Despite a heroic final innings total of 264, England were bambooooozellled by Herath who spun a web around the English taking 6 for 97 in 38 overs. A fine effort by the boy who seems to be following in the twinkling footsteps of the great Murali.
An outstanding effort by South African born Jonathan Trott who managed 112, a fine effort by the man who is one of many England players who learnt his trade in South Africa but like so many other rejects, couldn’t make the cut and barge his way into a very strong Proteas squasd, and so opted to join the SA ‘B’ side, which has a few locals in it to make up the ‘quota’ of English born players to make sure they can technically call it the English cricket team.
England are on a slippery slide after getting dominated by Pakistan (who also spun a massive web around the English batting line-up) and now losing to Sri Lanka, are set to lose their number 1 test ranking to South Africa in a few weeks, with South Africa on a very good run of form, comprehensively beating New Zealand away from home in the recent test, one day and T20 series.
South Africa are looking forward to the upcoming test match series in England, with test match captain Graeme Smith quoted as saying “It will be nice to see some of the boys again. Its almost like playing a domestic match back in SA, so our boys will feel right at home, its the only place where we go on tour and cant speak about on-field tactics in Afrikaans.”
Just a reminder, if England lose the next test match against Sri Lanka, they will slip to 2nd place in the world rankings, with South Africa, who are on a great run of form, taking their rightful place at the top of the world rankings and we can finally have a team there who is actually winning.
Pakistan and New Zealand are through to the semi-finals, England and Bangladesh are out, Australia have to beat Sri-Lanka to qualify.
Today SA face NZ, tomorrow they take on India. India have to beat England today in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying. The winner of this group will face Australia or Sri-Lanka, depending on the outcome of tomorrows game. Pakistan face bangladesh and surely must win tomorrow?
Pakistan and South Africa have looked like the danger sides thus far in the tournament and If SA win their last two game these sides will contest the final if they win the semi’s, which will be deserved and an absolute cracker!!!!
The first day on the group stages got underway on Sunday with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa winning their matches. The group stages finish on Thursday with the semi finals being played on Saturday and the final on Monday, a public holiday in South Africa.
The remaining fixtures for the group stages:
17 PAKISTAN v SRI LANKA Wanderers Stadium 18:00
18 NEW ZEALAND v ENGLAND Kingsmead 10:00
18 AUSTRALIA v PAKISTAN Wanderers Stadium 14:00
18 BANGLADESH v SRI LANKA Wanderers Stadium 18:00
19 SOUTH AFRICA v NEW ZEALAND Kingsmead 14:00
19 ENGLAND v INDIA Kingsmead 18:00
20 AUSTRALIA v SRI LANKA Newlands 10:00
20 BANGLADESH v PAKISTAN Newlands 14:00
20 SOUTH AFRICA v INDIA Kingsmead 18:00
Today brings the last day of pool games. There is a lot of interest in how Bangladesh will fare against South Africa whilst Sri Lanka, rated by many as a side to win this competition face the unpredictable New Zealand!!! Both games should be highly entertaining and should provide an indication how the sides will fare in the Super 8 format.
Later on today the first World Twenty20 gets underway. Australia are the favourites, however if there was ever a game where the favourites are not guaranteed of making the semi finals this is it. The unpredictable nature of this form of cricket allows for a hero on either side to march to his own tune without being halted by the rest of the band. In this game all it takes is a player to have one good over with the bat or ball and the game can be won when it seemed impossible.
There are critics of this format and this is justified, it really is not cricket. While this may be true this is where the beauty lies in Twenty20. It is not cricket in the traditional sense and this is the secret. I could easily plant myself in front of a TV to watch 5 uninterrupted days of a decent test match and there are people who think these are reasonable grounds for committing me to the loony bin for an indefinite amount of time, for such strange and irrational behaviour. It is these people – unfortunately it is the majority who think of cricket as an old person’s game, a boring event that’s dragged out over 5 days that will be entertained by the shortest international version of the game.
This type of cricket will have worldwide appeal which will never be lost as it will be exciting the whole way through the game. This form will impact on the 50 over game and as soon as the psychological barrier is broken by the players who will click that they can score 170/2 after 20 overs there is no reason why they cant score 434 – ahh wait that has been done before by a side chasing none the less and strangely enough it was against the greatest side in the world!!!
The best thing about this tournament is that it will be over before most people realize it began. Its set to finish in under 2 weeks and is a huge plus after the World cup debacle.