An analysis of the top eight teams and highs and lows during the eventful tournament held in Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka: 8/10
Although Sri Lanka ended as winners, were they actually the best side throughout the tournament? Not a single player from the side was among the top five run-getters or the highest wicket-takers. But, that doesn’t matter for they were at their best on the big day, and that is all that counts at the end of the day. They lost only one match in the event, a high-scoring encounter against the Englishmen, but otherwise overcame all other opponents and prevailed even in tense games. In the final, they bowled magnificently, which clinched the title for them.
If you take away the final, it was a flawless effort from India. In the earlier games, their bowlers kept them on top, and when the occasion arose, their batsmen also stood up. At various stages during the event, the likes of Ashwin, Mishra and Rohit stood up and delivered. As for Virat Kohli, he was unstoppable throughout the event. Sadly, it was on the day that mattered most that they faltered.
West Indies: 6/10
The defending champions couldn’t quite make it all the way this time. However, they did impress yet again. After putting up some strong performances against Australia and West Indies, they came up against an inspired Sri Lankans in the semi-finals. Had rain not intervened, West Indies might have got a shot at the finals. But, Lanka clearly were the better side, and deserved to go through.
South Africa: 5/10
The semi-final jinx continued for the Proteas as they were undone by the Indians. In fact, they somehow scraped through to the last four, with close wins against New Zealand (2 runs), Netherlands (6 runs), and England (3 runs). AB de Villiers and JP Duminy were in supreme form, but the rest lacked consistency.
The Asians had a tournament to forget as they couldn’t make it to the final four. Their best performance came against Australia, whom they outdid in a high-scoring clash. They won comprehensively against Bangladesh as well. But, a poor performance against the Indians and an abysmal one against West Indies cost them a spot in the semi-finals.
New Zealand: 2/10
For a change, the Kiwis hardly made their presence felt during the tournament. They were lucky to beat England courtesy the D/L method, but ironically choked against the Proteas. They had a fair chance of winning against Sri Lanka, but were exposed by Rangana Herath.
The only match they won in the event was against Bangladesh – that says something about their struggles. They were easily outdone by Pakistan, West Indies and India in a forgettable tournament.
A superb win against eventual champions Sri Lanka and another embarrassing loss against minnows Netherlands -- that in a nutshell summed up England’s disastrous effort. They went down to New Zealand and South Africa as well in close encounters, which sealed their fate in the event.
--By A Cricket Analyst