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General World Cup Predictions thread


State 12th Man
What it says on the tin...make your predictions for any element of the World Cup: winner, runner-up, worst performing team, highest run-scorer etc.

My various predictions...

Winner: Australia, or possibly India
Runner-up: India, or New Zealand.
England Award for the Worst Performance: England, duh. Won't advance to the Quarter Finals, with victories only over Scotland and Afghanistan (just).
Best associate: Ireland. Could well shock the West Indies and make the Quarter Finals.Catalyst for Test status.

Top Run Scorer: Kohli or Warner, an outside chance for Sangakkara for one last hurrah. Williamson will bag a few, too.
Highest Wicket Taker: Traditional pick of Steyn, but Johnson could be lively. Adam Milne is my pick to be up there.

Biggest disappoiontment: Glenn Maxwell - will have one good performance, but will disappoint overall. Dan Vettori won't have a good one, either, presuming he gets selected.
Biggest revelation: Adam Milne and Matt Henry*
Best young player: (excluding Milne & Henry) Quinton de Kock - a couple of centuries at the top of the order, for sure. Root will be good, but will be playing in a rapidly sinking ship.

*I realises they're not exactly new, but they'll become one of the world's best bowling pairs.


State 12th Man
Well, considering computers will be our overlords sooner or later, I used them to simulate a World Cup (using Don Bradman Cricket 2014).

A few points before I begin:
  • The UAE do not exist on the game, so I replaced them with the Netherlands
  • Dale Steyn, for some reason, would not appear in South Africa's XI. So I'm saying he got a hamstring tear in a warm-up and missed the tournament
  • The Knock-outs were formatted A1vsA2, A3vsA4 etc., so it is less realistic in that the teams only play teams from the other group once, in the semis
  • Shiv Chanderpaul was playing ODIs for the West Indies
  • The statistics were cut into two sections: Group Stage and knock-out, which is incredibly annoying, so I will present the best stats in both sections
  • I only know runs and the number of balls faced for batsman, and the overs, runs conceded, and wickets taken by a bowler.
  • The fixtures do not match those of the real WC.
  • There are indeed some strange selections for the teams (Murali Vijay, Ehsan Adil, Lonwabo Tsotsobe etc.)
  • I don't exactly know what 'countback' is - AFAIK it's when they go back to a certain point in an innings and compare the scores, but that's a rain rule.
  • The game doesn't give me Fall of Wickets, so it's difficult to know how exactly an innings unfolds.

Group A

Obviously, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England were slated to go through, and MD (Matchday) 1 showed this. Australia thumped Scotland by 9 wickets (Watson 4-20 as Scotland got 166/9). Sri Lanka dispatched Afghanistan by 108 runs (Ajantha Mendis recorded stats of 10-27-2). A Kane Williamson century helped New Zealand beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets. England had a bye.

MD2 saw all narrow results. Despite James Taylor scoring 101, Sri Lanka chased down 274 to beat England by 3 wickets. Bangladesh beat Scotland by 4 wickets, whilst New Zealand only managed to struggle past Afghanistan by 3 wickets, Baz bagging his first of 3 centuries. Australia had a bye.

England actually managed to secure a decent result on MD3, overturning NZ's 236/9 (122 of that scored by Brendon McCullum) aided by a Mo century. Australia's bowlers subdued Bangladesh to win by 8 wickets. The clash of the minnows saw Afghanistan beat Scotland by 3 wickets.

Baz's intense form continued in MD4 as he racked up 117 as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 55 runs. Mitchell McClenaghan took 4-35 off 9 overs. Afghanistan managed a respectable 204, but then David Warner thrashed 118 to win by 7 wickets. Scotland scored 253 against England, and for a while, it looked like they'd actually beat them. But James Taylor once again took England home with a 64 ball 92.

