The group stages are over, and we prepare for the knock-out phase of the World Cup. Because or in spite of ICC’s brain explosion to limit the 2019 World Cup to 10 teams, this tournament has produced the best efforts from the so-called lesser nations..
While others are picking Tournament XI to date (Sangakkara, de Villiers, Vettori, Starc etc etc) it seems like a better time to look at the Best form XI for those sides going home. With a couple of exceptions we did not know a lot about the players beforehand, but they have left an impression
William Porterfield (Ire): The Irish skipper was criticised at times for being a little slow, but in the final match against Pakistan he showed that reliability under pressure is a good thing
Moeen Ali (Eng) : While his team-mates fluffed, fretted and over-analysed things around him, Ali did show glimpses of intent. Others from England scored more runs, but they did it in a tortured fashion. Offers a bowling option too.
Kyle Coetzer (Sco): For so long in the top handful of scorers, he fell away a bit towards the end. His 156 against Bangladesh was one of the innings of the tournament.
Ed Joyce (Ire): He did fail against the big boys but his knocks against West Indies and Zimbabwe won two matches. That in itself means he must be included.
Shaiman Anwar (UAE): Be honest; who had heard of Anwar before the World Cup? Prior to the final game against the West Indies his lowest score was 35.
Brendan Taylor (Zim). A sadly premature ending to a career for a sadly imploding Zimbabwe. Second only to Kumar Sangakkara in the Most Runs list. Two hundreds and a fifty; all of it at a SR of over 100. He’s an aggressive keeper too; standing up to the medium pacers. It is international cricket’s loss that he is gone from this form of the game.
Sean Williams (Zim): Arguably the best all-rounder in the competition. Four times bast fifty at a SR of over 100, and seven wickets.
Josh Davey (Sco): Equal second highest wicket taker in the competition, with only Mitchell Starc ahead of him
Shapoor Zadran (Afg): Who knew Afghanistan would turn up at the World Cup with large, hostile fast bowlers? Zadran was a cult favourite, with his mullet, uninhibited wicket celebrations, and the cameo with the bat to beat Scotland.
Hamid Hassan (Afg): Partner in crime Hassan was also impressive throughout, as he also made an unexpected bid for head bands and face paint to become fashionable again.
Tendai Chatara (Zim): Ten wickets at less than a run a ball is very impressive in such a high scoring tournmanent.