with Australia winning their fifth title in a one-sided game. It all began on 14th of February 2015, with 14 participating teams.
Split into two groups the top four teams from each group marched into the quarter finals. The quarter finals were played with much fanfare, and India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand came out tops.
The South Africa – New Zealand semi-final was a thriller with the game being decided in the last over with two balls to spare. The India-Australia semi-final was a one-sided affair.
In my opinion, India were capable of beating Australia's score of 328 in the semi-final, but did not pace themselves well. Indian openers started well, but the gates got open on one side with Shikar Dhawan mistiming a shot in the 13th over. India were doing well and all the openers had to do was pace themselves every ten overs and target a specific score to achieve the end result. That rush of blood decision from Shikar, opened the flood-gates for Australia to apply pressure and the rest is history.
The finals played in the beautiful and huge Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with a record crowd of close to 92,000 people was watched by both Australian and New Zealand supporters. New Zealand started off by winning the toss and electing to bat first. Right from the begining, New Zealand applied pressure of themselves with skipper Bredon McCullum, in a hurry to score 100 runs in 3 balls. Almost recovering and losing two more wickets by the 12th over, did not help the New Zealand innings. The Australian bowlers with an excellent on field support applied the right pressure to restrict the New Zealand innings to 183.
Now 183 is a magic number in World Cup Cricket. Who can forget the famous Indian victory in 1983 when India defended the score of 183 to win their first world cup title.
Hence the score of 183 was expected to be defended by New Zealand. But Australia with huge home support, managed to win by 7 wickets by scoring the required run in 33 overs. It was a disappointing finals, as New Zealand were expected to emulate their form in the group and semi-final stages. It looked like New Zealand did not have a plan and tried to apply a similar strategy as they had during the group stages against Australia.
In the end Australia was a determined side and showed their hunger right from the start, to complete a memorable win and add another world cup title in addition to the four they already have.
The next World Cup will be in 2019 and hosted by England and Wales from 30th May – 15th July. That will be the 12th WC competition, and the fifth time to be held in England and Wales.
In conclusion, I would like to sign-off with my Congratulations and best wishes to Australia for winning the cup. This also happened to be the last One International for Australian skipper Michael Clarke. My best wishes to him for his future endeavor.