Tamin Iqbal and Anamul Haque marshalled Bangladesh to a victory over Afghanistan by 9 wickets in MD5. Tilikaratne Dilshan registered the highest score of the group stage by scoring 170* from 149 balls against Scotland, as Sri Lanka scored 334/5. The Scots only managed 215/8, and Sri Lanka won by 119 runs. Centuries from Joe Root (138) and Alex Hales (105) wasn't enough for England to beat Australia (bearing in mind no-one else scored above 31). David Warner was run out for 99 in the chase, but they won with 3 wickets to spare.

England plummed new depths in MD6 by getting thrashed by Bangladesh - the Bangladeshis scored 350, with a Tamin 142. Morgan and Taylor made 80s, but England were beaten by 63 runs. Odds on they wouldn't qualify. New Zealand once again struggled past a minnow, this time a strong partnership between Taylor and McCullum managed to beat Scotland by 5 wickets. Dilshan got another century as Sri Lanka scored 304 to outgun Australia by 20 runs.

MD7 gave a simple equation: for England to qualify, they had to beat Afghanistan, whilst Sri Lanka had to beat Bangladesh. And both the results occurred, with Stuart Broad taking 4-19 and Moeen scored 96 off 71 to beat Afghanistan by 8 wickets, and Sri Lanka thumped Bangladesh by 164 runs, with a classy Jayawardene century at the fore. Herath and Kulasekara took 3 each to send England through. The Trans-Tasman match saw New Zealand sneak home by three wickets with 4 balls left thanks to a Ross Taylor 63 and Brendon McCullum 49. Mitch McClenaghan took a hat-trick to rip out the heart of the Aussie middle order, first taking Clarke caught behind, then a caught and bowled of Smith then Bailey caught by Corey Anderson.

Qualifiers: Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, England.

Group A Statistics:
Most runs: Brendon McCullum (445 runs @ 89.00, 3 centuries, 1 fifty)
Highest wicket-taker: Mitchell Starc (14 @ 19.71)
Highest score: T. Dilshan (170*, 149 balls, vs Scotland)
Best Bowling innings: Lasith Malinga (5/58, vs England)
Lowest bowling economy: Hamza Hotak (4.18)
Highest strike-rate (min. 70 balls): Mahela Jayawardene (121.98)
Most 50s: Dinesh Chandimal (4)

Group B:

All the strong teams were given easy first-round ties, and South Africa had a bye. India beat Netherlands by 9 wickets thanks to a Shikhar Dhawan 98*, two centuries from Shoaib Masqood and Ahmed Shezad, the previous off just 88 balls, downed Ireland by 107 runs. West Indies made it very difficult for themselves against Zimbabwe. A last-wicket partnership between Narine and Roach secured the win by 1 wicket after Prosper Utseys 4-fer.

South Africa scored 262 despite a Mohammed Irfan 5-fer, and Pakistan came up 21 runs short - South Africa looked like they could cope without their star man Dale Steyn, Aaron Phangiso starring with 3-48. A Marlon Samuels century took the West Indies to a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands, whilst Sunil Narine spun a web round the Dutch batsmen, recording figures of 10-19-2. Ireland pulled off a minor upset, beating Zimbabwe by 26 runs despite a Sikandar Raza century.

MD3 saw the two African nations square off, and it was only going to end one way, with a comprehensive South African victory. A remarkably tight spell from Faf du Plessis, as well as regular contributions from other bowlers limited Zimbabwe to just 153, and Quinton de Kock guided the Proteas home with 88*. The West Indies upset the balance when they defeated India by six wickets - centuries from Suresh Raina and Darren Bravo provided an excellent batting display, but Raina wasn't supported by his team and India made just 253/7. The partnership between Bravo and Chanderpaul (97) took the Windies home to a six wicket win. Ed Joyce's 80 wasn't enough to hold off the Netherlands, who won by two wickets.

