A total of ten teams are contesting the qualifier for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. They have been divided into Group A and Group B, with only two spots up for grabs. Zimbabwe is hosting the qualifiers from June 18, 2023, to July 9, 2023.
Sri Lanka and the West Indies are more likely to reach the ultimate battleground. Both teams are in different groups, but they still bear the weight of winning the World Cup. The West Indies were victorious twice, in 1975 and 1979. Sri Lanka has won the championship only once, in 1996.
Given the current scenario, Dasun Shanaka is leading his Lankan army stronger than before. The 175-run win over the UAE makes it rather more evident. The skipper may not have surpassed the one-run mark, but others were able to score 355 runs off of 6 wickets. The UAE fell short after the openers collapsed despite the aggressive start.
They were unable to score more than 180 runs. Wanindu Hasaranga took six wickets, including that of the opposition’s captain, Muhammad Waseem. He had a strike rate of 81.25 percent. He ultimately responded to the throw to deep mid-wicket while under intense pressure. In the 17th over, Asalanka made a move and caught the ball.
In sharp contrast, Sri Lankan openers went on a spree to wildly hit the shots. Pathum Nissanka scored 57 runs off 76 balls, while his partner brought up 52 runs off 54 balls. Charith Aalansa remained unbeaten with a strike rate of 208.70. The UAE allowed Ali Naseer and Aayan Khan to complete their economic innings. Others were constantly rotated, probably giving the Lankan army a hint of their nervousness.
The West Indies had their nerves beating faster than usual. The USA is ideally not a team that someone like Shai Hope would worry about. In the opening event, the US fell short by 39 runs to complete the chase of 298 in 50 overs. The early falls of Brandon King and Kyle Mayers for just two runs burdened the rest of them. Undoubtedly, the third wicket stood its ground for a good partnership; however, it could have been less of a worry than it actually turned out to be. Johnson Charles and the Indies skipper rebuilt the foundation from scratch.
The bowling unit of the USA was shining throughout the innings. Saurabh Netravalkar, Kyle Philip, and Steven Taylor picked up three wickets each. They have a long way to go to make everyone believe that this was not merely the work of luck. Assuming they replicate this performance, one can assume that the US is on the verge of coming out as a strong team.
Gajanand Singh scored an unbeaten 101 runs off 109 balls. The odds on the top betting sites for cricket were inclined to favor West Indies. An inning by Singh nearly changed that dimension. West Indies has a lot to worry about before considering playing the next game.
At the time of drafting this article, West Indies are in the second position in Group A with 2 points and +0.750 NRR. Zimbabwe, the host, leads the chart for Group A, with an NRR of +0.789 and 2 points. Sri Lanka is in the first position in their group with +3.500 NRR and 2 points. Following them is Oman with +0.297 NRR and the same number of points.
The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 Qualifier resumes the action on June 20, 2023.