Hyderabad: The 48 matches held in 45 days of the ICC World Cup 2023 provided a lot of thrilling and exciting moments for the cricket buffs. The following article takes a look at some of the memorable moments on the cricket field scripted in the ongoing edition. These stories will generate a lot of emotion, from surprise to happiness.
Maxwell's double century: 13 double centuries have been scored in the ODIs so far. However, the best of the lot came in the 2023 World Cup when a storm named Glenn Maxwell hit the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 7. In pursuit of 292 against Afghanistan, Australia were teetering at 91/7 but Maxwell took the match out of the jaws of the defeat by scoring a blistering unbeaten 201 in just 128 balls. All the double-hundreds before his knock were smashed by the openers but Maxwell scored a double-hundred while coming to bat at number six, carving a successful chase. Maxwell played one of the best innings of the 50-over format while battling cramps. He single-handedly romped the team home and it meant that Australia, who eventually won the World Cup, stayed alive in the competition.
Fastest century: Glenn Maxwell scored 400 runs in nine innings in the World Cup 2023 including a superb knock against Afghanistan. However, the all-rounder proved his mettle on one more occasion in the game against the Netherlands. He scored the fastest century of the edition completing it in just 40 balls. South Africa's Aiden Markram also stitched a fine knock in the game against Sri Lanka and reached the 100-run mark in 49 balls.
Shami's wonder: The tournament will be always remembered for the quality of the Indian bowling. The 2023 World Cup will also be remembered for Indian bowling. Especially, because of the bowler who was not even a part of the playing eleven in the first four matches. Pacer Mohammed Shami got a place in the team when all-rounder Hardik Pandya was injured. Shami ended the World Cup as the leading wicket-taker by grabbing 24 scalps in just seven matches. He wreaked havoc taking three five-fors and a four-wicket haul once. His 7/57 against New Zealand in the first semi-final at Wankhede is the best performance of an Indian bowler in ODIs.
Most runs in a World Cup: For the last 20 years, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar was the highest run-scorer in a single edition of the World Cup. But now the answer to this question is star batter Virat Kohli. Kohli scored 765 runs in 11 innings of this World Cup, whereas Sachin Tendulkar scored 673 runs in 11 innings in the 2003 World Cup. Both players won the Player of the Tournament award in the respective editions.
Kohli's 50 ODI centuries: Virat Kohli made the World Cup memorable by completing 50 centuries in his ODI career. He first equalled his idol Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI centuries in Kolkata and then scored his 50th century against New Zealand at Tendulkar's home ground - the Wankhede Stadium. Virat Kohli scored three centuries and six half-centuries in this World Cup.
4 Indian batters among the top run scorers: Virat Kohli was the top scorer in this World Cup. If we look at the list of 10 batters, who have scored the most runs in this World Cup, there are seven batters, who have scored over 500 runs. Four Indian batters are also included in the top-10 - Virat Kohli (765 runs), Rohit Sharma (597 runs), Shreyas Iyer (530 runs) and KL Rahul (452 runs).
First 'Timed Out' dismissal: For the first time in 146 years of cricket history, a batter was 'Timed Out'. On November 6, in the 38th match of the World Cup 2023, Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews was given 'time out' in their match against Bangladesh. Mathews reached the crease before the scheduled two minutes, but before facing his first ball, he realised that the strip of his helmet was broken and he asked for a new helmet. Meanwhile, Bangladesh captain Shakib-Al-Hasan appealed to the umpire for time out and Mathews was given time out. This decision created a lot of uproar and debate over the spirit of the game.
Australia is the champion again: The Australian team won the title for the sixth time. Out of the 13 World Cups played so far, every second World Cup has been in the name of Australia. Australia, which became world champion for the first time in 1987, has also scored a hat-trick of winning the World Cup. Australia won the World Cup in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015 and now 2023. By the way, the Australian team has reached the finals eight times.
South Africa choked yet again: The South African team, which returned to the cricket field in 1992 after the ban, has always been a strong contender to win the World Cup, but never won it. Like always, the Temba Bavuma-led side were knocked out in the semifinal. South Africa collapsed for 212 runs in the semi-final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and once again proved to be chokers. Since 1992, the South African team has been a part of nine World Cups and has returned empty-handed after losing the semi-finals five times and the quarter-finals twice, while the team has been out of the group stage twice. They lost to England in the semi-final match in 1992. Whereas in 1999, 2007 and 2023, Australia defeated them in the knockout stage and in the year 2015, the New Zealand team ended the journey of South Africa.
Most centuries: The maximum number of centuries scored in this World Cup was 40. A total of 26 batters scored centuries. In the 2019 World Cup, 20 batters scored 31 centuries whereas in the 2015 World Cup, 38 centuries were scored. In the current World Cup, South Africa's Quinton de Kock scored a maximum of four centuries. Whereas New Zealand's young batter Rachin Ravindra and India's Virat Kohli scored three centuries each.
