The best moments and performances of this World Cup

Before the rain ends it all.

It rained again today. There was no cricket at all. You may have noticed this.

It is now the rainiest World Cup of all time, already.

So Charlie and I have put together a couple of lists. I asked him to come up with the best performances of the World Cup so far. he left off Stoinis (I think because he hates the nickname Stoino).

The best performances

(Honourable mentions to QDK V Zim. Raza V Ireland, Blessing at Perth. Phillips’ catch. Sky’s end of innings v Ned. Tim Southee’s wickets. Sam Curran’s five for. Both Kusal Mendis knocks.)

West Indies v Ireland - Paul Stirling 66* (48)

In one of many upsets, Gareth Delany's 3/16 helped restrict the West Indies to just 146/5 before Paul Stirling fired with the bat to dump the Caribbean side out of the tournament. Stirling hit 66* from 48 balls, combining first with Balbirnie and then Tucker as Ireland knocked off the target in just 17.3 overs for the loss of just 1 wicket. Stirling made the whole thing look easy.

The opening game upset that set the tone for a tournament full of them. Namibia were rather plodding along at 95/6 after 15 overs with star man David Wiese out for a first ball duck. Jan Frylinck stepped up though hitting 44 from 28 balls as Namibia finished on a much more respectable 163/7. Frylinck then popped up with the ball as well, picking up 2/26 from his 4 overs as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 108.

If you want to know more about Namibia, check out this pod.

South Africa v Bangladesh - Rilee Rossouw 109 (56)

South Africa's thrashing of Bangladesh was achieved with both bat and ball, Rossouw smashing the ball all round the SCG to register the first hundred of the tournament and help his team to 205/5.

Anrich Nortje 3.3 overs 4/15

Then Nortje's express pace ensured Bangladesh's chase never ever got close, his figures of 4/15 from 3.3 overs helping to bowl out the 'desh for just 101.

Ireland v England - Andy Balbirnie 62 (47)

Before the match few people expected Ireland to beat England, their captain himself practically included, he admitted after the match. However it was his takedown of England's seamers, along with Lorcan Tucker, that helped set the platform for his team's upset win. Balbirnie scored almost double what anyone else managed in the match and then managed his bowlers well to stifle England's chase and pull off a DLS adjusted win that has shaken up the whole of Group 1.

Scotland v West Indies - Mark Watt 3/12

West Indies were thrashed by Scotland back on the second day of the tournament. George Munsey's 66 from 53 helped the Scots to 160/5, but it was Mark Watt who stifled the opposition with the ball, finishing with the incredible figures of four overs, 3/12 as the Windies were bowled out for just 118 and Scotland sealed a famous win.

Scotland v Ireland - Curtis Campher 72* (32) & 2/9

Ireland were dead and buried against Scotland, 61/4 in the 10th over chasing 177. Curtis Campher, who had already taken 2/9 with the ball, had other ideas though. Combining with George Dockrell the pair put on an unbroken partnership of 119 from 57 balls, as Campher finished with 72* from 32, stunning Scotland in an extraordinary come from behind win.

Zimbabwe v Pakistan - Sikandar Raza 3/25

Nobody gave Zimbabwe much of a chance trying to defend 130 in the fake Mr Bean grudge match, but their bowlers stepped up and delivered the upset of the tournament. Raza was deadly with his four overs – taking 3/25 including Shadab Khan and Haider Ali with consecutive balls – as Pakistan's chase spluttered. He struck again with the key wicket of Shan Masood as Zimbabwe pulled off the shock of the competition.

New Zealand v Australia - Devon Conway 92* (58) & 2 catches

Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner took three wickets apiece to bowl out the Australians for just 111 but they were always well behind in the game anyway after Devon Conway smashed their bowlers all round the SCG. His 92* from 58 balls, including seven 4s and two 6s, took New Zealand to a formidable total of 200/3 from their 20 overs as the hosts were thrashed in the opening of the Super 12 stage.

Pakistan v India - Virat Kohli 82 (53)

The big game of the tournament so far lived up to the hype, with both teams trading blows back and forth. It was Kohli though who struck the decisive one, literally in the case of the extraordinary six he hit down the ground off Haris Rauf but also with the poise he displayed in pulling off a chase that had looked beyond India at the end of the powerplay. Pakistan had reduced them to 31/4 after 6.1 overs, but Kohli batted through to the end, smashing 82* from 53, as India knocked off the 48 they required from the final three overs to seal a thrilling win.

The best World Cup moments

(Honourable mentions, David Wisese and Max O’Dowd’s last men stands. South Africa Zimbabwe being forced to play in a swimming pool. Bhuvi’s first over v Pakistan. Mark Watt’s three 25 yard wickets. QDK’s race to beat Zimbabwe. Arshdeep to Babar. Shikongo’s double wicket breakthrough against SL.)

