A Sri Lanka spinner, a West Indies white-ball wonder and an all-rounder dominating on home soil are set to be among the key players in the Super Six stage of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
The stakes have been raised as the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 moves to the Super Six stage and the leading talents on each team now have an opportunity to lift their side to a crucial top-two finish.
Sri Lanka and hosts Zimbabwe both start the next phase with four points each, and have several standouts taking the reins to lead their team to the showcase event in India later this year.
Netherlands and West Indies were the other sides to progress from Group A and both have multiple in-form batters boosting their hopes, while Scotland and Oman can turn to more balanced line-ups that guided them out of Group B.
With only two spots still up for grabs at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, here are the players set to light up each team in the Super Six stage of the CWC23 Qualifier:
The leg-spinner launched into the Cricket World Cup Qualifier with three five-wicket hauls to equal Pakistan great Waqar Younis’ record for the most consecutive five-fors in ODIs.
Hasaranga was the top wicket-taker in the group stage with 18 scalps as he regularly deceived batters with his wrong’un, though Scotland and Ireland gave his opponents hope when taking the 25-year-old for seven or more runs an over.
Most runs: Dimuth Karunaratne – 223
Most wickets: Wanindu Hasaranga – 18
The all-rounder is neither Zimbabwe’s leading run-scorer or wicket-taker, but has shown at this tournament and in the past that he can step up to perform on the biggest stages.
Raza blasted the second-most sixes in the group stage with 12, and scored the fastest ODI century ever for Zimbabwe followed by a more composed fifty, on the way to compiling the sixth-most runs despite only batting three times.
The spinner was also among the top six wicket-takers in the group stage with eight scalps, and can be similarly brilliant in the field even at the age of 37.
Most runs: Sean Williams – 390
Most wickets: Richard Ngarava – 10
The Scotland skipper arrived at the tournament a little short of runs but found form at the right time with a century in the win over the UAE and then a fifty against Oman.
A mainstay of the squad for more than a decade, Berrington will need to lead the way in pivotal clashes with Zimbabwe, Netherlands and West Indies to add another Cricket World Cup to his experience after Scotland’s 2015 campaign.
Most runs: Richie Berrington – 207
Most wickets: Chris Greaves – 10
The Netherlands all-rounder will never fly under the radar again after his scintillating Super Over exploits against West Indies.
Van Beek smashed a record-breaking 30 runs from the decisive over, then took the ball and claimed two West Indies wickets to seal the incredible triumph and two crucial points for Netherlands to carry into the Super Six stage.
The all-rounder made 48 runs in three late-innings outings as part of the 50-over contests, and took six scalps in the group stage on top of his Super Over heroics.
Netherlands can expect the likes of skipper Scott Edwards to consistently score runs, but van Beek is now the player they will turn to when the game is on the line.
Most runs: Scott Edwards – 217
Most wickets: Bas de Leede – 7
The left-hander arrived at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier with an imposing batting average hovering around 40 from 54 ODIs, but with only one century in the format.
Pooran has since scored two more tons, and made strong starts in his other innings at the event, to have the second-most runs at the tournament and be the key to the two-time champions’ fading hopes of progressing further.
Captain Shai Hope has also impressed with a century and fifty during the tournament, but has been more controlled than the devastating Pooran who leads the competition for sixes with 15.
Most runs: Nicholas Pooran – 296
Most wickets: Alzarri Joseph – 8
The experienced pacer led Oman through their CWC League 2 as he played every match in the campaign, and has stood tall again at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
Bilal takes the new ball and is regularly able to restrict the flow of early runs, but showed how he could have more of an impact with a fiery spell against Scotland.
The 35-year-old took a wicket in the first over of that match and finished with 5/55, but will need similar performances if Oman are to cause an upset or two in the Super Six stage.
Most runs: Aqib Ilyas – 142
Most wickets: Bilal Khan – 9