World Cup Journal #4: Felicitations and Farewells

Mitchell Starc’s 22 wickets with an average of 10.18 earned him the Man of the Series award. (image from www.3news.co.nz)

Australia have done it. They’ve pulled off a 5th World Cup Victory. They played some stellar cricket routing the much-favored New Zealand side by 7 wickets with 101 balls to spare in what turned out to be a convincingly one-sided final. From the moment Mitchell Starc uprooted Brendon McCullum’s off stump in the 5th delivery in the match, the Kiwis were Down Under the heat, and were constantly harried by Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner as they stumbled and tumbled to 183, which the Mighty Aussies chased down quite convincingly. Captain Michael Clarke, who had come under a lot of scrutiny for his patchy form during the tournament, wrapped up his ODI career with a lovely 72-ball 74, leading from the front in a manner not unlike MS Dhoni did in his scintillating innnings in the 2011 World Cup Final. New Zealand were brilliant through the tournament, but looked completely dazed in the final. Congrats Australia!
Overall, this World Cup was an extremely exciting one. It was undoubtedly the most exciting in terms of run-fests, with the 300 mark being hit on an almost daily basis. Some may complain that this is destroying the essence of cricket, but when you see the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum blasting it to all parts, don’t you just feel excited? Isn’t it just fun to watch their brutal power-hitting and (in AB’s case most of all) ludicrously outrageous strokeplay?
Some teams disappointed, but others made great strides. Bangladesh beat England to make the quarterfinals. Afghanistan came pretty close to securing a win against their Asian Sri Lanka. Ireland pulled off a stunning victory against the West Indies. Scotland had New Zealand in a corner, and all but managed to slip through with an upset. These associate nations showed now more than ever that cricket is an international sport, and every nation has the potential to make waves.
So to conclude this last World Cup Journal for 2015, I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who made this World Cup possible (I’m not a player so it isn’t cliché). It was a wonderful experience to follow, and I will miss constantly refreshing my scorecard during English class to see how the matches are going. This is also the last ODI World Cup I will watch before I go to college (*sniff sniff*). Thank you WC 2015!