The last round of Group 2 matches was dramatic as the Netherlands did a huge service for Pakistan to change the face of the qualifying scenario.
Pakistan join India in qualifying for the semi-finals, with South Africa falling victim on the final day with a surprise loss to the Dutch.
Here’s the final standings and how the teams fared in a spectacular Group 2…
A semi-final against England awaits India after a group stage that went almost better than expected.
A last-ball win over Pakistan gave the side the dramatic moment they needed to kick them off at the start of the group, and they kept their composure until the end to defeat Zimbabwe and secure top spot. of group 2.
Suryakumar Yadav is the best T20I hitter in the world and lives up to that ranking; Virat Kohli scored points at the bucket load; and Arshdeep Singh rose at the right time to help fill the void left by injured Jasprit Bumrah.
Two games separate India from the title of world champion.
The greatest of Pakistan’s great escapes. Those dramatic early losses to India and Zimbabwe brought them to the brink from the start of the Super 12 stage.
But it’s not a team that gives up, and even with the slightest chance, they picked themselves up. Victory over South Africa was key in the end, setting up the final day pressure that saw the Proteas crumble and presented Pakistan with the opportunity to snatch a half place at the last .
Still, they still needed a win over Bangladesh to do so, and it will be reassuring to Pakistan that their opening pair have at least managed to spend some time in the middle and build up the win. Forward and upward.
From potential winners to the tournament’s biggest underachievers in a matter of days, South Africa’s capitulation was dramatic, even by the standards of a country that has competed in World Cups before.
Losing to a burning Pakistan was understandable and forgivable, but the loss to the Netherlands with everything on the line is one of the most shocking results in World Cup history.
There will be regrets about that failed match against Zimbabwe, and questions will be asked about the team selection. But ultimately, it was a team more than capable of reaching the last four, a team that could well have won the tournament. Let the autopsy begin.
What a month for Dutch cricket! Negotiating Round 1 and qualifying for the Super 12 was the main objective for the Netherlands when they arrived in Australia, and they achieved it in style.
But having achieved their goal, it looked like they were going to underperform on the stage they had worked so hard for.
Two wins in the last two matches change all that. Beating Zimbabwe avoided the ignominy of a zero-point comeback, but better was yet to come, and the victory over South Africa is a huge moment.
To take the scalp of a great nation while they are complacent is one thing, but to achieve such a result in a game that really matters is quite another. The Dutch are a major force in the game. This can no longer be ignored.
The win also made it into the top four, meaning the Netherlands automatically qualified for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The knock-on effect of this feat is that two more teams will qualify for the European qualifiers – great news for Scotland and Ireland, who will now be big favorites to go down this route.
Two wins and three losses would probably never be enough for Bangladesh, but they had the chance to do something extraordinary on the final day. This defeat against Pakistan ensured that it was a positive but ultimately unsuccessful tournament.
What is encouraging is the emergence of some truly world-class talent with the ball, which should see Bangladesh compete in many white ball tournaments in the future.
Worryingly, they will now have to qualify for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after failing to finish in the top four.
Qualifying in the first round and that stunning victory over Pakistan ensured that this tournament would always be memorable for Zimbabwe.
The loss to the Netherlands and the heavy margin of defeat against India meant the Super 12 stage ended on a subdued note for Zimbabwe, but that shouldn’t take away from what has been a brilliant World Cup for the team.
Sikandar Raza in particular has been shaping up to be a true star of the game, and can be expected to feature in many franchise leagues over the coming years, as well as hopefully for his team. national in future 50-over and T20 World Cups.