Saturday, March 31, 2007

Austtralia continue on their way

As Scott wrote, England did what was necessary (ie they won) against Ireland yesterday, but they could not be said to have been impressive. A similar situation was never likely between Australia and Bangladesh today. Australia look too focused and too disciplined to give Bangladesh a break.

Due to a lot of overnight rain, the outfield in Antigua was drenched, and a lot of work to dry the outfield was necessary before any play was possible. No play was possible until well after the scheduled interval, and eventually when play started the game had been reduced to 22 overs a side. By the eight over mark, Bangladesh had lost four wickets for 37, and after that Bangladesh just eked out runs to survive the full 22 overs, ending up with 6/104 off their 50 overs, with Saqibul Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza and Habibul Bashar scoring most of the runs between then with about 25 each. McGrath was the most successful bowler with 3/16. His second wicket of Aftab Ahmed took him past Wasim Akram to make him the highest wicket taker in World Cup cricket.

Australia got the runs with ease, and with ten wickets remaining. Gilchrist score 59 off 44 balls with eight fours and a six, and Hayden 47 off 39 with three fours and three sixes. This only took the Autstralians 13.5 overs, and the win win was the easiest imaginable. Bangladesh shouldn't take this too hard - in their present mood Australia are doing it to everybody - and will hopefully show fight in their upcoming games. That said, they have a rough patch, as their next two games are against New Zealand next Monday and then South Africa next Saturday. (They should find their final three games after that against England, Ireland and the West Indies easier going).

Australia on the other hand now have a bit of a break - their next game is against England on Easter Sunday April 8. I think they have earned a couple of days rest.

Tomorrow we have West Indies v Sri Lanka. A West Indian victory in this would open the tournament up a lot, but on recent form I really can't see it. Sri Lanka to win that one easily.

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