Elusive 500-run mark looks like a distant dream in this World Cup - GulfToday

Elusive 500-run mark looks like a distant dream in this World Cup


West Indian batsman Shai Hope vowed to break the 500-run barrier in this World Cup.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

The claims of Shai Hope that the West Indies with their raw power and prowess are capable of breaching an elusive 500-run mark at the World Cup looks like a far-fetched dream.

Hope was perhaps little carried away when he threw down the gauntlet ahead of the showpiece event.

Cricket is normally considered as a batsmen’s game and usually dominated by them as well. But in this edition of the World Cup, it is bowlers who are ruling the roost so far.

Having the hitters like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Carlos Braithwaite, who smashed four consecutive sixes off England’s Stuart Broad in the final to fetch West Indies T20 title, must have prompted Hope to fancy their chance of going past the magical figure of 500 runs, which has eluded the teams all over the world in an almost 50-year long history of one-day games.

A total of 4338 runs have been scored in the first ten matches of the World Cup. The average run scored in every match is 433.8 and if bifurcated further, per innings it comes down 216.9, which is 283.1 runs short than the Hope’s predicted figure.

So, the chances of any team breaching 500-run mark looks pretty bleak. So far only four teams - Pakistan, England, South Africa and Bangladesh -- have been able to cross the milestone of 300 runs at the mega event.

After a very lukewarm start, all the teams had to dig deep for every single run. Pakistan were bowled out for a paltry 105 only in 21.4 overs against Windies and in the following match, Sri Lanka were restricted to 136 against a disciplined New Zealand.

It was Bangladesh who set the tone and change the complexion of the tournament by setting South Africa a huge target of 330 for an upset win.

Pakistan endorsed the unpredictable tag and set England the highest target the tournament with a commendable performance.

England, who are also a batting powerhouse with the like of Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the line-up, reciprocated positively and piled up 334 to lose the game just by 14 runs.

No doubts, the inception of the shorter formats of the games like T20 and T10 have changed the landscape the way cricket has been played for over a century.

England have gone nearest to the magical figure of 500, when they piled up 481/6, courtesy 46-ball 116 by Buttler. They obliterated their own  previous best of 444 set against Pakistan in 2016.

However, a score of 400 plus has been breached 20 times in ODIs with South Africa going over the line a record 6 times, India 5, England 4, Sri Lanka 2, Australia 2 and New Zealand 1.

For me it is likely to be England to reach there first. They have great depth in batting and all their batsmen are in form.

India could be the one also to break that psychological barrier as they have world’s best batsmen.

But in this World Cup, it is unlikely to be broken with the kind of batting performances we have seen so far.

One thing is for sure, a score of 500 runs in ODIs is inevitable but it remains to be seen which team will get there first and blaze a trail for the others to follow. However, once breached it will become a normal practice, like a score of 400 plus runs does not make headlines any more nor the discourse are replete with that subject at social gatherings.