The 2015 Cricket World Cup saw no surprises on the penultimate day of group stage action, as defending champions India and co-hosts Australia came away with wins over Zimbabwe and Scotland, respectively.
Both had already qualified for the quarter-finals and will be eyeing a deep run in the tournament, while Zimbabwe and Scotland will be going home. The group stages end on Sunday with two pivotal fixtures, as West Indies take on United Arab Emirates, while Ireland and Pakistan battle for their spot in the next round.
The full results from Saturday’s action:
- India (288-4) defeat Zimbabwe (287) by six wickets (with eight balls remaining)
- Australia (133-3) defeat Scotland (130) by seven wickets (with 208 balls remaining)
The current standings:
|POOL A||MAT||WON||LOST||TIED||N/R||PTS||NET RR||FOR||AGAINST|
|POOL B||MAT||WON||LOST||TIED||N/R||PTS||NET RR||FOR||AGAINST|
|United Arab Emirates||5||0||5||0||0||0||-1.961||1070/250.0||1349/216.1|
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Australia were always expected to have little trouble beating Scotland, and following the result, the Baggy Greens move back into second place in Pool A. Scotland finish the 2015 World Cup with no wins for the third time in three entries.
There was a slight scare for the co-hosts during their innings, but it had little to do with the Scots—inclement weather plagued the match for hour, including a lengthy break, and another washout would have kept the Aussies in third place, resulting in a likely meeting with South Africa in the next round.
Australia altered their play to the weather, sending Scotland out to bat first. Mitchell Starc took four wickets and surrendered just 14 runs, leading an aggressive bowling attack that ended Scotland’s innings in less than 26 overs.
Michael Clarke opened with 47 runs from 47 balls, setting the tone for the Australian batsmen who got the job done in 15.2 overs.
The Baggy Greens will have to wait until Sunday to learn who their quarter-final opponents will be, as will New Zealand. They’re joined in the next round by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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Zimbabwe made a strong impression in their last match at the 2015 Cricket World Cup, and veteran Brendan Taylor stole the show with 138 from 110, becoming the first player for his country to crack 400 runs in a single ODI World Cup. But, ultimately, India proved to be just a little too strong.
Suresh Raina (110 from 104) and MS Dhoni (85 from 76) built a strong partnership that would ultimately lead the Men in Blue to their target with eight balls to spare.
The man himself showered praise on his team-mates and the fans for their strong showing during the group stages, via ESPN Cricinfo:
Also the way the boys have taken on their responsibilities quite well. We have been here for over three months now, and we need to give the guys some break in between, so getting fresh has helped as well. The fans have come in huge numbers, which has also gone a long way.
As things stand, India and South Africa have qualified for the next round, with the Proteas all but certain to finish in second place.
The last day of the group stages pits Pakistan and Ireland against each other, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the next round. West Indies can still qualify if they beat UAE, although they’ll need to boost their net run rate to get past Pakistan in the standings.
If Ireland lose and Windies win, they’re fine. If Pakistan lose, net run rate will be crucial. India will meet Bangladesh in the quarter-finals, while South Africa will play Sri Lanka, in all likelihood.