Australia smashed New Zealand by seven wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to complete a fantastic campaign, and claim their fifth World Cup campaign. As yet another edition has ended, we look back at the top performers at the 2015 World Cup.
Mitchell Starc: At the start of the India series, Shane Warne had described him as soft. But the Aussie legend clearly wouldn’t have too many complaints of him now as the left-arm seamer put up a match of the tournament performance. The most destructive of all bowlers in the World Cup, Starc ended the World Cup with 22 wickets from 8 matches at an average of 10.18 at a splendid economy rate of 3.50, and a strike rate of 17.4. Starc claimed one five-wicket and one four-wicket haul in the event. The ball he bowled to dismiss Brendon McCullum for a duck in the final stood out.
Martin Guptill: Rather surprisingly, the New Zealand opener finished up as the leading run-scorer in the tournament. Even though he failed in the final, Guptill had a memorable event. He ended the World Cup with 547 runs from 9 matches at an average of 68 with two hundreds and a fifty. Guptill’s standout performance was the unbeaten 237 he made against West Indies in the quarter-finals. His century against Bangladesh was crucial in helping them to victory in a close win. Guptill finished with a strike rate of 104.
Trent Boult: The New Zealand left-hander finished as the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament along with Starc. Boult claimed 22 matches in nine wickets at a fantastic average of 16.8 with one five-wicket haul and one four-wicket haul. Boult had an economy rate of 4.3 and a strike rate of 23.1 in the tournament. The left-arm seamer’s best figures in the event were 5 for 27 in the win over Australia in the league stage.
Kumar Sangakkara: In his final one-day tournament, the elegant Sri Lankan came up with a record-breaking effort, hitting four hundreds in consecutive matches, a feat never achieved before. Only one of the four tons came in a losing cause. He ended the tournament with 541 runs from seven games at an average of 108.2. Sangakkara also maintained a strike rate of 105 in the World Cup while playing proper cricketing strokes. In the quarters against South Africa, he struggled, but will be remembered for his ‘ton’tastic effort.
AB de Villiers: South Africa’s 2015 World Cup campaign may have ended in yet another heartbreak, but it wasn’t for lack of effort from their skipper. The South African captain was in splendid form with 482 runs from eight matches at an average of 96.4 with one hundred and three fifties. De Villiers finished the World Cup with a blistering strike rate of 144. His 162 not out against the West Indians was brilliant, and there was also a 99 during the course of the event. He also made a smashing 65 in the semis, but it wasn’t enough for the Proteas.
--By A Cricket Analyst