Monday, October 1, 2012

Super 8s produces super thrills...

After the New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka encounter in the opener of Super 8s that ended in super over, not many enthralling games were played at this stage. Oh yeah, the Pakistan Vs South Africa game was little eventful, but even that game tilted in Pakistan’s favor after DeVilliers bowled Kallis and Albie Morkel in tandem that witnessed Umar Gul’s onslaught.  After these two overs that resulted in 36 runs, it turned little too much for South Africa to recover. Wonder why DeVilliers failed to utilize Botha or even Duminy who could have easily bowled these two overs more economically which could have possibly sealed the game in favor of Proteas. Also Robin Pieterson’s 4 overs 1 maiden 15 runs 2 wickets, Botha’s 2 overs 1 maiden 10 runs 1 wicket and Duminy’s 2 overs for 5 runs and 1 wicket should have been the indicator for AB to prefer spinners ahead of medium pacers at this stage. Anyways, South Africa’s loss helped India’s situation for qualifying the Semi Finals of World T20.

Not to anyone surprise, Dhoni fielded Sehwag, benched Harbhajan (surprisingly) and Chawla, picked the medium pacer Balaji against Pakistan. After four hours of cricket, India won the game emphatically. Thanks to butter fingers of Pakistan that helped India to improve the NRR from a precarious negative 2.56 to negative .45. Pakistan is only marginally ahead of India now. Now both India and Pakistan require winning their last game against South Africa and Australia respectively with higher run rate over the other to qualify for the Semi Finals alongside Australia. Though both these sides are capable of beating the opposition, I wish to perceive the result differently. South Africa is too good a side to lose 3 games in a row. On the other hand, Australia has currently displayed the form that is capable of winning 3 games in a row. So between India and Pakistan whoever loses the match with inferior run rate will be virtually out of Semi Final race. I back India to qualify alongside Australia for the Semi Finals.

At the start, I never anticipated Australia to be the team that will make it to the Semi Finals stages. Reason being Australia did not have any recognized batsman outside Watson, Warner and Hussey to deal the spin deal of subcontinent. But again Australia has made it to this stage largely because opposition teams were not able to penetrate beyond Watson. Good for Australia and bad for oppositions. Let’s see if Watson saga continues all the way.

Though not many fascinating contests were played in Super 8s, the thrill was compensated by the movement of points table. Also the teams chasing the target were mostly found on the winning side. In most cases the wins came comfortable too.

As I was writing this post, New Zealand – West Indies contest produced another spectacle, with the game ending in super over and West Indies finished top. If ever games go to super over and West Indies are involved in that game, the odds are going to favor West Indies largely due to Gayle figure. Despite winning the game, West Indies is still not sure of Semi Finals birth. They are now dependent on Sri Lanka to beat England for their Semi Finals qualification. By the way, Sri Lanka has consistently upset India in the recent past (Tri series in Australia 2012, Asia Cup 2012) when India needed little help from the neighbors to qualify for the tournaments latter stages. So if we go by this logic, West Indies are unlikely to get that support from Sri Lanka. Also England is chasing the target. So, I won’t be surprised if England is the second team to qualify for the Semi Finals alongside Sri Lanka from Group A.

Cricket Lover

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