Richly Deserved: Cricket World Cup Report, Day 2

AUSTRALIA, 334-6, DEFEATED SCOTLAND, 131-9, BY 203 RUNS
KENYA, 203-3, DEFEATED CANADA, 199 ALL OUT BY SEVEN WICKETS

There were a few observers in the buildup to this Cricket World Cup that said they should limit the number of associate nations that play in the tournament, saying that there are too many one-sided matches.

Being from one of those associate nations, I believe giving smaller nations access to the World Cup gives aspiring players in those countries a chance to strive for something. That in turn gives them incentive to get better. Then sometime in the future, we’ll have competitive cricket played in more countries than we do now.

However, I do have a suggestion. If a Test nation is playing one of the minnows, eliminate the coin toss and have the minnow bat first. That way, they set a modest total, the better team surpasses it in 25 overs or so, and the fans get time to get in a siesta before heading out to hear some steel band somewhere.

Scotland won the toss today and sent Australia up, thinking the pitch will be dried up by the mid-day sun and Scotland would have a better track to score runs on.

Did it matter?

Australia took Scotland’s deliveries all over the place. Adam Gilchrist (46) and Matthew Hayden (60) made sure this game was never going to be in doubt.

But then the statement was taken one step further. Yeah, I know this was only the first game. And it was only Scotland. But do you think captain Ricky Ponting is sick and tired of hearing the doubters and naysayers regarding Australia’s ability to capture the trophy for the third consecutive time?

Ponting made 113, the tournament’s first century. Australia ended 334 for six and the only time they didn’t make an impact, was during a rain delay that halted play for about an hour.

Scotland, who still have too many part-timers to be a serious force, did what they could. Colin Smith had a nice spell of 51. But 40.1 overs into the ordeal, they were finally bowled out for 131.

So the holders are well underway. I’ll have something to say on Canada-Kenya tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, Bermuda plays Sri Lanka and Ireland plays Zimbabwe.

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