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Super Eight Round-Up

June 14, 2009

Game 6 | June 13 | New Zealand V Pakistan

It was as if the tournament directors decided that leaving the fate of the final stages of the tournament to the vagaries of the Pakistan team was just plain crazy and decided to abduct and hold the families of the Kiwi players to ransom while they went out and put on a ridiculous display. Three overs, Six runs, Five wickets is the stuff of test matches. And then Shahid Afridi batted for 18 balls and stayed not out! If weirder things have happened, I don’t recall too many.

Game 5 | June 13 | South Africa V West Indies

Back to ‘Business-As-Usual’ with the West Indies turning in a mediocre performance in the field before being destroyed by the relatively unknown Wayne Parnell. Botha’s reaction to catching Chris Gayle summed up the Saffers approach. Machine like. Sometimes, with just as much personality.

Game 4 | June 12 | India V West Indies

In almost every way, the West Indies performance was the direct opposite of how they usually win their games. Gayle failed. The fielding was brilliant. The intensity was unflagging. And Dwayne Bravo was inspired. India didn’t play an extraordinarily poor game, they were just ordinary, which was too little to beat their opponents on the day.

One thing though was typical. India’s tendency to lose early to put themselves under immense pressure for the remainder of their games. A must-win game against South Africa might be the end of the tournament for the defending champions.

Game 3 | June 12 | Pakistan V Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s strength versus Pakistan’s weakness. Batting first to put up reasonable totals to doggedly defend using their slower bowlers to strangle the opposition was Sri Lanka’s modus operandi when they won their world cup in ’96.  It was the slingy Lasith Malinga that did the Pakistanis in this time.

Pakistan and to a lesser extent, India, tend to produce some of their worst cricket when chasing and so it wasn’t a surprise that they fell short of the 150 set by Sri Lanka.

Game 2 | June 11 | England V South Africa

England celebrated Australia’s elimination by playing like the Irish team did against New Zealand, with the addition of having one hand tied behind their back. An insipid performance against a quick but not unplayable attack given the conditions. As usual, the MoM went to a batsman (who bowled ok) but Wayne Parnell was responsible for much of SA dominance.

South Africa are hard to beat once their seam bowlers are allowed to dominate and as always they look imperious leading up the business end of the tournament…until they all have their brain fades on the same day.

Game 1 | June 11 | Ireland V New Zealand

New Zealand’s injury problems were well-documented before this game to give it a semblance of an even contest. Those ideas were quickly hustled out the door by Aaron Redmond with his 38 ball 63. Typically, minnows stand a chance when they bat first, put on a decent score and then defend doggedly. Chasing almost 10 an over is therefore a big ask and they duly subsided to end with an almost impossible Net Run Rate to come back from.

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