Since the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 finished not long ago (as a write this) and the fact that I wrote a blog earlier with predictions (see here), I thought it would be a good idea to give an overview of what happened, how close my predictions were, who performed and underperformed and so on. The outcome of the tournament, as I am sure most of you are aware, was West Indies beat England in the final. The full results were as follows:
1st West Indies
3rd – 4th New Zealand and India
5th – 6th South Africa and Australia
7th – 8th Sri Lanka and Pakistan
9th – 10th Afghanistan and Bangladesh
11th – 12th Netherlands and Zimbabwe
13th – 14th Oman and Scotland
15th – 16th Ireland and Hong Kong
To find out the format of the tournament see here. In my predictions, I was correct in picking Bangladesh and Afghanistan to make it into Stage 2. Then I had England, South Africa, India and New Zealand making the Semi-Finals, where the only difference was I picked South Africa instead of West Indies. Finally, I had India winning the Final against South Africa, which I got completely wrong. All in all, I was happy with how close I was and clearly my logic for the most part paid off!
The final was very close, which required the West Indies to get 19 runs off the final over, which for any team is no easy task, besides Carlos Brathwaite who decided to hit the first 4 balls for 6 to win! Both teams prior to the tournament were probably not expected to reach the final and it was nice to see something different! Both teams played extremely well throughout the tournament, beating very strong teams on the way, so it was well deserved and it gives both the teams some credibility that, England in particular, they were starting to lose.
The biggest let-down for me was South Africa. They have been a top T20 team for quite some time and I was shocked when they did not advance through to the Semi-Finals. In terms of the players, some performed very well like Quinton De Kock and Imran Tahir, but more than half did not perform as well as they should have such as AB De Villiers and Francois Du Plessis. I am sure they are highly disappointed, but then I guess what is in their favour was the two best teams in the world were in their group. I still expected more and believed they could have gone further.
New Zealand in the group stage were amazing! To win all their games was impressive especially in what I considered to be the toughest group. I was very surprised when Tim Southee and Trent Boult (two well known and brilliant seamers) were not picked for any of the games, which at the start I did not agree with. They went with a spin heavy approach which clearly worked out in their favour. Some very clever captaining. Their bowling attack in the group stage was unmatched. It was a surprise to me when they lost to England in the Semi-Finals. I thought they were unstoppable. It seemed their batting may have let them down. I always feel for New Zealand, as they have a habit of coming out strong and falling in the final moments like they did before in the ODI World Cup 2015 final.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan came into the World Cup with little to no expectation on their shoulders. They were the underdogs. Although they both did not go far, they proved to the world that they are both very good teams and can put on a show even against the best. If you look at Afghanistan, they are the only team to have beaten the champions, West Indies. A great achievement for any team! A lot of their games I saw were close. A few players had breakout tournaments as well and are starting to become more well known and considered some of the best players in the World like Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi and Tamim Iqbal.
It was Oman’s first World Cup. Although they did not make it through, they put on a fight and did very well for themselves. I fully expect in the future to see them go further in the future as they have a lot of talent. The West Indies are the first team to win the World Cup twice. It was made even more special when the West Indies’ Women won their World Cup as well! Congratulations to them both!
The tournament itself met all my expectations and more. I was glued to my twitter feed keeping up with the scores and there was so many memorable moments that I personally will not forget for a while. I can only imagine the emotions all the players will be going through and how privileged they must be to have been a part of it!