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ICC World Cup 2015: Minnows giving ICC's '10-team formula' a hard time

Jaspreet Sahni |Cricketnext |February 25, 2015, 6:44 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2015: Minnows giving ICC's '10-team formula' a hard time

The International Cricket Council (ICC) may have made up its mind to reduce the 2019 World Cup to a 10-team event, but events in Australia and New Zealand suggest otherwise with minnows making their presence felt.

The five most interesting matches at the ongoing ICC World Cup have involved at least one of the four Associate nations part of the tournament - Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and Scotland.

"We realise the importance of showing in a good performance for associate cricket and hopefully the performance we put on [against New Zealand], it gets people talking and shows people that associates belong at World Cups," Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said after running title favourites and co-hosts Kiwis close in a Pool A match.

The Scots gave Brendon McCullum's team a run for their money. Chasing a paltry 143 to win, the Black Caps almost made a meal of the run-chase, scraping home in the end by just three wickets in a match that saw 17 wickets falling for just 288 runs.

Of the 16 matches played so far in a week and a half of the World Cup, minnows have been part of the most exciting ones.

Ireland vs West Indies, Scotland vs New Zealand, Zimbabwe vs UAE, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka and Ireland vs UAE have all showcased high-quality skills with the likes of Ed Joyce, Shapoor Zadran and Kevin O'Brien leading the cast of star performers.

Ireland have so far kept their promise of 'one giant kill every World Cup'. After beating Pakistan in 2007 and England in 2011, they gave two-time champions West Indies a batting tutorial, bringing down a total of 304 with a flair that you once associated with Caribbean batsmen. And now they even stand a chance of edging out either Pakistan or the Windies to the quarter-finals.

The Afghans have made an impressive World Cup debut. If it was not for Mahela Jayawardene's century, Sri Lanka may have joined West Indies in the list of casualties as Afghanistan gave them a real scare.

The UAE's return to the World Cup after 19 years has been on an impressive note. They put up 285 on the board and made Zimbabwe huff and puff to a 4-wicket win in 48 overs. And today in the all-Associate meeting between Ireland and the UAE, the World Cup saw its most exciting match, which the Irish managed to win only in the final over by just two wickets.

What say, ICC?

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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