Stoinis’ attack

This also could have been on the other list, but we put it here, at least in part because while it was a great knock, it did start with two accidental boundaries and maybe even three. But in terms of Australia, it was the first time the home nation was actively involved in the tournament. Sadly most people in the country were already asleep as it was a night game in Perth. But there was some sweet hitting there.

SKY six

I haven't been able to get this shot out of my mind since it happened. It was only yesterday, but even so. Logan van Beek is going for the back heel yorker, and gets it way wrong. It's too wide, and also the wrong length. I think one of two things happens here for most batters: they swing hard and miss or just leave it. The less likely option is the David Gower flick shot. That is hard to play as well. This is something else entirely. He doesn't flick it with the angle, he turns around and almost straight bats it over backward square. A pickup shot slash drive. That is hard to do if the ball is under your eyes. But the ball is almost a metre from his head, to be able to make this contact to that shot is remarkable. That is not normal.

Siddique six

UAE lit up the World Cup with their beautiful winter strips and also their final round-altering win over Namibia. But for pure spectacle, how about when their big quick Junaid Siddique slapped a ball 109 metres. He had bowled well in their first game, getting some fast reverse yorkers in, but this was better. This ball was outta there as they say in that other sport.


Ireland might as well have been packing its bags to head home three-quarters of their way through the Scotland match. Their top order was gone, Scotland was in control, and it looked like the most likely result was Scotland through to the next round and Ireland heading home early. Again. Campher's innings was so brutal and absolute. It's probably one of the most T20 moments we have seen in this stodgy world cup so far.

Scotland beat West Indies

There were a few of us who thought this group was far more even than the bookmakers and casual fans thought. All three teams had a chance of beating the West Indies, but the fact it happened straight up was another huge step for Scottish cricket. That they didn't qualify for the next round - as they did last time - meant that the entire thing was confusing for them. But that is two wins over Test nations in their last two campaigns.

Have done an entire episode with Qasim Sheikh on Scotland’s tournament if you need it.

Ireland beat England

The Ireland win over England is ahead of Scotland's win over the West Indies because England was the favourites for this tournament. Yes it was rain-assisted, and also Ireland got the better of the conditions. But Ireland went up against the team that spends the longest thinking about T20 cricket, and were smarter in every way. This wasn't a fluke situation, or one player having a day. Ireland out-batted and bowled England in a huge game. This was big.

Namibia beat Sri Lanka

Remember when Namibia won the first game of the tournament 400 days ago. Like Scotland, the fact they went out dulls that vibe. But wow, do you remember how you felt back then, in the days before the World Cup became a watersport. Namibia were obviously good last tournament, but to beat the Asia Cup winners in the first game, that was huge. And they did it when it looked like they were going to get embarrassed at one stage. You've gotta love this side.

Last over Ind V Pak

I have still not fully recovered from the last over for Pakistan v India. The keeper standing back as the spinner tried medium pace. The full tosses. The no ball call. Erasmus counselling Babar. The two left wides. The bowled that went for three of the least deserved byes in cricket history. The stumping. Ashwin's final ball. What a brilliant over of cricket. What a stupid over of cricket.

Virat's six

I cannot fully sum up how good a shot this was. When you factor in the bowler, the delivery, the ground, the pitch, the game situation, and Virat's T20 form, to pull off a shot like this at that time is crazy. As I have no doubt said before, to pull off a shot like this in a club match against a guy who was late to the game because he had to drop his kids off at cello practice would be something special, to do it in this game, at this time. Wow. He essentially played a a backfoot drive to a slower ball while falling back for six on a wicket that almost no one else had been able to score properly on at all.

Zimbabwe's win

Before the game, the biggest thing to happen in the Zimbabwe Pakistan match was a tweet referencing the 2016 Harare Agricultural Show. Talk about a slow news game. And then the match started and Zimbabwe's batting just never really arrived. Even as Zimbabwe bowled well enough to make you feel interested, there was that nagging feeling that this would all fall apart.

Shadab had them covered, or Shan would see it home. Mohammad Wasim would top edge a couple of sixes, or Nawaz would finally get a couple away. In the last over, that felt even more inevitable with a few balls left. . But it never happened. Zimbabwe just never let Pakistn win,

And my absolute favourite moment was Regis Chakabva, who earlier had pulled off the brilliant stumping of Shan Masood, now fumbled the run out, but had enough time and composure just to pick it up and sort out his mistake. That was the game, right, Zimbabwe fumbled the first innings, and then still had enough composure to get it right for the end.

You could actually almost include this match twice, because the actual result was a graet moment, but so was the last three overs (and it would have been if Pakistan had won too)

Even in the World Cup of upsets, with two other great Zimbabwe wins to choose from. This was my moment of the tournament so far.

And I think this list is pretty amazing, and if it ever stops raining in Australia, I can't wait to see what happens next.