Qualifiers for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 are underway. A total of six teams in the Super Six are contesting for two final spots. While the article focuses on key players for the tournament, here’s a brief update about how the first event of Super Six rolled out.
It was between Zimbabwe and Oman on the pitch of Queens Sports Club. Sean Williams clinched the title for Player of the Match for scoring 142 runs off 103 balls. Hosts had set up a chasing total of 332 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Visitors fell short by 14 runs with one wicket remaining at the end.
This was an ideal example of things going wrong in cricket after a team wins the toss.
Moving on to talk about key players, here’s the list of the batters and bowlers who are likely to leave a huge impact in the Super Six of the ICC World ODI World Cup 2023 Qualifiers.
The reference is going to come in handy as the Zimbabwe batter is the first on the list of key players for the Super Six. The 36-year-old left-handed batter has 532 runs in his account throughout the five matches played during the series. This comes to an average of 133.0 which is pretty impressive.
His batting career spans 149 ODI innings, bringing up 4,918 runs, with 174 being the highest score posted by him. He was leading the side against the US and ended up playing a match-winning knock indeed. That is where he shot 174 runs off 101 balls before he was picked up by Abhishek Paradkar for the middle throw. It was mistimed for a catch by Nosthush Kenjige. Nevertheless, he has 3-100s to his name, followed by Nickolas Pooran with 2-100s.
Hasranga plays the role of a bowling all-rounder, offering support to Sri Lanka with a right-arm leg-break throw. He has appeared in 4 matches – 5th one kicks in when Sri Lanka faces the Netherlands on June 30, 2023 – to pick 18 wickets. The economy comes to 5.04, which is not bad for the ODI format.
The 25-year all-rounder has 63 wickets for him in 44 innings. He is not necessarily as good a batter, but he is known for backing the Lankan army every time they have asked him. Hasranga’s most recent performance versus Scotland makes it evident why he is a valuable player. He picked the opener, Christopher McBride and Mark Watt, to destroy the middle order. His best bowling figure in Qualifiers 2023 is 6 wickets for 24 runs at an economy of 3.00.
Pooran is way behind the first spot in terms of scoring the most runs. He has 296 for him in 4 matches as of the time of drafting this article. However, he is the most valuable Player West Indies can have at the moment. The team has a slim chance of making it to the tournament. They must win all their matches to play in the finals of the Super Six. This includes defeating Sri Lanka, which could be nearly difficult for the struggling 2-time world champions.
The left-handed batter has 1,929 runs in 55 innings. Things working for him better are his right-arm off-break bowling attack which can give the Indies bowler some time to relax. As for his record in Qualifiers, the batter has attacked at an average of 98.66 and is closely followed by his teammate Shai Hope with a total of 263 runs. Pooran is the batter who remained unbeaten at 104 runs off 65 balls versus the Netherlands. Efforts went down the drain after the opponent secured a win in the Super Over. His batting efforts were lauded by everyone – fan or not.
The Zimbabwe bowler is just 6 wickets behind Hasranga on the list. His economy is slightly better at 4.70, giving him a spot on the list. Moreover, his economical spell and the 2-wicket wonder against Oman make it obvious that the left-handed fast-medium bowler cannot be ignored by any team.
He has 45 wickets in total across 36 ODI innings. The recent bowling attack against Oman helped the hosts secure a major win in the opener of Super Six. Richard dismantled the middle order by dismissing Shoaib Khan and Kaleemullah for 11 runs and 1 run, respectively. Kaleemullah does not form a part of the middle order, but the pressure brought down to him made him look up to playing that role at his best.
The initial favorites were Sri Lanka and West Indies. Odds on the best online cricket betting sites are now changing their stand, often citing that Zimbabwe could make it to the top two teams along with Sri Lanka by the end of the Super Six series.
Two out of four key players listed are from Zimbabwe purely based on their performance. Things happen, and tables turn swiftly in sports. There is still a probability that anything can happen despite these being the top four picks.