Richly Deserved: Cricket World Cup Report days 33-34

First off, a correction pointed out by an astute reader. Bangladesh is a full ICC member, not an associate. But they’re still considered a minnow and losses to Ireland won’t help them shed that title.

English fans won’t be content with a pint of bitter. This loss called for a keg. Depending on which hemisphere you reside in, it’s the most dominating or most disappointing effort of this World Cup.

England won the toss and decided to bat first. Bad move. Ian Bell was rung out for just seven. Michael Vaughan for 17. Kevin Pietersen for three. Andrew Strauss (46) and Paul Collingwood (30) put together a nice, but slow 58 partnership to keep the attack steady. But then, the batsmen fell like a portion of the Grand National field when they reach Beacher’s Brook for the first time.

In total, they lost their last six wickets for just 43. Probably the
best indicator of their innings was Monty Panesar, who faced 30 balls and made, two runs, a sparkling stroke rate of 7.14.

Much of their failure was due to the success of Andrew Hall. The
Johannesburg native took five wickets and gave up just 18 in his 10 overs of work. Shaun Pollock didn’t record a wicket in his 10 overs but won’t be too upset having given up a mere 17 runs to the lethargic English attack.

The question became, how fast can South Africa complete their reply. The answer was 19.2 overs. Panesar worked two overs and gave up 24. Sajid Mahmood gave up 49 in 4.2 overs. Graeme Smith made 89 for the winners, leading as a captain should. AB deVilliers (42) and Jacques Kallis (17) completed the rather simple task.

With the win, the four semi-finalists are set. Australia, Sri Lanka,
New Zealand, and South Africa. It’s just a matter now of determining the matchups.

Some of us thought with South Africa’s inconsistent play of late that this could be a preview of the final. Except for one thing, nobody on the Sri Lanka side cared. With Lasith Malinga out with a slight ankle injury, captain Mahela Jayawardene decided to rest Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan. Guess if they do beat New Zealand or South Africa in the semis, there might be some intrigiue for the final after all.

Ricky Ponting (66) and Andrew Symonds (63) paced the winners while Jayawardene (64) and Chamara Silva (64) put together a 140 partnership that was the highlight of Sri Lanka’s innings.


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