Thursday, March 15, 2007

A day when everything went as planned

There were of course two games yesterday. I have written about Australia v Scotland. The other was Kenya versus Canada. Canada scored a fairly respectable 199 - losing their last wicket off the last ball of their 50 overs. I think we are seeing fewer sides collapse terribly than was the case a couple of World Cups ago. Some sides might be a little short on talent, but they are better coached and better trained. This is leading to more solid batting performances, but I think less has changed in the bowling. That is more about raw skill.

However, that was not nearly enough for Kenya, who are better coached and have more talent. Kenya coasted home to 3/203 from 43.2 overs. Captain Stephen Tikolo - who always performs well at World Cup time and it would be interesting to know what he would have done for a stronger nation - scored an unbeated 72 after taking 2/34 with the ball. Kenya are in the same group as England and New Zealand, both of who they will find tough going. A combination of defaults, good performances, and home ground advantage rather amazingly got Kenya to the semi-finals last time, and although they looked solid today they will get nowhere near them this time.

Today we have Sri Lanka v Bermuda and Ireland v Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka scored 6/321 (runs to captain Jayawardene) and as I write Bermuda are being hopelessly outclassed and are 7/46. It has not been a good day for Bermuda. In the third over Kevin Hurdle bowled eight wides and noballs to make it a 24 ball over. Nobody should do that in any class of cricket. In the other game Ireland scored a respectable 9/221 off their 50 overs thanks to a century from opener Jeremy Bray. Zimbabwe are 0/24 off 4.2 overs. Zimbabwe should win this (although I am not convinced they should be playing in the tournament) but a slip or two and this could be the first close game of the tournament.

Everything is very predictable so far, however. We haven't had the remotest sign of an upset. However, England play New Zealand tomorrow. This should be very interesting, as it is our first chance to see if England are genuinely improved or if the Commonwealth Bank series was a walk in the park. Also, South Africa open their campaign against the Netherlands. That game should be a walk in the park for the South Africans.


Kim du Toit said...

Michael, is there any way you can post the tables for the groups?

Just a P W L Pts format would be good.

I am aware that these are available elsewhere, but I'd rather make this URL my "one-stop" link to the WC.

Michael said...

I will be posting the table and discussing how the various permutations of match results affect it in great detail once we get to the super eight stage. For the moment I think things are a bit too predictable for me to really bother. If there are upsets and any particular group looks like being a boilover, I will of course discuss the permutations and possibilities of the points table in that group.

Meanwhile, this is a simple link.

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