This cricket World Cup has seen some fine performances by teams that are low-ranked. In addition to Ireland beating West Indies, we saw Scotland making New Zealand work hard for their win. Scotland was dismissed for only 142 in 36.2 overs, setting NZ up for an easy win. But NZ, showing an uncharacteristically cavalier attitude perhaps because they faced such an low target, lost seven wickets before reaching the score in 24.5 overs.
The match between the UAE, making their first World Cup appearance in 19 years, and Zimbabwe proved to be unexpectedly close. UAE, whose players are described as middle-aged part-timers, batted first and scored a very creditable 285/7. In their chase Zimbabwe lost five wickets for 144, raising hopes for an upset that would give the UAE their first ever World Cup win but it was not to be, with Sean Williams and Craig Ervine steadying the Zimbabwean side and bringing them close to the total they needed.
This game also saw one of the unusual ways that a batsman can get out. The five most common ways are bowled, caught, run out, stumped, and lbw. But there are five other ways that rarely occur and one of them is something called ‘hit wicket’, when a batsman in the course of playing his shot accidentally disturbs the stumps behind him. You can see a clip of Regis Chakabva of Zimbabwe losing his balance and getting out this way here.
Today New Zealand plays England, a game that is expected to be close and particularly important for England to win.