The first round of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 ended with Netherlands, and Sri Lanka making it into the Super 12 stage from Group A while Ireland and Zimbabwe progressed from Group A. Sri Lanka finished with 4 points after losing the first match to Namibia while the Netherlands finished second. Due to a better net run rate, Sri Lanka ended at the top of the points table.
Zimbabwe and Ireland progressed into the Super 12 stage with some brilliant performances. Zimbabwe finished at top of Group B while Ireland finished at the number 2 spot.
There were some close matches in the entire tournament with Scotland beating West Indies, and UAE registering their first win during T20 World Cup history. It was a closely fought first round as every team showed skills and provided entertainment at Geelong and Hobart.
Here we look at the top 5 performances from the first round of the T20 World Cup.
#1 Sikander Raza
Sikander Raza stood out for Zimbabwe in the three matches he played so far. He was simply sensational in the opening match against Ireland demonstrating great hitting abilities with a quickfire 82 off 48 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes that helped Zimbabwe to post 174 for 7 in 20 overs.
Raza came at the crease with the scoreboard reading 37 for 3. He looked decent with shots putting Ireland bowlers under pressure. Thanks to brilliant hitting, Zimbabwe posted 174 for 7. With the ball, he had one wicket giving away 22 runs. Zimbabwe won the match by 31 runs. Sikander Raza was named the player of the match award for 82 off 48 balls and 1 for 22.
He failed to contribute many runs against in the modest total of 153 for 7. Raza scored 14 runs in quick time but got out trying to hit a big shot. He was the pick of the bowlers with wickets of 3 for 19 in 4 overs and restricted West Indies to just 153 for 7. Zimbabwe lost the match by 31 runs.
In the final league match against Scotland, Sikander Raza provided the impetus for Zimbabwe with a quickfire 40 off 23 balls and helped Zimbabwe recover from a tough situation. Raza was named the player of the match for his quickfire 40 and 1 for 20 in 4 overs.
#2 Max O Dowd
The Netherlands opener Max O Dowd impressed with his style of batting. He looked in great touch during the 3 matches he played. With the Netherlands chasing down a modest total of 112 against UAE, O Dowd provided a flying start keeping the momentum going for the Dutch. He was dismissed with the ball kept low.
Chasing down a modest total of 122 runs to win against Namibia, Vikramjit Singh showed his skills while O Dowd played the second-fiddle role. O Dowd fell after 35 ball-35 run with a superb direct throw by Eramsus. Thanks to De Leede’s composure, Netherlands won the match by 5 wickets.
O Dowd played a brilliant knock against Sri Lanka in the final match. Chasing down 163 runs to win, the Netherlands kept losing wickets at regular intervals while O Dowd looked in great touch remaining not out on 71 off 53 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Despite his efforts, the Netherlands lost the match by 16 runs.
Netherlands progressed into the Super 12 stage as UAE stunned Namibia by 7 runs. O Dowd would be looking to impress against top-quality nations like India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Bangladesh.
#3 Kusal Mendis
Kusal Mendis had a disappointing 2 matches against Namibia and the United Arab Emirates. He came up with a match-winning performance versus the Netherlands. After losing 2 early wickets of Pathum Nissanka and Dhanajaya de Silva, Mendis upped the ante with big shots putting the Netherlands bowlers under pressure.
He looked in great hitting form after the first 10 overs smashing Netherlands bowlers all over the park. Mendis scored 79 off 44 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes to help Sri Lanka post 162 for 6. Despite O Dowd’s efforts, Sri Lanka won the match by 16 runs. For his match-winning knock, Kusal Mendis was named the player of the match.
Mendis would be looking to replicate his performances against Australia, New Zealand, England, Afghanistan, and Ireland in the Super 12 stage starting from tomorrow.
#4 Curtis Campher
Curtis Campher had a match-winning performance in a must-win match against Scotland. He performed brilliantly with the ball picking up two wickets giving away just nine runs from two overs. Campher grabbed the wickets of Matthew Cross and Richard Berrington. Scotland posted 176 for 5 in 20 overs.
Chasing 177 runs to win, Curtis Campher came out to bat with the scoreboard reading at 57 for 3. Ireland lost another wicket to Harry Tector to leave them in trouble. Campher then came with a special knock smashing the Scotland bowlers all over the park.
He smashed fifty off 25 balls and rescued Ireland’s innings. It was a brilliant knock by Campher who remained not out on 72 off 32 balls with seven fours and two sixes to help Ireland register a famous 6-wicket win. Campher and Dockrell added unbeaten 119 runs for the 5th wicket. For his all-around performance, Campher was named the player of the match.
#5 Muhammed Waseem
Muhammed Waseem played a key role in UAE’s first win in T20 World Cup history. UAE captain CP Rizwan won the toss and decided to bat against Namibia. Waseem looked in great touch with big shots not allowing the Namibia bowlers to settle. With Arvind struggling for runs, Waseem took some risks but then showed class along with captain CP Rizwan.
He made 50 off 40 balls and eventually was caught at short-third man. CP Rizwan and Basil Hameed provided the late impetus to help UAE post 148 for 3.
Namibia needed 14 runs to win as UAE captain Rizwan handed over the ball to Waseem. He nailed the yorkers brilliantly and got rid of well-set David Wiese. It was a superb effort by Waseem as he gave away just 6 runs.
Waseem was named the Player of the Match for his all-round contribution as the UAE knocked out Namibia from the T20 World Cup.