The World Cup found its new champions last night, when England registered their name in the history books. England defeated New Zealand in super over on boundary count to win their first-ever World Cup.
Throughout the tournament, we saw the standards of catching reach a new high, with the players stunning the fans and experts alike with incredible athleticism. Many of these catches proved to be the differences between wins and losses in the crunch games through the tournament, and we take a look at the top-five of such dismissals in the 2019 World Cup:
5: Sheldon Cottrell vs Australia
Cottrell, who reserved the ‘salute’ celebration for his wickets, took a catch worthy of breaking the norm. The West Indian pacer took a blinder on the boundary to remove Steve Smith against Australia. Smith, who was playing a gritty innings of 73, decided to up the ante and flicked the ball towards backward square, where he was caught on the boundary line.
4: Martin Guptill vs Australia
Guptill may not have had a good tournament with the bat, but made important contributions throughout the tournament on the field. One of such instances came against Australia, where the victim was, once again, Steve Smith. The Aussie batsman was caught playing a similar shot – but this time, it was quite through the air, and Guptill, who was standing at leg gully, dived to his left to take the catch. He had only 0.6 seconds to dismiss Smith, according to the broadcast graphics.
3: Fabian Allen vs Afghanistan
West Indies peaked in their very first game of the tournament. They couldn’t replicate the heroics of their game against Pakistan, but showed occasional moments of brilliance throughout the tournament. In their match against Afghanistan, which was their second and last win of the 2019 edition, Fabian Allen showed great judgment and skills to win the game for the Windies. Sayed Shirzad seemed to have cleared the fielders in the circle, but Allen ran backward of cover, put out his left hand and completed a brilliant catch.
2: Jimmy Neesham vs India
New Zealand have been one of the best fielding sides in the world, and in the first semifinal of the tournament, showed great composure on the field. One of such examples was the catch from Jimmy Neesham to dismiss Dinesh Karthik, who was finding his feet on the pitch, albeit slowly. Karthik, who had been weathering the storm alongside Rishabh Pant after India lost three quick wickets in the 240-chase, decided to shift gears and played the cut. However, Neesham put an impressive dive on the left, stuck out his left hand and grabbed the ball to put India on backfoot.
1: Ben Stokes vs South Africa
One of the most celebrated catches of the tournament, however, came in the first game of the tournament. Ben Stokes launched himself, rather horizontally to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo at the midwicket. It would certainly have been a six, if not for the incredible dive from the English all-rounder.