Sixes, Shocks, And Lots Of Rain – The T20 World Cup Group Stage Roundup

Vinay Patel

Despite the seemingly constant downpours, Cricket’s T20 World Cup moves into its knockout phase on Wednesday, where England, India, Pakistan, and New Zealand will vie for the coveted trophy. Vinay Patel rounds up the performances of the top sides at the tournament. 


With many question marks surrounding the form of individual players, India showed the world why they are still a team to be feared as they secured a first-place finish in the group to qualify for the semi-finals. Up first were their fierce rivals Pakistan, and Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya both took three wickets each to limit Pakistan to 159-8 at a packed-out MCG.

A major batting collapse and fielding mishaps led to India’s first defeat

After being reduced to 31-4 by Pakistan’s lightening pace attack, Virat Kohli dug deep to discover his form of old and produced one of his best T20I innings of 82*(53) as India emerged victorious in a nail-biting game. A routine victory against the Netherlands followed, but a major batting collapse and fielding mishaps led to India’s first defeat against South Africa a game later. However, the side pulled together to win their final group game against Zimbabwe and claim the top spot. 


After a sluggish start to the tournament, England appear to be hitting top form at the right time. Whilst they emerged victorious over Afghanistan in their first match, England made hard work of chasing a total of just 113, losing 5 wickets in the process.

Openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales produced sensational knocks

Their poor form with the bat proved costly as they lost to Ireland by 5 runs due to the DLS method. Needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive, openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales produced sensational knocks of 73 and 52 respectively against an in form New Zealand.

An all-round bowling performance secured a deserved 20 run victory over the Kiwis. Bowlers Mark Wood and Sam Curran shone in their win against Sri Lanka, with the latter having taken 10 wickets in the tournament so far.  

New Zealand  

The Kiwis topped Group One after beginning their campaign with a thrashing of hosts Australia, winning by 89 runs. Their abandoned match against Afghanistan meant that Sri Lanka became the next victims of New Zealand’s devastating attack, with Trent Boult claiming a four-for and Glenn Phillips batting an outstanding knock of 104. Despite a shock loss against a spirited England side, the Kiwis ended the group campaign with a win against Ireland and cemented themselves as a serious contender.  


The hosts could not have got off to a worst start as they were battered at the hands of local rivals New Zealand, alongside a dismal net run rate that would come back to haunt them later in the tournament. Looking to get back to winning ways, the Aussies managed to limit Sri Lanka to 157, to which they ended up winning comfortably courtesy of a blistering 59* off 18 balls(!) from Marcus Stoinis.

Despite the hosts emerging victorious, it was by the narrowest of margins

A solid team performance ensured they saw off Ireland, winning by 42 runs before requiring a win by heavy margins to qualify for the semi-finals against Afghanistan. To their dismay, the opposition were stubborn, with fine death over bowling limiting them to an underwhelming 168-9. Despite the hosts emerging victorious, it was by the narrowest of margins, thus eliminating themselves from the tournament.  


Pakistan’s first group game against India saw their revered opening partnership of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan fall for a golden duck and four runs respectively. A 76-run partnership between Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed made sure a respectable total was put on the board, but it proved insufficient. Pakistan’s woes continued as they fell short of Zimbabwe’s total of 130 in a shock low-scoring thriller of a match.

They beat South Africa by 33 runs to give them the smallest chance of qualification

A rounded bowling performance saw them reduce the Netherlands to just 91-9, winning with ease. They beat South Africa by 33 runs (DLS method) to give them the smallest chance of qualification. Shaheen Afridi’s bowling figures of 4-22 reduced Bangladesh to 127-8 to which Pakistan chased down comfortably and gained a spot in the semi-finals due to South Africa’s shock loss to the Netherlands. 

South Africa 

The Proteas began their campaign against Bangladesh, which saw Rilee Rossouw make an aggressive century, with Quinton de Kock also scoring 63 (38). Fast bowler Anrich Nortje displayed impressive figures, taking four wickets and conceding just ten runs as Bangladesh were resigned to a 104-run defeat.

Next, a 76-run partnership between batsmen Aiden Markram and David Miller saw the Proteas end India’s unbeaten run. Despite a spirited effort from the bowlers, including another four-for from Nortje, Pakistan set a total of 186 to win the game. However, it seemed that the South African batsmen were not up to the task, collapsing to a cheap 108 and losing 9 wickets as the Pakistan bowlers ran riot.

Another Proteas batting collapse handed the Netherlands a deserved victory

Needing a win against the Netherlands to qualify, the already eliminated side managed to post an impressive total of 158. But to everyone’s surprise, another Proteas batting collapse handed the Netherlands a deserved victory in what surely has to be the shock result of the tournament so far, and it meant Temba Bavuma’s side were unable to qualify for the semi-finals. 

Star performers:  

Virat Kohli (IND) 

To some, seeing this man on this list will come as no surprise, but avid cricket fans will know the torrid spell of form Virat Kohli has endured with the bat, not to mention him stepping down as India captain. His heroic innings of 82* (53) against Pakistan was more than enough to place himself back in the good graces of Indian fans but he has continued that form to become to tournament’s top run scorer so far, with 246. As the tournament approaches the crucial stages, Kohli has reminded the world that he can be unstoppable on his day. 

Suryakumar Yadav (IND)

SKY has made himself an increasingly difficult batsman to face

Otherwise known as ‘SKY’, Suryakumar has been the man India have relied on to get them out of countless vulnerable spots. With a blistering tournament strike rate of 193.96 and a fresh 360-degree batting approach, SKY has made himself an increasingly difficult batsman to face. 

Glen Phillips (NZ)

Currently on 195 tournament runs, a large chunk of which came against Sri Lanka when he made 104 followed by an impressive 62 against England, though in vain. Phillips will certainly be a player to keep an eye on as New Zealand look to claim the World Cup trophy that has eluded them for so long. 

Shadab Khan (PAK) 

One of the only consistent tones of Pakistan’s topsy-turvy tournament, as well as being the joint top wicket taker in the tournament, Shadab has also proved himself with the bat, with an average strike rate of 177.27. With all the criticism surrounding Pakistan’s middle order woes prior to the tournament, Shadab has silenced his critics. 

Sam Curran (ENG) 

As England look to be peaking at the right time, they will hope that Curran continues his glittering form

Sam Curran has by far been England’s standout player in the tournament, with his ten wickets placing him joint at the top, also having the best bowling average. His top performance came against Afghanistan, taking a 5-wicket hall and only conceding 10 runs. As England look to be peaking at the right time, they will hope that Curran continues his glittering form. 

Arshdeep Singh (IND) 

Tasked with filling the boots of the irreplaceable Jasprit Bumrah, Singh has taken like a duck to water in this Indian side, with his first delivery of the tournament claiming the scalp of Babar Azam for a golden duck. The left arm bowler’s variations are proving tricky for batsmen to handle, and his efforts have landed him alongside Shadab and Curran as top wicket takers of the tournament. 

Vinay Patel

Featured image courtesy of samarth shirke via Unsplash. Image use license found here. No changes were made to this image.  

In-article image 1 courtesy of @icc via Instagram. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 2 courtesy of @icc via Instagram. No changes were made to this image.

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