Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and UAE may have been knocked out of the World Cup following the group clashes, but some players from their team stood up to be counted. As the World Cup takes a break for a few days, we look back at some impressive showings by men from the lesser-known teams.
Shaiman Anwar: UAE may have not made much of an impression in World Cup 2015, but Anwar was clearly a cut above the rest when it came to their batting. During the course of the series, he became the first player from his country to register a hundred in the World Cup. And while that was a significant achievement, it was his overall consistency that was so impressive. In six matches, he totalled 311 runs at an average of 51.8 with one hundred and two fifties, and a highest score of 106. Even after facing some of the best attacks in world cricket, he finished the tournament with a strike rate of 91, which was a standout aspect of his performance.
Samiullah Shenwari: Noplayer from Afghanistan managed a hundred in the World Cup, but Shenwari came closest, and he was also chiefly responsible for Afghanistan’s only victory in the tournament, against Scotland. He scored 254 runs in six matches at an average of 42.3 with two half-centuries. Shenwari’s best was the 96 against Scotland which helped Afghanistan their maiden World Cup triumph. His strike rate of 57.2 was slightly on the lower side, but that was understandable since their batting did not fire as expected, with the likes of Mohammad Nabi and Nawroz Mangal not living up to expectations.
Andrew Balbirnie: Ireland skipper William Porterfield was the top run-scorer for the team in the World Cup. But, that wasn’t surprising. In Balbirnie, was featuring in his World Cup, and the talented batsman came up with a highly impressive performance. Balbirnie is rated highly in Ireland, and now we know why. He finished with 236 runs in six games at an average of just under 40 with two fifties at a highest of 97. That’s not all, he scored his runs at a strike rate of 90.
Josh Davey: For a brief while, Scotland’s Davey was the top wicket-taker in the World Cup. That says a lot about how well he has bowled. In six games, he has finished with 15 wickets at an average of 20.7 and a strike rate of 20. He consistently claimed wickets, and finished with best bowling figures of 4 for 68.
Shapoor Zadran: He was expected to be Afghanistan’s most effective bowler in the event, and Shapoor did not disappoint. He claimed 10 wickets in six matches at an average of 26.5 with a best of 4 for 38. Shapoor struck at an impressive strike rate of 30. He is definitely a bright prospect as far as Afghanistan’s future is concerned.
--By A Cricket Analyst