Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We Have A Start!

(Updates below)

And how?
WI are playing Pakistan in the opener today.

It is difficult to predict the winner at the onset- basically because Shoaib and Asif are not around, and neither is Sahid Afridi, which is why the teams look balanced now!

The match is underway and WI are 63/2 in 20 overs !

Mohammad Gul got the first wicket of this world cup, that of Chris Gayle.

The Gayle storm was a non-starter this time, gone for 2 runs, but that is how it always is with the likes of Gayles, Afridis and Sehwags.

Chanderpaul was a disaster and managed to get out for a mere 19 from 63 balls !!! I stand vindicated.

Sarawan is playing as good as he does with a 51 ball 42 and surprisingly Lara has not come in to bat at 2-down and Marlon Samuels is in playing now with Sarawan.

After first 20 overs, my money is on Pakistan!

Update 1: Finally WI managed to reach to 241/9 against a second string Paki attack. To me, this batting display of WI is a sad surprise especially since they are playing at home. I first thought that their poor batting against India was only a bad day for them, but here, they almost repeated their performance. The credit of course, should also go to the Pakistan bowlers.

If at all WI can win matches in this era, it is through their batting and not through their bowling. No Sir. So my 2 cents are still on Pakistan for this match.

However, this is only the first match of the tournament and it takes a single batting / bowling / fielding performance to turn the fortunes of a team and of a nation around.

Can someone pass me some ketchup please?

Update 2: Yawn! It is getting to be an increasingly boring match. Pakistan are 82/3 after 25 overs and in the last 15 overs, this partnership has yielded only 44 runs. OK, at least they are back in the game as of now thanks to this partnership. West Indian bowlers had started well surprisingly by taking 3 quick wickets including that of Younis Khan. But Inzy is at what he does best. Bat.
However, my gut feeling tells me that as usual, Inzy and Mohd Yousuf will take the scores up to 150/3 or something and then Inzy will run out Mohd Yousuf against the run of play (whatever that means, but the guys in the commentary box keep using this phrase). And then the magnanimous Inzy bhai will run himself out as well. And while Pakistan will be in a spot of bother, the talented Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik will take them home.
Or will they?
I am off to an official tour (4 hours drive) and by the time I reach there, you will already know the results before I do.

Update 3: I Am just about to leave and the Pakistani batsmen have done beautifully what definitely is the core competence of Asian teams - Harakiri - Inzy did not get a chance to run anyone out and the talented Akram went the first ball he faced, and now looks like I am going to lose my money if I continue to keep it on Pakistan. Whew.

Update 4: The first match of the world cup is over and WI beat Pak by 54 runs!!! Luckily my money is safe in my pockets and I am all excited by the results. Well done WI, on the way to the semis, are we?


Cuckoo said...

WI innings has just finished. 240 runs. Before the match even I thought Pak will win but now... fingers crossed.

Cuckoo said...

BTW, at this stage what do you think, who would be 4 semi finalists ?

Ranjeet said...

Hi Cuckoo,
Yes, I just saw that WI somehow managed to reach thar far against a second string Pakista attack. I am quite surprised at the way they are batting, I had thought that their no-show against India was an aberration. But now here they are again.
Honestly, I think that the four teams which will make it to the semis are - Australia, South Africa, India and the West Indies.
The reasons I ruled others out are here:
However, lets wait and watch as we progress, and as i said, it is world cup where I dont mind eating my own words. :-)
Thanks for dropping by.What is your semi final line up?

Cuckoo said...

Whoaaa !!

Exactly same line up is mine !

First 3 were pakka there. For 4th team I was giving some chance to Pak. I was a bit confused between WI & PAk but since WI also happens to be the hosts & other factors... I excluded Pak from my list of 4.

Let us see. The game has just begun. :)

Btw, this time I was thinking of opening of a separate blog only for this World cup where we like mind ppl can all share our views but not now. I can come here, why take pains. :)

Check this link & wish them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TdOW8XcQNY

Ranjeet said...

Hey Cuckoo,

Great! You are most welcome to this place! Let's see as of now whether WI bowlers do some magic, Pakistan batsmen do themselves in or pakistan batsmen hold nerves to win the match! Who would you put your money on at this junction?

Abhijit Dharmadhikari said...

Ranjeet, As u know Pakis lost the game. I think, looking at the 241 score, they were looking over confident. Inzi played a very slow game.

Why do we subcontinental teams become so overconfident at times? I think this is due to lack of a thorough professional approach towards the game!

Ranjeet said...

Hi Abhjit,

I agree. We - especially sbccontinent teams - do not have the attitude to win the game at al costs - we still play ODI cricket the traditional way - try to start aggressively, then consolidate slowly in the middle stages and then hit again towards the end if u survive till then.
We do not think that the ball is there to be hit by the ball and the aim is to outbat the opposition.

I think we do this quite often - I remember so many matches that in the middle we bat so slowly that towards the end, we actually come under pressure trying to chase small scores also - I hope this changes soon, had hoped that Chappel would be able to ignite this in the Indians (he being an Aussie), but looks like nothing has changed sadly.