The inaugural match of the Super 12s lived up to all the hype and expectations of the fans as Australia edged past South Africa by five wickets in a low-scoring encounter at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
After being asked to bat first, South Africa were jolted early in the innings as their skipper Temba Bavuma was dismissed in the second over by Glenn Maxwell for 12. A disciplined bowling performance by the Australian outfit resulted in a flurry of wickets in the middle overs. Despite a valuable contribution of 40 runs by Aiden Markram, South Africa were restricted for 118/9 in their quota of 20 overs. In reply, Steve Smith anchored the innings with a well compiled 35 off 34 deliveries to lay a solid foundation in the run chase. Marcus Stoinis, coming in at number six scored a quickfire 26 off 14 deliveries to guide the team over the line in the opening game.
In the evening encounter, England dismantled West Indies by six wickets at the Dubai International Stadium, courtesy of a four-wicket haul from Adil Rashid. The leg spinner wreaked havoc in the middle overs and returned with figures of four for two to bundle out the Windies for 55 runs in the first innings. In reply, despite losing four wickets, Jos Buttler anchored the innings with an unbeaten 24 off 22 deliveries to propel the side home with 70 balls to spare. Here are a few of the notable stats from the two matches.
Wickets tumble in the powerplay
South Africa endured a dismal start to the game as they lost three quick wickets inside the field restriction with only 29 runs on the board. While Bavuma was undone by a straighter delivery, Rassie van der Dussen got a beauty from Josh Hazlewood on the first ball of the third over. With two quick wickets, the onus of the side relied heavily on Quinton de Kock in this crucial clash. However, the southpaw was dismissed for seven in an unusual fashion as he tried to play towards the leg side but the ball managed to hit the thigh pad and roll onto the stumps. The batting unit of the South African side were reeling at 23/3 in the fifth over and crawled their way to 29/3 in the first six overs, which is the third-lowest total for them in the powerplay at a world event. In the 2012 edition of the competition, 28/2 against Pakistan at Colombo is on top of the table as their worst performance inside the field restrictions.
South Africa slump to their lowest total in the World Cup
A dismal performance by the top order in the powerplay resulted in enormous pressure on the batting unit of the Proteas. After tottering at 29/3 in the first six overs, South Africa failed to stitch a significant partnership and lost wickets at regular intervals. Despite a fightback from Markram with a valuable 40, they managed to post a fighting score of 118/9 in the first innings, which is their second-lowest in the World Cup. They endured a horrific outing in the inaugural edition of the competition against India and posted 116/9 at Durban, which is their lowest total.
Shamsi weaves his magic
The leading bowler in the ICC rankings in the shortest format of the game, Tabraiz Shamsi, produced an economical spell and returned with figures of 1/22 in his four overs. The 31-year old picked up the prized wicket of Glenn Maxwell to give South Africa a glimmer of hope in the contest. The wicket also resulted in Shamsi scalping 29 wickets in a calendar year, which is the most by a spinner. Shadab Khan from Pakistan is second on the list with 28 wickets in the 2018 season.
Shattered at the start
After being asked to bat first, Evin Lewis teed off with a six in the first over. But, that was the last of the smiles for the West Indies. Trying to replicate the same shot against Chris Woakes, Lewis found Moeen Ali at mid-off. This triggered the collapse as they lost wickets in quick succession and ended up at 31/4. In their World Cup history, West Indies have lost four or more wickets inside the powerplay of a non-curtailed match for the first time.
Slumped to the lowest score
This wasn’t the start that the defending champs wanted, especially against a team they have a 100 percent record in T20 World Cup. An initial stutter that didn’t stop throughout saw West Indies score only 55 runs before they lost all their ten wickets. In T20 World Cup, this is the third lowest score and the lowest by a Test-playing nation. In overall T20Is, only once has West Indies scored lower than this, which came against the same opposition in Basseterre in 2019 when they scored 45.
From ball one, Adil Rashid was right on the money. The wicket of Andre Russell off his first delivery set the tone for him. In the next over, he picked up the big wicket of Kieron Pollard and Obed McCoy. In his third, he finished off the West Indies innings with the wicket of Ravi Rampaul. With four wickets for just two runs, Rashid registered the second most economical spell in T20 World Cup and his personal best T20I bowling figures. It doesn’t end there; his spell of four wickets for two runs is also the best for an England bowler in T20Is. Chris Jordan held the record prior to him when he had bagged four for six runs against West Indies in Basseterre in 2019.
England start the T20 WC campaign with a big winA collective performance from their bowlers helped England bundle out West Indies for 55. This was their best chance to enhance the net run rate in their first match itself. Despite making an attempt to chase it down as early as possible, England lost four quick wickets. However, skipper Eoin Morgan and Buttler guided them over the line and recorded a thumping win in the first ten overs. This is the first time in T20Is that they have won the game with ten or more overs to spare. Hence, this 70-ball win is their biggest in T20Is. In addition, this is also the biggest defeat West Indies have suffered in T20Is.
England notch up their maiden win against Windies
In the history of the T20 World Cup, England and West Indies have competed in five matches, with the Windies winning all of them, including the famous final of the 2016 edition of the competition. However, on the opening day of the Super 12s, England produced a clinical performance to register their first win against the defending champions in the high-voltage tournament.