Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street Cricket Ground

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The Riverside Cricket Ground, officially known as the Emirates Riverside, is an international cricket ground located in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England. It is the home to Durham County Cricket Club and also serves as the home ground for England in international matches of all formats of cricket. A relatively newer ground, it has hosted matches of all forms of the game despite some older grounds that have yet to do so. The ground will be utilized in the later stages of WC to host a few matches which will ascertain the final four teams which will advance to the next stage.

Short History:

Established in 1995, the stadium quickly came into the spotlight when it was featured in the 1999 ICC WC where it hosted its first ODI match. Test cricket was introduced to the ground back in 2003 and the first T20 was played in 2008. Since then, the ground has hosted a number of ODI whose details are given below:

  • ODI Matches: 17
  • Seating Capacity: 17000 Approx.
  • Matches won by teams batting first: 5
  • Matches won by teams batting second: 9
  • No Results: 3

Pitch and Weather Updates:

The Riverside has a traditionally tough pitch for batting. It is most ideal for pace bowling but also provides help for spinners as well. Tough batting conditions mean low scoring matches. The batsmen will have to exhibit all their skills and talent to get a good score here otherwise it is easy pickings for the bowlers.

Weather conditions will be ideal for bowling. No rain is expected at this venue but a light breeze can make it even tougher for the batsmen. Overall, the cracks in the pitch and dry weather conditions will be ideal for bowlers to pick up huge number of wickets.

WC Matches:

Despite hosting several international events like 1975 WC and 2001 NatWest tri-series, Riverside stadium will host a surprisingly small number of WC matches. Throughout the tournament, the ground is scheduled to host only 3 matches which are explained below:

  1. Sri Lanka vs. South Africa (28th June)
  2. Sri Lanka vs. West Indies (1st July)
  3. England vs. New Zealand (3rd July)

It’s a smaller schedule as compared to other huge venues. In the first match, SL will take on SA to earn a semi-final ticket. SA just defeated SL 5-0 in the current ODI series which will put SL at a psychological disadvantage. They’ll be low on confidence but everyone knows that SA choke at grand events. SL defeated SA in the group stages of Champions Trophy 2017 despite the fact that SA seemed as the stronger side. SA need to stop panicking at mega events if they ever hope to win a title. The second match will feature Lankan Lions against the Caribbean Storm as SL battle WI in an epic clash. Both sides are evenly matched although, WI might be at a slight advantage due to their performance against England. They’re scoring runs after a long pause and SL need to pick up early wickets if they want to give them a tough time. The last match at this venue is what the cricket fans are waiting for. It features two of the top 3 ranked ODI teams. England, which is currently the top ranked team, will take on New Zealand who are currently No. 3 on the rankings. NZ have a stronger bowling attack as compared to the England but England are very well accustomed to the conditions at Riverside. It will certainly be a David vs. Goliath battle when these two go head-to-head.

Closing Remarks:

This venue might not have a strong fixture list like Old Trafford or Edgbaston but it will provide a good contest in the form of England vs. NZ. Both teams are equally skilled and whoever wins this bout gets the ultimate confidence boost because that team will become the fan favorites to win the WC. SA will most likely defeat SL if we analyze the recent stats provided that SA don’t choke on the day. WI and SL fixture provides an even contest because both teams have equally experienced squad. It’s difficult to predict who will win on the day. Only time will tell who will proceed to the semi-finals and who will be forced to book a ticket back home.

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