Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Cricket World Cup - Week Two...

Time to reflect on the tournament so far.  The two matches of the tournament for me, were the UAE v Ireland and the Afghanistan v Scotland games. Partly because given they're not traditional rivals, and they are players we have not seen, they add some much to the sport's history.

For this reason, it will be sad to see the Associate nations not in the next tournament. Partly because every game the 'associates' play is meaningful, the Associate v Associate games seem to be more competitive than the games between 'test-playing nations'.

So, on to the revised predictions:

Pool A: 
New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka; England, with games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan to come, will sneak in.

Pool B:
Pool B seems to be a little tighter. My tips would be:
India, South Africa, and then two from Ireland, West Indies and Zimbabwe. If Ireland beats Zimbabwe they should make the quarter-finals, but with games against South Africa & India you would imagine their net-run-rate will suffer.

A little on the Aus v NZ game:
I was surprised to read that before Saturday's game, NZ hadn't played Australia in a ODI since 2011 (in the last world cup). Especially since the Chappell-Hadlee trophy was established for ODI's between the two nations.

The Australia - New Zealand game was great, because it reminded you that cricket is a contest between bat and ball. In an age when the average run-rate is going up and the game seems stacked in favour of the batsman. I was really impressed with Vettori since he allowed to NZ to settle back down after Australia's excellent start.

The game highlighted the importance of good captaincy.  McCullum backed his bowlers and bowled Boult out. You wonder what the outcome would have been if Starc had been bowled out.

Looking forward:
The Bangledash v Scotland (Thu) & Ireland v Zimbabwe (Sun) games are the two I'm most looking forward to this week.  Bangledash need to keep winning to put pressure on England.

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