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Social media wrap – T20 World Cup off to an eventful start

From India losing to Pakistan at the ICC T20I World Cup 2021, to two international cricketers announcing retirement, here is all that made news in the world of cricket last week and how social media reacted to it.

India beat England and Australia in the warm-ups

India won both their warm-up matches before playing their first game of the Super 12 against Pakistan. Against England, they gunned down 189 with the help of half-centuries from KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. Earlier in the game, Mohammed Shami picked up three wickets. Against Australia in the second warm-up, India restricted the opponents to 152 in the first innings before chasing it down in 17.5 overs. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul shared a 68-run partnership for the first wicket, before Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya finished the game with 38 and 14 runs each. After winning both their warm-up games by big margins, India were the favourites to win their first Super 12 stage game, but they were handed a big loss by Pakistan.

Namibia register their first-ever World Cup win

Namibia made history on Wednesday after winning their first-ever ICC World Cup win by defeating the Netherlands by six wickets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Batting first, Netherlands posted 164 runs on the board. Max O’Dowd hit 70 off 56, while Colin Ackermann chipped in with 35 off 32. In reply, Namibia chased down the target with one over remaining. David Wiese stole the show with his 66-ball 40, while captain Gerhard Erasmus scored 32 off 22. Not only was this Namibia’s first ever win at a World Cup, but also their highest-successful chase in T20Is. Although they couldn’t make it to the second stage of the tournament, Namibia will be back home with a historic win.

Australia defeat South Africa in their opening match

Australia have begun their campaign at the T20 World Cup with a win over South Africa on Saturday. Batting first, the Proteas managed only 118 runs in the first innings. The only significant contribution came from Aiden Markram, who scored a 40. While 118 looked like an easy chase, the South African bowlers made sure that the Aussies didn’t have it easy. David Warner’s disappointment with the bat continued as the opener managed only 14 runs off 15 balls. His opening partner Aron Finch, on the other hand, was dismissed on a duck. Shaun Marsh, batting at number 2, couldn’t get going either. But a combined effort from Steve Smith (35), Marcus Stoinis (24) and Matthew Wade (15) bailed Australia out of trouble.  Stoinis hit three fours in the final six balls to take the side over the line.

England defeat West Indies for the first time at T20 World Cup

Defending champions West Indies were outdone by the losing finalists of 2016 – England – in their opening match of the 2021 T20 World Cup. This is the first time England have been beaten by the Windies at the T20 World Cup.

Batting first, the Kieron Pollard-led side was bundled out for 55 runs in 14.2 overs, which is the third lowest total of all time at the tournament. Apart from Chris Gayle (13), no other batter could score in double digits. Moeen Ali picked two wickets for 17 runs, while Adil Rashid picked four wickets in 2.2 overs while conceding only two runs. Rashid’s bowling figures are now the best for England in men’s T20Is; the previous best was 4 for 6 by Chris Jordan.

For England, a 21-run first-wicket partnership between Jason Roy and Jos Buttler helped them chase down the target in the eighth over.

Pakistan register their first-ever win over India at the T20 World Cup

India started their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday in Dubai, and while they appeared as the favourites to win the game, the result didn’t go their way. India, who were never beaten by Pakistan at the T20 World Cup before this game, were thrashed by 10 wickets after struggling in both the batting and bowling departments. Helped by a half-century from Virat Kohli and 39 runs from Rishabh Pant, India put up 151 runs on the board in 20 overs. Shaheen Afridi picked up three wickets, while Hasan Ali grabbed two. In reply, Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam shared an unbeaten 152-run partnership for the first wicket to take their side over the line.

Virat Kohli steers India to a decent total

Over the last two years, Virat Kohli hasn’t performed quite like the run-machine he once was. But he put up improved performances at the recently-concluded IPL 13, scoring 405 runs in 15 matches which includes three fifties. And while the IPL is at a completely different level from the prestigious World Cup, Kohli showed signs of returning to form in the latter too. When almost the entire Indian batting line-up failed to perform against Pakistan in the opening game, Kohli stood tall to hit 57 off 48 and help India reach a defendable total. The 32-year-old once again proved that form is temporary but class is permanent.

Ryan Doeschate announces retirement from international cricket

Netherlands all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate announced retirement from international cricket after his side failed to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the 2021 World Cup. The 41-year-old made his international debut in 2006 in an ODI against Sri Lanka, and went on to feature in 33 matches, scoring 1541 runs at an average of 67.00. In the shortest format, Doeschate 533 runs in 23 innings at a strike rate of 132.91. Doeschate’s most memorable innings came at the 2011 ODI World Cup – 119 against England and 106 against Ireland. He also played in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders from 2011 to 2015, playing a total of 29 games.

James Pattinson announces calls it time on his international career

Australian fast bowler James Pattinson announced his retirement from Test cricket on Wednesday, just weeks before the Ashes series. The 31-year-old right-arm quick has been struggling with frequent injuries due to which he has not been able to be a regular in the team. Pattinson played 21 Tests and 15 ODI matches for Australia in a career spanning over a decade, picking up 81 and 16 wickets respectively. In the shortest format, the right-arm bowler got to play only four matches from which he picked three wickets.

Also read: Who Has Scored the Most Runs in T20 World Cup History?

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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