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.
The matches played on Thursday the 13th started off with an unexpected result. The West Indies faced Bangladesh, needing a victory to advance to the next round alongside South Africa. The Bangladesh side had other ideas knowing a victory ensured they would go through. Bangladesh got off to a great start, with Syed Rasel picking up the dangerous Chris Gayle with the third ball of the day.
Hopes of beating the West Indies would have been fading as the second wicket partnership was 95, with Devon Smith scoring a 50 and later on Dwayne Smith smashing 29 off 7 right near the end, which enabled the West Indies to post 164 a very defendable total.
Bangladesh got off to a poor start as Rampul’s first ball removed Nazimudden, and in his next over he sent Iqbal back to the bleachers off his last ball of the over. This was about as much joy as the Windies were going to get as Mohammed Ashraful joined Aftab Ahmed at the crease. Ashraful got into the action straight away with some very aggressive slogs rather than strokes bringing three 4’s off his first three balls faced. Ashraful scored 18 off Powells over and Rampul went for 16 in the previous over.
Aftab and Ashraful carried on the slaughter taking Bangladesh from 28/2 to 137/3 when Ashraful went out for 61. Ashraful recorded the fastest Twenty20 50 runs off 20 balls, stealing Jayasuriya’s record of 23 balls.
Bangladesh cruised to a 6 wicket victory with two overs remaining. They have certainly proved that the can perform in this form of the game and their match against South Africa will show the rest of the world how good they are.
ome might have thought that the 3 matches played today were foregone conclusions. Others like Ray Mali would have told you a different story about who would be victorious in the final game of the day.
Zimbabwe was given a small total to chase and they managed to chase it down in the last over. Australia struggled all through their innings and whilst the conditions weren’t easy the batsman were not hanging around for long enough to get settled in except for Symonds and Hodge who both got in the 30’s. Zimbabwe’s opening bowlers – Elton Chigumbura and Gary Brent had combined figures of 7 overs 39 runs 5 wickets. The most expesive bowler for Zimbabwe was Tatenda Taibu who went for 20 in 2 overs.
In contrast Australia opening bowlers, Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken bowled 8 overs for 56 runs 2 wickets. Essentially this was the difference between the two teams. Brad Hodge was the most expensive bowlers with the same figures as Taibu.
There was not much difference between the two sides apart from the attitude. Boucher got fined 60% of his match fees for indicating in a report that he preferred the other formats, which meant he was bringing the game into disrepute so I shudder to imagine what Australia would be docked if they had to face a South African inquiry. They have seemingly mocked this form of cricket and paid the price. One can only hope England carry on the lesson Zimbabwe started – failing to plan is planning to fail….
The fixtures are shown below, for the remainder of the tournament
12 New Zealand v Kenya Kingsmead 10:00
12 Pakistan v Scotland Kingsmead 14:00
12 Australia v Zimbabwe Newlands 18:00
13 West Indies v Bangladesh Wanderers Stadium 10:00
13 Zimbabwe v England Newlands 14:00
13 India v Scotland Kingsmead 18:00
14 Sri Lanka v Kenya Wanderers Stadium 10:00
14 Australia v England Newlands 14:00
14 India v Pakistan Kingsmead 18:00
15 Sri Lanka v New Zealand Wanderers Stadium 14:00
15 South Africa v Bangladesh Newlands 18:00
16 C1 v D2 Wanderers Stadium 10:00
16 B1 v A2 Newlands 14:00
16 A1 v B2 Newlands 18:00
17 D1 v C2 Wanderers Stadium 18:00
18 C1 v B2 Kingsmead 10:00
18 B1 v D1 Wanderers Stadium 14:00
18 A2 v C2 Wanderers Stadium 18:00
19 A1 v C1 Kingsmead 14:00
19 B2 v D2 Kingsmead 18:00
20 B1 v C2 Newlands 10:00
20 A2 v D1 Newlands 14:00
20 A1 v D2 Kingsmead 18:00
22 E2 v F1 Newlands (SF 1) 13:00
22 E1 v F2 Kingsmead (SF 2) 18:00
24 Final v Final Wanderers Stadium (Final) 14:00
If ever the ICC were looking for a fairy tale start to a new venture, they would have to perform a miracle to improve on the start of the Twenty20 World Cup. Over 400 runs in under 40 overs. Pro 20 cricket was designed to entertain and if there are going to be more exciting matches than the opener – Twenty20 cricket will take the world by storm.
SA decided to field first and after Gayle destroyed their attack with TEN yes TEN 6’s and 7 4’s in his 57 ball 117. Smith might well have regretted the decision, with all of the bowlers being smashed around.
Smith decided to lead by example and introduce himself into the attack as the only spinning option. He performed admirably for his ability and showed the side that with his limited bowling talent the over cost only 17. It did indeed spur on the rest of the attack with far superior bowling skills, and the 12th over bowled by Smith was the highest for the rest of the innings!!!
The Windies were cruising along until Van der Wath removed Gayle in the 17th over and only conceded 4 runs followed by Morne Morkel conceding 3 runs in the 18th over. This was the least runs conceded in the innings. There was little support to Gayle apart from Devon Smith who opened the batting with Gayle making 35 off 34 balls
The Windies set SA 206 for victory however as mentioned in “The Players to Watch” post, West Indies didn’t have the bowlers to back their batsman up and whilst 200 should be defendable by any team, SA managed to get there with 14 balls to spare.
The West Indies surely set a record for the most wides in a 20/20 international game conceding 23 of them!! Not that this detracts from the beautiful 120 run partnership between Gibbs and Kemp, Gibbs making 90 off 55 whilst Kemp carved 46 off 22 balls.
South Africa managed an 8 wicket victory which should be more than enough of a warning to Australia that they are looking to knock them off their perch as the favourites.