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Cricket World Cup quarters set


Cricket World Cup quarters set

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AFTER 42 MATCHES in four weeks spread across 14 cities and two countries separated by sea, the Cricket World Cup has reached the quarter-final stage and cut six teams.

Co-hosts New Zealand finished unbeaten atop Pool A, including a low-scoring one-wicket win over four-time champion Australia, and defending champions India won six straight to top Pool B, an amazing form reversal after they failed to win a single competitive match on Australian soil in the two months leading up to the World Cup.

So, the quarter-finals will kick off Wednesday with 1996 champions Sri Lanka against South Africa – which have never won a knockout match at the World Cup – followed by India vs Bangladesh in Melbourne, Australia vs Pakistan in Adelaide and New Zealand hosting West Indies in Wellington on Saturday.

The only surprising absence from the last eight is England, which lost four of their six matches including heavy defeats to co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, a nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka and a 15-run defeat to Bangladesh.

Jockeying for quarter-final positions went down to the last match, with the winner of Sunday’s Pakistan vs Ireland game at the Adelaide Oval guaranteed a spot in the knockout rounds and the loser certain to finish fifth, behind the fourth-place West Indies in Pool B.

Pakistan dismissed Ireland for 237 and then chased down the result with four overs to spare. Opener Sarfraz Ahmed finished 101 not out, and Ahmed Shehzad scored 63.

The two-time champion West Indies beat the elements in a six-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to secure a spot in the last eight.

Needing to win emphatically to press for a top-four place in Pool B, and with a tropical cyclone looming, the West Indies had the UAE reeling at 26 for five before recovering to reach 175.

With Tropical Cyclone Pam bearing down on New Zealand, Johnson Charles led the charge as the West Indies hurried to 33 without loss after three overs and hit the winning runs within 32 overs, ensuring there was no washout.

Jonathan Carter then made an unbeaten 50 – his maiden ODI half century – and Denesh Ramdin 33 not out.