Wednesday, February 19, 2003

World Cup Update

Three games today, all potentially mismatches between the better sides and minnows. Firstly, Sri Lanka versus Canada. A complete mismatch it was, with Canada bowled out for 36, the lowest ever score in a one day international. The Sri Lankans took a mere 4.4 overs to pass the Canadian score, but did lose one wicket in doing so. Not much to be said, other than that Sri Lanka continue to look very impressive. If Sri lanka end up in a position where net runrate determines whether they make the super six or not, this result will help.

The second game was England versus Namibia. The Namibians did surprisingly well. England scored a good 272 off their 50 overs, and at 3/174 after 37 overs, Namibia were doing a surprisingly good job of chasing it. However, the Namibian batting the collapsed and they ended up with 9/217 off the full 50 overs. So, a comfortable England win, but England do not at this point look like world beaters.

In the third match, India scored 7/255, and then bowled Zimbabwe out easily enough - Zimbabwe ending up being bowled out for 172. The most encouraging thing for India was that Tendulkar scored 81 and Dravid 43 not out, so India's gun batsmen are coming in to form at the right time. India are looking much better than they did against Australia, although they still have a way to go before they will be good enough to win the tournament.

In other cricketing news, Shane Warne's hearing is on Friday. In the meantime, the Australian team are asking for Warne's replacement to be chosen soon. They want another spinner in the side to replace him. Although Brad Hogg is presently playing well, there is no spinning reserve if something happens to him. Plus, if a replacement is chosen, Australia want to play him in their qualifying game against Namibia in order that he be match fit going into the next round.

Meanwhile, South African players have been asked to stop describing their late former captain and disgraced cheat Hansie Cronje as their inspiration. I think this is about time. South African cricket has had a certain destructive and counterproductive whackiness about it for a couple of years now, and it is clearly getting out of hand.

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