Fine centuries from JP Duminy and Hashim Amla set up South Africa for a massive win over the Netherlands in MD4. They racked up 357/6, then Ryan McLaren took a four-wicket haul which blunted the Dutch top order to win by 178. Ishant Sharma and Bhuveshwar Kumar took 3 wickets each as India bowled Ireland out for 190, despite a feisty 97 from wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien. A second Kohli 50, and 96 from Rahane took India home. Zimbabwe came within an inch of beating Pakistan, but a vital 60 from Sarfraz Ahemed took Pakistan home to a nail-biting one-wicket win.

South Africa made a real case for championship in MD5 when they hammered India after scoring the highest total of the competition: 361/3, with a century from Duminy and a 68-ball 111 from Faf du Plessis. Varun Aaron was taken round the park for 87 runs from his 9 overs. Despite 50s from Dhawan, Kohli and Raina, regular wickets saw India only make 301. Both the Bravo brothers tallied Centuries as the West Indies beat Ireland by 107 runs. A big partnership between Sohaib Masqood and Ahmed Shezad led Pakistan to 307/4, before wickets from Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali and Ajmal restricted the Netherlands to 235.

A low scorer greeted viewers on MD6 between Netherlands and Zimbabwe, and although Hamilton Masakadza blasted a stirling 113 (out of his team's 200/7), the Netherlands secured a 20 runs victory. South Africa kept up their challenge with another massive total, with 351/5 against the West Indies, and Hashim Amla recorded the Group's highest score.with 136. Faf du Plessis also got a ton. Marlon Samuels replied with his own century, but a Morne Morkel four-wicket haul, including Samuels, meant the West Indies never had a shout. India and Pakistan squared off in a hotly contested game, with Pakistan making 319/8 in their innings: Misbah making 71, Ahmed making 62 & Asad Shafiq making 55. India made a strong start, but Indian batsmen didn't make the most of their starts, and a very good spell from Ehsan Adil (10-35-3) meant they fell short by 11 runs.

South Africa secured the group with a six-wicket win over Ireland, Ryan McLaren taking 4-20 when bowling out Ireland for 151. AB de Villiers ran out captain Will Porterfield first ball. A partnership from Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams took Zimbabwe near to India's 272/6, but fabulous bowling from Ravi Ashwin strangled their chase and India won by 27 runs. More good batting from Sarfraz Ahmed, as well as 50s from Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq took Pakistan to 279, then sharp bowling from Ajmal and Adil stopped the West Indies 19 runs short.

Group B Statistics:
Most runs: Hashim Amla (371 runs @ 61.83, 2 centuries, 1 fifty)
Highest wicket-taker: Saeed Ajmal & Ryan McLaren (15 each)
Highest score: Hashim Amla (136, 119 balls, vs West Indies)
Best Bowling innings: M. Irfan (5/59, vs South Africa)
Lowest bowling economy: (min. 10 overs): Ryan McLaren (3.90)
Highest strike-rate (min. 70 balls): Sarfraz Ahmed (152.81)
Most 50s: Sarfraz Ahmed, Virat Kohli (3)

Qualifiers: South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, India

Quarter Finals:

Quarter Final 1: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand - New Zealand win on countback

New Zealand 298/8 (Vettori 69*, Brownlie 60, Malinga 3-50)
Sri Lanka 298/8 (Sangakkara 113, Jayawardene 55, McClenaghan 3-60)

New Zealand posted 298 thanks to well-positioned 50s from Dean Brownlie, Ross Taylor and Dan Vettori - showing he was still capable of that 'big' innings; his 69* came off 52 balls. New Zealand would be frustrated that more of their batsmen didn't convert their starts all batsmen bar two made more than 15. Lasith Malinga took 3-50, whilst Ajantha Mendis took 2-66. Kumar Sangakkara, possibly in his last game of international cricket, delivered one last fantastic innings, a 113 at a run-a-ball. He was ably assisted by Jayawardene, who made 55. But a miniature collapse put the brakes on. Thirimanne and Perera put on a partnership to bring Sri Lanka back, but Dan Vettori bowled Thirimanne, before Kulasekara and Mendis were both dismissed. Herath and Perera took Sri Lanka to 298. The game was tied, with the teams on the same number of wickets. New Zealand won on countback.

