The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 has been a breath of fresh air as we got to see a limited-overs ICC tournament after a long time. However, the best part of the tournament was to see the Associate teams playing with everything they have, first in the qualifying stages and then seeing them featured in the Super 12 among the elites of cricket.
Today, we will discuss which Associate team did the best in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.
Disappointing Associates of T20 World Cup 2021
Starting with the Netherlands, one of the favorites to advance to the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 commenced, severely underperformed.
The Netherlands failed to win a single match out of their three, losing to Ireland, Sri Lanka, Namibia. Only Max O'Dowd, Pieter Seelar were dependable and performed to the level they were expected.
Safe to say, Netherlands were one of the worst teams among the Associates sides. Hopefully, they'll work harder and get back stronger in future.
Papua New Guinea were the other disappointing Associate side in this world cup as they didn't live up to the potential they had built for them. Similar to the Netherlands, even PNG lost all three of their games but in Group B against Scotland, Bangladesh, and Oman.
For PNG, their skipper Assad Vala was the sole performer with the ball and bat. Apart from him, the entire team didn't bring out the best in themselves. PNG's NRR was -2.655 which is worse than Netherlands' NRR (-2.460) and that makes them the worst Associate team of the tournament.
Average Associates in T20 World Cups 2021
Ireland were the other high-profile Associate side that created an enormous buzz as to what they could achieve in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
Ireland won only a single game out of their three in Group A and that was against the Dutch. Curtis Campher's double-hat trick was the only highlight of Ireland's performance in the T20 World Cup.
Andrew Balbirinie and Gareth Delany were the other two players who weren't very consistent but at least put some performances to their name.
Oman were the average Associate side from Group B as they managed to win just one out of their three matches. Oman did not have the best team but they still had a team that could've done more.
They started the qualifiers in exquisite fashion, beating PNG by 10 wickets, courtesy of their bowling and exceptional batting by Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh.
The two batsmen were the major contributors for Oman and that's the biggest reason why the team fell short of a qualification to the Super 12. Hopefully, next time, we will see more preparation from them as this tournament could now serve as an example of the level of cricket they need to play if they want to excel in the sport.
Best Associate sides in T20 World Cup 2021
The four teams that qualified to the Super 12 stages were Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Scotland and Namibia. This gives you a hint of the best Associate teams in the tournament, doesn't it?
Scotland and Namibia did great to make it to this level and it would be harsh to say that they didn't perform well. Every other team apart from these two have been on the global stage for quite some time and these teams did all they could.
In fact, even Scotland has had more exposure when compared to Namibia. Now that we are talking about the best, we know only one team can be the best. Do you know who it is out of these two?
Well, evidently, it is Namibia. Not just because they've had less exposure but the fact that they still performed better than Scotland.
Both of them were in the same group and while Scotland lost all their matches, Namibia managed to beat them and their far superior NRR shows that they were comparatively the better side against the other opponents as well.
For Namibia, David Wiese was a boon to their team as his performance with the ball and the bat was phenomenal. Not just him, Namibia played more like a team than the other Associate sides, with the likes of Rubel Trumpelmann, Jan Frylinck, Bernard Scholtz, Zane Green, Craig Williams, and JJ Smit, all of them contributing in one way or the other.
For Scotland, George Munsey, Richard Berrington, Michael Leask, and Josh Davey were a few players who performed better than the rest of the squad.
Namibia were truly an inspiration to a lot of cricketing and non-cricketing nations and their performance in the T20 World Cup 2021 is now a benchmark for them to surpass when they come on such a grand stage next.
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