The group stage of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 culminated on Saturday after 45 matches and now it is time for four top teams to play in two exciting semi-finals of the showpiece event in Manchester on July 9 and Birmingham on July 11.
The four teams to reach in the semi-finals are – India, Australia, England and New Zealand.
India’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Headingley helped them jump to the top spot of the points table ahead of Australia, as they faced a 10-run defeat against South Africa in their last group match.
Here is how the two semi-finals will look this week.
Semi-final 1 – India vs New Zealand – Old Trafford, Tuesday, July 9
Since India have finished on top of the points table they will clash with fourth placed New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
It is expected that the match will be full of excitement as both sides are full of match-winners and they have not played each other at this World Cup. It is to be noted that India-New Zealand game at Trent Bridge on June 13 was abandoned without a ball bowled due to bad weather.
India managed to end the group stage with just one defeat – to England – to earn 15 points from their nine matches. On the other hand, New Zealand started their World Cup campaign on a high but they lost their steam in the later stage as faced defeat in three games – to Pakistan, Australia and England – to end on 11 points from their nine games.
Rohit Sharma is India’s dangerman with the bat as he has scored 647 runs so far in the tournament and for Black Caps their captain Kane Williamson is the most successful batsman with 481 runs in his kitty.
Semi-final 2 – Australia vs England – Edgbaston, Thursday, 11 July
It would not be wrong to say that second semi-final of Cricket World Cup 2019 will be the meeting of the oldest rivals in cricket and they will try their best to trump each other in order to book a place in the World Cup final.
Australia slipped to second place in the points table after facing defeat South Africa in their final game and this is the reason why they will lock horns with England, which have ended at third place in the points place, in the semi-final.
It may be recalled that Aaron Finch-led side had defeated England by 64 runs at Lord’s in their group stage game. On that day, England skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to field. England bowler performed well to restrict Australia to 285/7 from their 50 overs but Australia’s left-hand pacer Jason Behrendorff claimed five wickets to help the Kangaroos win the match comfortably.
For Australia, captain Finch and Warner are in red-hot form with the bat. Warner has scored 634 runs so far, while Finch has contributed 507 runs with his willow. For the hosts, Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow are the leading run-scorers.
Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is the top wicket-taker in Cricket World Cup 2019 so far with 26 wickets, while England’s Jofra Archer has 17.