World Cup

The Quarterfinal dossier

This will be the third time — the first outside the sub-continent — that the World Cup will witness the quarterfinal phase. Only the 1996 and 2011 editions followed this format.

Sri Lanka has never lost in the last-eight stage, meeting and beating England on both occasions.

South Africa has never won a quarterfinal clash, losing the plot against a Brian Lara-inspired West Indies the first time and being done in by Jacob Oram’s probing spell against the Kiwis in the next.

The side which has defeated South Africa in the quarterfinals has gone on to lose the very next game. Call it curse or coincidence, both West Indies and New Zealand fell by the wayside in the semifinals after upstaging the Proteas.

In the eight quarterfinal matches of the World Cup, teams pursuing a target have been successful five times while three have floundered in the chase. The South Africans came unstuck in both chases while Pakistan went down to India in an action-packed encounter in Bangalore in 1996.

No team has scored 300 in a quarterfinal, the highest being Australia’s 289 against the Kiwis — who scored 286 — in Chennai in 1996.

Chris Harris and Ricky Ponting finished on the losing side despite putting their best foot forward in quarterfinal contests. The Kiwi’s 130 was overshadowed by Mark Waugh’s 110 as Australia made light of a tall chase in Chennai (1996), while Ponting’s 104 was trumped by a spirited Indian reply at Ahmedabad in 2011.

There have been no five-wicket hauls in the last-eight stage, the best being Shahid Afridi’s four for 30 against the West Indies in Pakistan’s 10-wicket win in 2011.

S. Venkataraghavan had the unique distinction of officiating on home turf when he stood in the Australia-New Zealand quarterfinal in Chennai in 1996.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 8:23:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/the-quarterfinal-dossier/article7004699.ece

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