The fourth and final day of the fifth week of the Virtual Cricket Tournament 2020 saw six matches being played on Friday, July 3. There were some memorable performances in the simulated reality league cricket tournament, and here, we look at what transpired through the day and bring you the summary of each virtual match.
SA vs ENG, Match 19: ENG won by 10 runs
ENG continued their winning form from the previous day with another triumph to begin Day 4. After SA won the toss and opted to field, ENG didn't really fare all that well, which was reflected in their 47/3 tally.
However, their bowlers were on point, whether in taking wickets or restricting runs. None of the SA batters except Hanif Amla were able to post double-digit scores and the overs dried up with them 11 runs short of the winning target.
NZ vs AUS, Match 20: AUS won by one run
NZ won the toss and opted to let their neighbours AUS bat first, who went on to post a stout total of 58/4. Daniel Warner and Mark Stoinis did the heavy lifting in this one, with a 9-ball 24 and 5-ball 18 respectively, the latter at an astounding strike-rate of 360.
NZ, to their credit, recovered well from a poor start, with Ken Williamson, Ross Tailor and Chris de Grandhomme posting healthy double-digit scores. However, with such a big target to chase down, that early lull in the scoring came back to haunt NZ as they fell short in their chase by two runs.
IND vs PAK, Match 21: PAK won by nine wickets
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Rohan Sharma and Shikhar Dhaven put together a 27-run partnership for the first wicket, which was followed by a 20-run haul by KL Rajul, helping set the IND tally at 53/3 to end the innings.
However, IND were in for a rude awakening, as PAK's No. 3 batsman Shoaeb Malek went absolutely berserk, posting 34 off 14, including five boundaries and a six to see his side seal the win against their arch-rivals with an entire over to spare.
ENG vs NZ, Semi-final 1: NZ won by 27 runs
NZ opted to bat and Callum Munro and Markus Guptill were on the money right off the bat, putting together a 44-run stand for the first wicket. Following Munro's dismissal, Guptill didn't skip a beat, going on to put 24 more runs on the board while Ken Williamson spectated from the non-striker's end with zero runs to his name.
With 69 runs to chase down for the win, to say ENG came up short would be a master of an understatement. Sporadic scoring, especially during the second and third overs, which saw a grand total of six singles and two dismissals, underscored the poor showing that saw them lose by 27 runs.
AUS vs IND, Semi-final 2: AUS won by nine wickets
After opting to let IND bat first, AUS' bowlers did well to restrict the opposition batsmen to 45/5 at the end of the innings. With the exception of Shikhar Dhaven's 12-ball 19, IND's usual dependables were nowhere to be seen.
When it was their turn to bat, AUS sailed through the chase with ease, with Daniel Warner and Sam Smith scoring the bulk of the runs with an abundance of boundaries. They sealed the win, and their spot in the final, with 1.2 overs to spare.
NZ vs AUS, Final: AUS won by four runs
It had come down to neighbours AUS and NZ to settle the Virtual Cricket Tournament 2020 Week 5 title.
After NZ elected to field, AUS posted a sizable total of 57/1. Daniel Warner anchored his side's innings with a 16-ball 38 laced with four boundaries and two sixes while Sam Smith supported Warner with 19 off 13.
Unfortunately for NZ, AUS' bowlers were just as potent as their batsmen, which was especially true in the second over, where they restricted the Black Caps to singles only while scalping two of their stars in Guptill and Munro.
A final over devoid of boundaries or sixes nailed the coffin on NZ's hopes, as they fell five runs short of the winning target, handing the title to AUS.