Quarter Final 2: Pakistan vs South Africa - Pakistan won by 5 wickets.

South Africa 312/7 (F. du Plessis 66, Amla 51, Adil 2-55)
Pakistan 313/5 (Y. Khan 123*, Masqood 108, 2-62)

South Africa choked again come the knock-out stages. Thanks to three half centuries; from Faf du Plessis (66), Hashim Amla (51) & AB de Villiers (51), as well as slashed 30s from Behardien and David Miller, South Africa posted a strong total of 312/7 - good, but judging by the scores made in the competition so far, it was no guarantee of success. Pakistan came through two early losses, and Sohaib Masqood and Younis Khan both cashed in and made centuries. Masqood was removed by Tsotsobe, and du Plessis took some late wickets, but Shami Ahmed made a run-a-ball 41 took Pakistan home to sink South Africa...again.

Quarter Final 3: India vs West Indies - India won on wicket remaining

West Indies 325/6 (Chanderpaul 135, Gayle 89, Kumar 3-68)
India 325/5 (Dhawan 163, Sharma 72, Narine 2-53)

Chanderpaul may be 41, but he still managed to produce a timeless innings, scoring 135. Chris Gayle delivered his first decent performance of the competition, seemingly rewarding the selectors faith in him, making 89 off 92. Bhuvi Kumar took three wickets. But the Indians, not to be outdone, struck back. Shikhar Dhawan slammed 163 off 132 in a fabulous knock, and Rohit Sharma's 72 helped India to tie the scores. The West Indies would regret losing cheap wickets late on, as India won as they finished with one wicket less and so went through.

Quarter Final 4: Australia vs England - Australia win by 7 wickets

England 276 all out (Taylor 64, Morgan 49, Faulkner 4-36)
Australia 278/3 (Warner 162*, Maxwell 47, Woakes 1-21)

In typical England fashion, they fell away without a fight in the knock-out round. It started well enough, Taylor made another 50, whilst Morgan and Hales made strong 40s. But James Faulkner proved too good for England, taking a very good 4-36 off his 10 overs, taking the key wickets of Root, Taylor, Morgan and Bopara. Finch was dismissed for 28 and things looked vaguely bright for England, but Maxwell and Warner took it completely away from England. Maxwell was run out before his 50, and Watson was caught behind for 2 off Woakes, but Warner's unbeaten 162 was just too good. Ravi Bopara was butchered with figures of 7-76-0.

Advanced to Semi-Finals: New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Australia

Semi Final 1: New Zealand vs Pakistan - Pakistan win by 11 runs

Pakistan 214 all out (M. ul Haq 82, Younis Khan 40, Southee 3-38)
New Zealand 203 all out (Taylor 53, Vettori 36, Rahat Ali 4-28)

New Zealand would have been elated by dismissing Pakistan for just 214 in their innings, and really it was only a partnership between Younis Khan (40) and Misbah ul-Haq (82) that took Pakistan towards any sort of decent total. Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan were the main tormentors of the Pakistanis taking 3-38 and 2-43 respectively. A decent start set up New Zealand for the chase, the top four registered scores of 32, 9, 32, 53. But superb bowling from Rahat Ali, who took 4-28 whilst cleaning up the New Zealand tail, and 2 each from Irfan and Hafeez meant New Zealand were bowled out for just 203. Dan Vettori played his last international innings with a run-a-ball 36. Pakistan advanced to the final to set up a prospective World Cup final with India.

