One-sided wins & Tigers' time under the sun
This was a one-sided World Cup. Period. Let's keep room for no ifs and buts with regards to this issue. Even if there was a scope for argument; it was quashed with Australia's emphatic win against the Black Caps on Sunday.
All those hopes for an exciting finish -- similar to the match in Auckland -- faded away after Michael Clarke and Steven Smith showed their class on the biggest stage. Eventually it was the team that utilised the conditions best, 'batted' themselves to victory.
Come to think of it, you can barely keep track of the number of batting records broken in this tournament.
The World Cup was like a storm that appeared out of nowhere and destroyed all those records that were, in a sense, safely preserved for decades. The double-centuries, the fastest fifties, the highest score in a World Cup, the highest score in a semifinal, the most number of boundaries in a game; you name it and in all likelihood it's been broken.
Now this isn't just one of those cynical rants; after all it did have its share of fun. However, the series of one-sided games, to a certain extent, took away the shine from the game's flagship event.
If one were to define 'one-sided wins' as matches which were won by more than a 100 runs or by more than eight wickets, then there were 19 such occasions.
The 2011 World Cup witnessed 17 such matches, while 2007 saw 19. In essence, there may not seem to be much of a difference, however a closer look at the matches reveal as to why the event in 2015 lost a lot more appeal.
While 2007 and 2011 witnessed most of the non-Full Members get thrashed, in 2015 it was one Full Member thumping the other. Of the 19 one-sided games this time, nine of them were between Test nations. This of course excludes New Zealand's 98-run win over Sri Lanka or Australia's 95-run against India in the semifinals.
While there was the occasional close game, there just weren't enough thrillers to fill the appetite. Yes, 400s and double-centuries are fun to watch; but witnessing a match fade away only 20 overs into the second innings is not.
The overall context of the World Cup however was hugely different to that of Bangladesh's perspective. When it comes to the Tigers' performance, this was clearly the best World Cup treat that their fans have ever received.
The effect that the Tigers had on their fans worldwide was amazing. The soap operas on Star Jalsha were replaced with cricketing drama; Mahmudullah Riyad was suddenly the most ideal family-man in town and the thousands of aspiring slow left-arm bowlers across the neighbourhood preferred bowling pace during those two months. The deteriorating political scenario was no longer the most talked-about issue; heck, the World Cup had even become a reason to withdraw strikes.
For the Tigers, the moment of the World Cup was the huddle in Adelaide. Minutes after Rubel Hossain reversed a yorker past James Anderson's helpless bat, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza breathed a sigh of relief and collapsed on the ground. That was followed by the entire team jumping over the skipper.
They had gone through such a rough time prior to the World Cup that a mere handshake or a group huddle wouldn't have been enough to release all that built-in frustration. It was the World Cup which raised the bar for the Tigers.