The Cricket Minnows don’t Thrill – The Weekly Round Up

Greetings from the world of Cricket. After a long layoff, the world’s best players are back in action for the grand prize- the World T20 2012 in Sri Lanka. Unlike the inaugural edition, this isn’t a knock-out tournament.The Group games are underway now, with most of the Super 8 spots already having been taken up by the pre-tournament favorites. Here is an individual look at the performance of all the teams:

GROUP A

INDIA
Grouped together with newbies Afghanistan and World Champions England, India entered the tournament as favorites due to their rich assembly of IPL players. Over the past week, they have beaten Afghanistan in a rather close encounter, and clinically dismantled England by 90 runs to gain some much needed confidence that was lacking prior to the start of the tournament.

Scores
India 159/5(20) beat Afghanistan 136(19.3) by 23 runs
India 170/4(20) beat England 80(14.4) by 90 runs

Super 8 Scenario
They are comfortably through to the Super 8 stage.

Key Players
Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh

ENGLAND
As the 2010 World Champions, they were expected to breeze through the opening stages, and they gave every indication of doing so after thrashing Afghanistan by 116 runs. However, their vulnerability to top quality spin bowling resurfaced agaist India, as they were bamboozled by an unplayable Harbhajan Singh and a rampaging Piyush chawla.

Scores
England 196/5(20) beat Afghanistan 80 by 116 runs
England 80 lost to India 170/4 by 90 runs

Super 8 Scenario
Their crushing win against Afghanistan sees them through, but their demoralizing defeat to India leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Key Players
Stuart Broad, Ian Bell

AFGHANISTAN
They entered the tournament as minnows, and left after giving a good account of themselves against India.

GROUP B

AUSTRALIA
Clubbed together with Ireland and West Indies in Group B, Australia were pre-tournament favorites, and remain so even now. After drubbing Ireland with a Shane Watson led chase, they were up against arguably the strongest team in the tournament, The West Indies- chasing 191 to boot. However, the explosive combination of David Warner and Shane Watson boosted them to 100 in 9 overs, and that’s enough to chase down nearly any total, even with the DL rule in play.

Scores
Australia 125/3 (15.1) beat Ireland 123/7 (20) by 7 wickets
Australia 100/1 (9) beat West Indies 191/8(20) by 14 runs(D/L)

Super 8 Scenario
Having convincingly won both their matches, they waltz into the Super 8s, living up to their billing as one of the top sides.

Key Players
David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg

WEST INDIES
Grouped with Ireland and Australia, they have probably the best balanced team of the tournament, what with the likes of Gayle, Pollard, Smith, Samuels and Sammy among the big hitters, with the spin of Sunil Narine and good pace bowling stock. Hence it was a touch surprising to see them lose their opening game against Australia, even after racking up 191. it has been argued that the rain rule did them in, but if a team leaks 100 in 9 overs, I don’t see them winning many games.

Scores
West Indies 191/8(20) lost to Australia 100/1 (9) by 14 runs (D/L)

Super 8 Scenario
Their formula is simple. Beat Ireland and qualify for the next round.

Key Players
Gayle, Samuels, Pollard, Narine

IRELAND
As minnows, it doesn’t really matter which group they are in, though they competed against the Aussies, and now face a hurting West Indies team, whom they’ll have to beat to go through.

Scores
Australia 125/3 (15.1) beat Ireland 123/7 (20) by 7 wickets

Super 8 Scenario
Bleak. They shall have to play out of their skins, to beat one of the pre-tournament favorites.

Key Players
Kevin o’Brien, William Porterfield

GROUP C

SOUTH AFRICA
The Proteas would walk into any tournament as favorites, with proven matchwinners like Dale Steyn and AB De Villiers in the line-up. A set of newcomers only ad value to the team as a whole. They have cruised till now, brushing away the opposition with ease.

Scores
South Africa 94/0(14.4) beat Zimbabwe 93/8(20)
South Africa 78/4(7) beat Sri lanka 46/5(7) by 32 runs

Super 8 Scenario
Comfortably through, though it remains to be seen whether the C-word will return to haunt them in the business end of the tournament.

Key Players
Jaques Kallis, AB De Villiers, Dale Steyn

SRI LANKA
They have a nicely balanced team and the strong factor of Home Advantage set them up nicely for the tournament. They had a crushing win against Zimbabwe, but they need to regain lost momentum after the drubbing by the Proteas.

Scores
Sri Lanka 182/4(20) beat Zimbabwe 100(17.3) by 82 runs
South Africa 78/4(7) beat Sri lanka 46/5(7) by 32 runs

Super 8 Scenario
Are through with their defeat of Zimbabwe, but need a quick rethink of their team combination after their listless performance against South Africa.

Key Players
T Dilshan, Jayawardena, Sangakarra

ZIMBABWE

They came into the tournament with an aging, weak team, and few are surprised to see them troop out of it.

GROUP D
NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand have always managed to punch way above their weight in big-ticket ICC events. After an emphatic win against Bangladesh, they went down fighting in a nailbiter against Pakistan.

Scores
New Zealand 191/6 (20) beat Bangladesh 132/8(20) by 59 runs
Pakistan 177/6(20) beat New Zealand 164/9(20) by 13 runs

Super 8 Scenario
They are through to the next stage.

Key Players
D Vettori, J Franklin, Ross Taylor

PAKISTAN
Having been the traditional unpredictables of cricket, this team could look peerless on their day, but when things go wrong for them, they go down really bad. Having beaten New Zealand in a tough encounter, they now need only to see off Bangladesh.

Scores
Pakistan 177/6(20) beat New Zealand 164/9(20) by 13 runs

Super 8 Scenario
Need to beat Bangladesh to go through.

Key Players
Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Jamshed, Umar Akmal

BANGLADESH
Their good performances in the Asia Cup have gone a long way in removing their traditional image as the whipping boys of cricket. After being thrashed by New Zealand, they now need to defeat a strong Pakistan side to advance further in the tournament.

Scores
New Zealand 191/6 (20) beat Bangladesh 132/8(20) by 59 runs

Super 8s Scenario
Need to win big against Pakistan and they will go through on Net Run-Rate.

Key Players
Tamim Iqbal, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza

That’s all for this week from the cricket world! Will be back next week with news from the second half of the tournament!

  • For me, the Indian bowling is still fragile. A win against England not withstanding, the bowlers need to bowl much better to get past the other teams in the contest.

    The pitches in Sri Lanka have changed vastly since our last visit to that place!

  • For me, the Indian bowling is still fragile. A win against England not withstanding, the bowlers need to bowl much better to get past the other teams in the contest.

    The pitches in Sri Lanka have changed vastly since our last visit to that place!