World Cup Review- Groups C and D

World Cup Group Stage Review
Groups C and D

With the Group Stage completed it is time for a review of the Tournament so far.

The early part of this long World Cup has seen controversy, disappointment and excitement galore. There has been fierce competition, dramatic upsets, exciting cricket, and records broken. However providing the flip-side to the excellent aspects are the issues that have been raised over the poor attendance levels, the quality of certain tracks, the negative impact of the weather and the unfortunate events surrounding Bob Woolmer. Whatever the viewpoint, the 2007 World Cup Group Stage evokes strong opinions.

Group C
Based- St Lucia
Both New Zealand and England were expected to easily qualify from Group C and both duly obliged. Kenya and Canada displayed fighting qualities but ultimately lacked the firepower to challenge the big boys. Group C opened with Kenya easily beating Canada but it was the second game, New Zealand against England, which would shape the outcome of the group. After losing early wickets chasing a modest 209, New Zealand closed out the game with ease and put themselves in a dominating position. The other games played out according to expectations, with England and New Zealand each brushing aside Canada and Kenya.

Player of Group C- Scott Styris. 219 runs @ 109.5 and 3 wickets @ 15.33. Along with Jacob Oram, Styris saw New Zealand home in the important game against England after they had been in early trouble. That innings was followed by more runs against Kenya and Styris also chipped in with useful wickets.

Biggest off-field story- Andrew Flintoff’s embarrassing drinking binge that led to the now former vice-captain having to be rescued at sea at 4am.

England v Kenya at Gros Islet – Mar 24, 2007
England won by 7 wickets (with 60 balls remaining). Kenya 177 (43/43 ov); England 178/3 (33/43 ov)

Canada v New Zealand at Gros Islet – Mar 22, 2007
New Zealand won by 114 runs. New Zealand 363/5 (50 ov); Canada 249 (49.2 ov)

Kenya v New Zealand at Gros Islet – Mar 20, 2007
New Zealand won by 148 runs. New Zealand 331/7 (50 ov); Kenya 183 (49.2 ov)

Canada v England at Gros Islet – Mar 18, 2007
England won by 51 runs. England 279/6 (50 ov); Canada 228/7 (50 ov)

England v New Zealand at Gros Islet – Mar 16, 2007
New Zealand won by 6 wickets (with 54 balls remaining). England 209/7 (50 ov); New Zealand 210/4 (41 ov)

Canada v Kenya at Gros Islet – Mar 14, 2007
Kenya won by 7 wickets (with 40 balls remaining). Canada 199 (50 ov); Kenya 203/3 (43.2 ov)

The following teams made it through to the Super-8 stage of the Tournament from Group C (points carried over to the next round in brackets)
New Zealand (2), England (0)

Group D
Based- Jamaica
Group D was highlighted early as the Group to watch given the nature of the teams included. There were two talented but unpredictable teams (West Indies and Pakistan), one team trying to rebuild (Zimbabwe) and one team that was a virtual unknown (Ireland).
The World Cup opened in celebratory style with the home team, West Indies, defeating Pakistan and the party continued with a dramatic tie between Zimbabwe and Ireland. Zimbabwe needed only one run off the final ball and failed. However, the mood quickly changed with the murder of Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, after Ireland performed above themselves to defeat Pakistan. The next game saw West Indies easily defeat Zimbabwe to guarantee their progression to the Super-8’s. Zimbabwe were then eliminated when they lost to Pakistan in a game the Pakistani players dedicated to the memory of their fallen coach. Having already qualified, Ireland ran into a rampant Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the final game of the group and the impressive West Indies progressed through to the Super-8’s unbeaten.

Player of Group D- Niall O’Brien. 84 runs @ 28. In a group that contained a number of quality players and saw many special performances, it may be unfair to give the Player of Group D award to someone who only had one good innings. However, what an innings! O’Brien almost single handedly knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup and his 72 in difficult conditions is made even more special when compared to the next highest score in the game, 27 by Kamran Akmal. O’Brien’s innings was one of tremendous importance and had implications around the world.

Biggest off-field story- The tragic murder of the then Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, after Pakistan’s shock loss to Ireland

West Indies v Ireland at Kingston – Mar 23, 2007
West Indies won by 8 wickets (with 59 balls remaining) (D/L method). Ireland 183/8 (48/48 ov); West Indies 190/2 (38.1/48 ov)

Pakistan v Zimbabwe at Kingston – Mar 21, 2007
Pakistan won by 93 runs (D/L method). Pakistan 349 (49.5 ov); Zimbabwe 99 (19.1/20 ov)

West Indies v Zimbabwe at Kingston – Mar 19, 2007
West Indies won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining). Zimbabwe 202/5 (50 ov); West Indies 204/4 (47.5 ov)

Ireland v Pakistan at Kingston – Mar 17, 2007
Ireland won by 3 wickets (with 32 balls remaining) (D/L method). Pakistan 132 (45.4 ov); Ireland 133/7 (41.4/47 ov)

Ireland v Zimbabwe at Kingston – Mar 15, 2007
Match tied. Ireland 221/9 (50 ov); Zimbabwe 221 (50 ov)

West Indies v Pakistan at Kingston – Mar 13, 2007
West Indies won by 54 runs. West Indies 241/9 (50 ov); Pakistan 187 (47.2 ov)

The following teams made it through to the Super-8 stage of the Tournament from Group D (points carried over to the next round in brackets)
West Indies (2), Ireland (0)

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