Recapping the T20 World Cup

The T20 World Cup is one of the most anticipated tournaments in Cricket, and fans were distraught when it was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year saw the tournament’s return, as 16 teams would go on to compete for the coveted ICC T20 World Cup Trophy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.

It wasn’t guaranteed to go ahead though. With the original tournament due to be hosted in Australia and it being one of the toughest countries in terms of lockdown restrictions, they cancelled the tournament. It was then due to take place in India this year, before COVID cases began to rise rapidly, and a quick decision was made to move the tournament to the UAE and Oman.

The tournament consists of 16 teams that compete across three stages. The eight lowest ranked sides compete in two groups of four, with the top two from each group progressing to the Super 12, where they will join the top ranked sides that qualify automatically. From there, tournaments will again compete in two groups of six, with the top two from each making it to the playoffs, consisting of two semi finals, and a final.

Going into the tournament, the usual countries Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa were all amongst the favourites to win. None of whom started in the initial group stages as they were already amongst the top ranked sides. You can check out this Heritage sports review if you feel like trying your luck on sports betting. You can read about the sign up process, banking, depositing, and withdrawing your winnings. 

So let’s see how things unfolded…

Group Stages

Ireland, Namibia, the Netherlands and Sri Lanker made up Group A, with Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland making up Group B. Each team would play the three others from their group, with the top two progressing to the Super 12. With many of their stars already playing for top teams in the IPL and the UK, Ireland and Scotland were two of the favourites to progress.

And Scotland did so, winning all three of their games in convincing fashion, topping Group B and securing their place. Second in their group would go to Bangladesh, who only lost the one match to the group leaders, securing wins against one of the host nations Oman, and also Papua New Guinea.

Group A also had a dominant team as well, as Sri Lanka, a country known for producing some of the best cricketing talent in the world, also won all three of their opening fixtures. However, it would be Namibia who would also qualify over one of the group favourites Ireland, as they achieved 126/2, securing victory with 8 wickets and 9 balls left.

Super 12

The Super 12 was again split into two groups, with Australia, Bangladesh, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Group One, and Afghanistan, India, Namibia, Pakistan, Scotland and New Zealand in Group Two. The stage got off to a great start with two of the tournament favourites facing off against one another in South Africa vs Australia. And it would be with just 2 balls left that Australia claimed a 121/5 victory.

However, it would be neither of those sides who would top the first group, with England reigning supreme over the other five teams. But it was close, especially when South Africa claimed victory over England in the last round of group games, as three teams all had an even record. So it eventually came down to Net Run Rate (NRR) to decide where each team placed. England came out on top with an NRR of +2.464, Australia finished second with an NRR of +1.216 and South Africa narrowly missed out with their NRR of +0.739.

In the other group, Pakistan dominated heavily, winning all five of their games, with New Zealand settling for second place with a slightly better win record of 4-1 than India’s 3-2 record sitting them in third place. However, following the Super 12 games, it would be England with their arguably more difficult group and higher NRR that would put them into contention as tournament favourites going into the finals alongside Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand.

Semi Finals

In a rematch between two sides who met in the 2019 Cricket World Cup Final, which was one of the most exciting games of cricket ever witnessed, we had England taking on the Kiwi Army. However, the tournament favourites going into the final couldn’t pull off another miracle like the one they did at Lord’s, and instead, went out after being beaten by 167/5. But it was incredibly close, with only 6 balls left before New Zealand surpassed England’s score.

In the other Semi, the undefeated Pakistan would see their run come to an end, despite having set an incredibly high 176/4 from 20 overs. But in just one over less, Australia managed to surpass that score and sealed their place in the final with a 177/5. It was very close in the later stages of the game, and nerves could be felt around the stadium, but ultimately the Aussies triumphed.

Final

Having originally been meant to host the tournament, it was only fitting that Australia would make the final. But it wouldn’t be an easy contest as they would take on a tough New Zealand team that beat some top opposition along the way. Both teams were looking for their first ever T20 World Cup title, which may be a little surprising to some considering how dominant the two countries have been in other variations of the sport.

New Zealand started the batting, and racked up an impressive 172/4. A tough target to catch in any normal T20 game, never mind in a World Cup final. New Zealand got off to a decent start too, managing to catch out the Australian captain Aaron Finch early on. But despite bowling out David Warner later on, they failed to really cause any trouble for the Aussies. Quite often they gave them soft bowls that Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell were able to take advantage of.

And before long, the Australian team were celebrating as they surpassed New Zealand’s score, ending the day on 173/2. Winning the final, and claiming their first World Cup title by eight wickets and seven balls left.

What now?

The T20 World Cup should return next year, as organisers look to get things back on schedule. Making this the shortest reign of a champion in the history of the competition, unless Australia can go back-to-back with their title. But what will be more exciting after that, when the tournament returns to its two-year circuit, is that the tournament will be increasing the number of teams involved from 16 to 20. Meaning a more competitive tournament, and more importantly, more cricket to watch.

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