Semi Final 2: Australia vs India - India won by 3 runs

India 328/8 (Sharma 114, Kohli 86, Watson 4-67)
Australia 325/5 (Warner 176, Maxwell 79, B Kumar 2-61)

Rohit Sharma lead India's charge in this semi-final, with a brilliantly crafted 114 off 96 balls. He found support from Virat Kohli (86) and Suresh Raina (41) as India finished on a commanding 328/8. A lower order collapsed caused mainly by Shane Watson's 4-67 stopped India from going as far as they would like. Kumar removed Finch early in the Australian chase, but a monster partnership between Warner, who scored his second big century with 176, the highest score of the tournament, and Glenn Maxwell, who scored 79 before being caught behind off Suresh Raina. Warner was dismissed by Kumar, and then an Ashwin wicket and a run-out stymied the Australian chase. Ishant Sharma went wicketless but bowled his 10 overs at an economy of 4.6. India won by 3 runs and did indeed set up a Pakistan vs India final.

World Cup Final: India vs Pakistan - Pakistan win by 32 runs

Pakistan 333/5
India 301/6

Pakistan had the ideal start to their first World Cup final since 1999, with a strong partnership between Mohammed Hafeez and Ahmed Shezad. Shezad made 76, before he was caught in the field by Shikhar Dhawan by Ishant Sharma. Sharma then dismissed Sohaib Masqood LBW for a two-ball duck. Younis Khan made a 33-ball half century, which was cut short by Varun Aaron. Aaron then also dismissed Misbah ul Haq - he bowled them both. Ashwin dismissed Asad Shafiq for 15, but then another short, sparkling innings from Sarfraz Ahmed - player of the tournament was calling - propelled Pakistan to a strong 333/5, with Hafeez unbeaten 123 and Ahmed unbeaten on 59 off 31 balls. Sharma provided another tight spell, going at 4.8 from his 10 overs whilst taking 2 wickets.

Pakistan's Innings

India started well in their chase of Pakistan's stiff total, with both Rahane and Dhawan making strong 40s, but would regret not advancing further. Ajmal had Rahane caught behind, whilst Ehsan Adil had Shikhar Dhawan caught in the field by Hafeez. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma continued India's strong start, but Sharma couldn't capitalise on his 40, caught by sub Umar Gul off the bowling of Rahat Ali. Murali Vijay was dismissed LBW by Rahat for 32, whilst Kohli crossed 100 for a potentially tournament-winning innings. But Sarfraz Ahmed again proved vital, grabbing a catch to dismiss Kohli off Ajmal for 105, then one off Hafeez to dismiss the potentially destructive Suresh Raina. Some late swishing from MS Dhoni (21 from 10 balls) was not enough and India fell short by 32 runs. Pakistan won their second World Cup, and maybe people will get off Misbah's back...

India's Innings

Knock-Out Stages Statistics:
Most runs: David Warner (338 runs @ 338.00, 2 centuries, 0 fifties)
Highest wicket-taker: Rahat Ali (7 @ 20.57)
Highest score: David Warner (176, vs India)
Best Bowling innings: Rahat Ali (4/28, vs Pakistan)
Lowest bowling economy: (min. 10 overs): Tim Southee (4.68)
Highest strike-rate (min. 70 balls): Sarfraz Ahmed (130.48)
Most 50s: Ross Taylor (2)

My Player of the Tournament: Sarfraz Ahmed (324 runs @ 108.00 (only dismissed 3 times!), 0 hundreds, 4 fifties, 21 catches, 1 stumping)


International Captain
Winner: Pakistan
Runner-up: India, although it could be Aus
England Award for the Worst Performance: England (minnows excluded)
Best associate: Brain says Ireland, heart says Afghanistan. Let's be optimistic and say Afghanistan

Top Run Scorer: Kumar Sangakkara
Highest Wicket Taker: Super Mitch

Biggest disappoiontment: England (if indeed they've the expectations to be disappointed)
Biggest revelation: Josh Hazlewood
Best young player: Josh Hazlewood

Top work with the Don Bradman game btw


The normal awards that everyone else has
Winner- Australia
Runner up- South Africa

Top runscorer- Hashim Amla
Most wickets- Pat Cummins

Biggest disappointment- India knocked out early/Glenn Maxwell
Biggest revelation- Pat Cummins