Monday, July 1, 2019

World Cup 2019: The Powerplay

We are approaching the business end of the World Cup. Some of the excitement created in the not so boring middle overs has fizzled out. The top teams have shown that they still mean business barring the odd hiccup on the way. The banana skins have been (mostly) avoided by the big guns. Sri Lanka and West Indies dropped out of contention from the semi-finals with results not going their way, while the hopes of Pakistan and Bangladesh hangs in balance. 

We had India taking on England, a mouth-watering top of the table clash with an added zing of an India win keeping alive the hopes of sub-continental arch-rivals Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka! Even the Pakistanis were rooting for us. Adding to the excitement was India’s first ever appearance in orange & navy blue (a truly weird color combination IMO). Alas it was not meant to be, and the last overs left a bitter taste. The Indian team approach was baffling to say the least. England were undoubtedly the better side on the day, but there was something wrong with the Indian team. 

The Pakistan-Afghanistan match showcased all the wrongs of the sport. The game itself was close but middling affair. But it was marred by political slogans flown over the ground, fist-fights between the two sets of supporters and shambolic fracas in the ground. Terrible day for cricket. 

Meanwhile, the Aussie juggernaut rolls on like a well-oiled machine. All the parts now seem to be in place and they are just razing over all opposition. Plus, they have the experience and legacy of multiple victorious campaigns with them. 

Unlike South Africa, who just have the legacy of multiple bad endings. Now, that they are out of running, they played their best cricket and derailed Sri Lanka’s campaign as well! 

New Zealand are suddenly not looking so good with back-to-back losses. Let’s see where they end up. Most likely losing semi-finalists as is their tradition!

Pakistan’s campaign seems to find a new analogous data point with their 1992 run daily. Let’s see how long the similarities run! 

The race for the Top4 reaches its final bend – Australia are through, New Zealand and India are nearly there, while England are marginally ahead of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Most importantly, Bangladesh and Pakistan face-off against each other in their last game. 

Joke of the week - the worst possible team combination – Kiwi openers, Indian middle order, West Indies spinners, Sri Lankan pace attack (minus Malinga), Pakistani fielding with South African choking talent. What a wonderful opponent that would be!

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Commentary Box