Richly Deserved: Cricket World Cup Report, Day 10-11

When I wrote about the death of Bob Woolmer earlier in the week. I did so grasping onto a certain hope. A hope that I was right.

I really hoped this was simply the case of a crushing defeat to Ireland and an early exit from the World Cup being too much for a man’s heart to bear.

I have followed this game for a long time. In that time, cricket went through a major multi-country match fixing scandal that ended the careers of some of the game’s biggest stars, Wasim Akram, Ajay Jadeja, Hansie Cronje. The understanding is that there is a lot of money involved in cricket. And a lot of it is dirty.

I just cannot believe this killing was random. When it is all sorted out, there is every reason to believe the gambling and bookmaking entities may have been behind this. In fact, police are looking into the possibility that match fixing had a role in his death. We’ll have to stay tuned.

SRI LANKA 254 FOR 6 DEFEATED INDIA 185 BY 69 RUNS

Couple of things about India on the brink of crashing out of this World Cup. First thing to know, sponsorship of cricket and of this World Cup is, about 80%, done by the corporations and multi-national wings based in India. It makes sense because of the worldwide television audience, most will come from the billion people there. Cricket is the only game anyone in the nation’s second-most populated country cares about. With India’s departure coming this soon, there are a lot of people with a lot of money invested in the tournament that just watched that money go down the drain.

Second. We now know who the most disappointing player of this tournament is. You may not watch golf, but you know about Tiger Woods. You may not watch Formula One, but you know the impact Michael Schumacher had. Cricket has an iconic figure like that, Sachin Tendulkar.

But this World Cup has become a nightmare for the leading scorer in One-day International history. In this game, with survival on the line, he faced three balls and was out for … 0.

Sachin has been THE face of Indian (and world) cricket for the past 15 years. Let’s hope the locals aren’t too hard on him.

Upul Tharanga opened with a nice 64 for Sri Lanka. Chamara Silva added 59. Rahul Dravid (60) and Virender Sehwag (48) led India’s reply.

WEST INDIES 190 FOR 2 DEFEATED IRELAND 183 FOR 8 (Duckworth/Lewis Method, which meant scores were adjusted due to rain. I live in Toronto so don’t ask me how it works)

Both teams are through to the Super Eights. Opener Jeremy Bray (41) continues to have a great tournament for the upstart Irish. But it was my man, Shivnarine Chanderpaul who did much of the damage for the home team making 102 not out.

NEW ZEALAND 363 FOR 5 DEFEATED CANADA 249 ALL OUT BY 114 RUNS

For a game that really meant nothing, it was a pretty exciting game. New Zealand’s Lou Vincent, looking to finally score a World Cup run after being sent out for a duck in his first two innings, finally broke out with a sparkling 101. Captain Stephen Fleming added 66. But neither was as explosive in their innings as Brendon McCullum, who lowered the World Cup record for the fastest half century, doing it off just 20 balls.

Canada’s bowling was exposed again but with all the pressure off, they decided to have some fun and let loose with their batting. John Davison, who already owns the fastest century in tournament history (off 67 balls), now is tied for the third fastest half-century, getting his 50 off 23 balls. Ian Billcliff also made 50 as Canada made their best World Cup batting total ever.

Now Canada must get another rent-a-coach after Andy Pick decided he’s had enough of the job.

NETHERLANDS 140 FOR 2 DEFEATED SCOTLAND 136 ALL OUT BY 8 WICKETS

There are the Test nations, recognized by the stuffy suits of the International Cricket Council as full members eligible to play Test matches. Then there are the associates, the second tier of cricket. I’m not sure the marquee matchup of the ICC Trophy is a big deal at the World Cup.

There are also third-tier, affiliate nations, who are just beginning to develop the game in their countries. I wouldn’t be too interested in a game between, say, Cook Islands and Vanuatu, unless Candice and Cecilia were batting and Eliza was bowling.

(You didn’t think I was going to go two months without a Survivor reference, did you?)

Anyway, Scotland gave themselves no chance to win this match. They lost wickets early and continued to lose them at regular intervals. Glenn Rogers (26) was their high scorer late in the innings. Ryan Ten Doeschate ended with 70 for the Dutch to complete a good tournament for him.

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