Tuesday, April 03, 2007

This is a strange World Cup

Since I last wrote, there have been two games. Yesterday, New Zealand overpowered Bangladesh. (A frew runs to Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, and Mohammad Rafique for Bangladesh. Wickets to Oram, Styris, and Bond. Bangladesh all out 174. A century to Stephen Fleming and New Zealand managed a devastatingly easy nine wicket winwith more than 20 overs to spare. Today wasn't greatly different. Ireland could only muster 8/152 off the reduced 35 overs against South Africa, with White and Morgan each able to muster about 30. Wickets to Pollock, Langeveldt (who does have my favourite name of any player in the World Cup) and Hall. South Africa then breezed past the total for the loss of only three wickets thanks to 64 not out from Kallis. (In truth, Ireland put up a slightly better fight than did Bangladesh yesterday, but both were absolute thrashings).

Although Ireland and Bangladesh earned their places in the Super Eight fair and square, the absence of India and Pakistan is really being felt. There are too many mismatches, and the identity of the semi-finalists seems clear all ready. The next two and a half weeks of the Super Eight feel pointless. There is some slight possibility that England might make some sort of a fight for a place in the semis, but that is about it for uncertaintly. If Sri Lanka comprehensively beat England tomorrow, then even that uncertainty is largely gone, unless there is a truly horrendous form reversal after that. The only interest in the rest of the Super Eight stage after that is really whether Ireland or Bangladesh can upset the West Indies or England. While it would be nice for them if they do, this isn't going to carry any interest with respect to the result of the tournament.

Once we do get to the semi-finals there are lots of possibilities, but frankly I just wish we could get on to them now. Because the next two and a half weeks have little point. The Indians sponsors (for who they were created) don't care, and nor do I think do anybody else. This tournament is turning into a debacle.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dull cricket. Empty grounds. This world cup has all the gravitas of a high-school indoor cricket competition.

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