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Cricket World Cup diary: This tournament has it all - and we're only eight days in!

Cricket World Cup Diary Day 8

Upsets, tension, controversy, superb individual performances, classic catches, debate and everything else. This Cricket World Cup has already had it all…and we’re only eight days in! Seriously, how good has the first week of the tournament been?

Ya snooze, ya lose

Who would've thought South Africa would be on the brink?

Who would've thought the West Indies could've and probably should've beaten Australia to be two-from-two and at the top of the standings next to the Black Caps?

Who would've thought those Black Caps would've imploded so badly against Bangladesh? OK, probably a few of you with that last one.

Sleep and you’ll miss something that you wish you hadn't. I found that out last night.

While trying to catch up on what already seems to be countless hours of precious sleep lost to this enthralling tournament, I missed another superb game (from what I've read anyway) between Australia and the West Indies.

A game that had a classic catch, some controversy (Chris Gaffaney, were you watching something different to everyone else?!) and debate, some superb individual performances (hat tip Shai Hope and particularly Nathan Coulter-Nile) and a tight contest. It really did encapsulate everything that’s unfolded already.

It's anyone's tournament

Martin Guptill batting.
New Zealand Black Caps v Bangladesh. Cricket World Cup 2019. The Oval, London, UK. Wednesday 5 June 2019. © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.co.nz
Martin Guptill batting against Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup. Source: Photosport

There are now probably more teams who I think could win the Cup than I thought before it started.

I think we can safely scratch South Africa out of the running after their horror beginning. But I never thought the West Indies or Pakistan would be a chance, and while the latter did get embarrassed by the former, they then went and upset England, go figure!

New Zealand’s started well enough, albeit against easier opposition. Australia’s win over the West Indies is rather concerning if you’re a supporter of any other team.

The fact they managed to come back from the absolute brink at 38/4 is quite remarkable, coupled with 92 from their number eight in the batting order makes them dangerous pretty much everywhere.

India have only played one game but were very emphatic over South Africa and have managed to give themselves just less than a week to recover before what shapes as the fixture of the tournament so far, against the Aussies at The Oval on Sunday night (9.30pm NZT).

I will stick with  my pre-tournament pick of Australia to win the whole thing.

A look ahead

India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot off the bowling of South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi during their Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and India at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, England, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
India's Rohit Sharma plays a shot off the bowling of South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi during their Cricket World Cup match. Source: Associated Press

What stands out in week two? Well, the above is probably the game with the most anticipation - a real gauge of where both Australia and India are at.

For New Zealand fans, things suddenly get very serious. After Saturday night’s meeting with Afghanistan, the campaign instantly ramps up significantly with game four against India at Trent Bridge.

Here we will find out just how good this Black Caps team is. In their favour is a four-day gap between games to truly prepare for what shapes as one of their biggest assignments of the round robin stage.

A win against India (presuming they beat Afghanistan) would have them with a record of 4-0 and needing just two wins to be assured a spot in the semi-finals. It’s an almighty task, but one that they are capable of achieving.

So, through half awake eyes, we say goodbye to a sensational first week of an intriguing tournament and look ahead to bigger things to come.

Refill the jug, maybe stretch the legs a little bit before settling back into that embedded print on the couch.

The fun has only just started.

Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile plays a shot during the Cricket World Cup match between Australia and West Indies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Thursday, June 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile plays a shot during the Cricket World Cup match between Australia and West Indies. Source: Associated Press