" Cricket Etcetera was voted as the Best Cricket Blog by Google during the World Cup 2007 "

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Predicting the World Cup Semi-Finalists

Later today, West Indies, going by current form, will make their exit from the World Cup. After all, when Lara vs Roberts starts becoming the headlines, instead of Gayle vs Vaas or Lara vs Murali, the sign is on the wall. Even if they somehow scrap past Lanka, they will need to win each of their remaining 3 matches, which will be more than a simple herculean task. Bye-bye West Indies, it's going to be, sooner or later.

That leaves us with South Africa, Sri Lanka, Newzealand, England and Australia. Only 25% of the Super-Eight matches have been played yet, and we are already as good as down to 5 teams. So much so for the most open World Cup ever. ( Which were the 6-8 teams that Dravid and Duncan talking about? And who did this silly scheduling for the Super-Eight - Windies play their 3rd match tonight while quite a few have not even played their second.)

Can we zero down further?

1. Australia - 6 points already, a mismatch against Ireland still left amongst 4 more matches. Through.
2. Newzealand - 4 points, 2 mismatches to go amongst 5 more matches. Through.

So that leaves us with just 2 empoty Semi-final slots.

SA, SL and England have each 5 matches left to play in the Super-Eight. Each country has just 2 points to show as of now. SA has the advantage in that it will play both Bangladesh and Ireland, while the other 2 competitors have just one easy affair to go. Unlike SA, the two others also need to tackle Australia, which looks like the World's No.1 team by a fair margin, yet again.

With a fair amount of certainty one can predict that South Africa should make the cut too. That will leave England and Sri Lanka to fight out for the last remaining spot in the Semi-Finals. We should have that answer in another 3 days - England vs Sri Lanka, Wednesday 4th Apri, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua.

The last of the 24 matches in the Super-Eight stage will be played on the 20th April. But there is a very real danger of a very huge part of the most exciting stage of the World Cup becoming renundant - not that it already has, but things may get worse. What was being touted by almost everyone as the Most Open World Cup ever, may turn out to be the most closed and boring one. Let's just hope that Australia will have a bad day on either the 25th or 28th of April. If that doesn't happen, it will be tough handling the kinds of things the big-mouth Ponting will be doling out in the next few days, or even weeks!

1 comment:

Abhigyan said...

totally agree with you...and not bad maan..Mr. Srikkanth commenting on your site himself...