Raining Sixes: More sixes were hit in this World Cup than in any previous tournament. 644 sixes were hit in 48 matches of World Cup 2023. Whereas in the same number of matches, 357 sixes were hit during the 2019 World Cup. India skipper Rohit Sharma hit the maximum number of 31 sixes in this World Cup, which is now a new record for hitting the most sixes in a World Cup. The number of sixes hit by Shreyas Iyer (24), David Warner (24), Glenn Maxwell (22), and Daryl Mitchell (22) was a nightmare for the bowlers. The South African team hit the maximum number of 99 sixes in the tournament. Australia is in second position (97), India is in third position (92) and New Zealand is in fourth position (82).
Record of fours: A total of 1,983 fours were hit in the World Cup 2019. However, this was surpassed in this edition as a total of 2,241 boundaries were scored. Maximum 68 fours came from the bat of Virat Kohli. While Rohit Sharma hit 66, Quinton de Kock 57 and Rachin Ravindra hit 55 fours. Australian batters hit a maximum of 287 fours, while the Indian batters hit 278 fours, the New Zealand team hit 266 and the South African team hit 243 fours.
World Cup of Upsets: The Cricket World Cup and upsets go hand in hand. World Cup 2023 will also be remembered for such upsets. Afghanistan stunned England who were considered as a contender to win this World Cup, by 69 runs. Giant killers Afghanistan then slayed Pakistan by eight wickets in this World Cup at Chepauk in Chennai. The Netherlands team, which was considered the weakest in the tournament, once again pulled off an upset and defeated South Africa by 38 runs.
Afghanistan won hearts: Afghanistan made this World Cup memorable. Afghanistan gave its best performance so far and won 4 matches in the tournament as they defeated three World Cup-winning teams. Afghanistan defeated England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. Afghanistan team stood sixth in the points table. Pakistan team also stood in fifth position after winning four matches due to a better net run rate.
Every team won twice - This is the first time in World Cup history that every team participating in the marquee tournament has won at least two matches. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands stood in the 8th, 9th and 10th positions after winning two matches each. Earlier in the 1992 World Cup, nine teams participated and every team had won at least one match. Zimbabwe was at the bottom of the points table after winning one match.
Teams scored mountains of runs - In this World Cup, teams scored mountains of runs. South Africa scored 428 runs in 50 overs against Sri Lanka, which is the highest total made by any team so far in the World Cup. Apart from this, India scored a mammoth total against the Netherlands and New Zealand also breached the 400-run mark against Pakistan in Bengaluru. The 400-run mark was crossed for the first time thrice in a World Cup. However, this time, South Africa and Australia scored 399 runs and India scored 397 runs. Earlier in the 2015 World Cup, Australia scored 417 runs against Afghanistan and South Africa scored 411 runs against Ireland. India scored 413 runs against Bermuda in the 2007 World Cup.
Most runs in a match: The record of scoring the most runs in a match of the World Cup was also broken this time. There were two occasions in this World Cup when over 750 runs were scored in the match. A total of 771 runs were scored at the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala on 28 October 2023. Australia scored 388 runs while playing first and then New Zealand scored 383 runs while chasing the target. Similarly, on October 7, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, South Africa, batting first, scored 428 runs and Sri Lanka was then bundled out for 326. A total of 754 runs were scored in this match. India also scored 397 runs in the semi-final and New Zealand was bowled out on 327 runs. 724 runs were scored in that match.
Win by the biggest margin: In this World Cup, two teams won the match by a margin of over 300 runs. On October 25, Australia defeated the Netherlands by a margin of 309 runs at Kotla in the national capital. Australia scored 399 runs while the Netherlands was bundled out for 90. On November 2, India defeated Sri Lanka by a margin of 302 runs at the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. India scored 357 runs and Sri Lanka was all out for 55 runs. To date in the history of the World Cup, no team had won the match by a margin of 300 runs.
Most successful run chase: This time a record was also made for the most successful run chase in the World Cup and it was achieved at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on 10 October. Sri Lanka scored 344 runs in the stipulated 50 overs, in reply Pakistan scored 345 runs in 48.2 overs and won the match by six wickets. In this match, two-two centuries were scored from both the teams and Mohammad Rizwan won the match for Pakistan by playing an innings of 131 runs. Earlier, the record of the most successful run chase was made in the 2011 World Cup when Ireland had caused a major upset by overhauling England's target of 328 runs.
Win by one wicket: The match between South Africa and Pakistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium was also memorable. South Africa won this match by just one wicket. In the total of 13 World Cups held so far, this has happened only seven times when a team has won the match by just one wicket.
Team India won all the league matches: Team India may not have become the world champion but by winning all the league matches in this World Cup, India equalled Australia. India won all its nine league matches in the World Cup and was on top of the points table. Earlier in the 2015 World Cup, India and New Zealand reached the semi-finals by winning all six matches. The Indian team ended at number one in the points table in 2015 too. In the World Cup 2007, Australia won all nine matches.
World Cup without West Indies: This was the first time in the World Cup that started in 1975 when West Indies was not a part of this tournament. The team that won two ODI World Cups, two T20 World Cups and one Champions Trophy could not qualify for the World Cup 2023. It is expected that in 2027, when the World Cup will be played in the African continent, the team that has ruled the cricket field for many years will once again be seen in the same colours.