T20 World Championship 09: Bye Bye Ricky!
“We were in a similar sort of a situation last year, and we qualified for the semi finals” said Ricky Ponting at the toss of the all important make or break match for the Australians against Srilanka. After a humiliating defeat against the West Indies, Australia not only had to win but win big. Match winning half centuries from Captain Kumara Sanagakkara and the in-form Delhi Daredevil Tilakarathne Dilshan ensured they chased down the meager 160 run target with six balls to spare.
The loss now puts Australia out of the contention for the T20 world cup, Captain Ricky ponting and company will now get have 2 years to practice before their next chance at the only cup that Australia haven’t won. More Tournament news follows..
Srilankan captian Sangakkara won the toss and put Australia into bat after winning the toss on dry pitch, Confident of his team doing well captain Ricky Ponting announced the inclusion of a specialist spiiner Nathan hauritz in the place of James Hopes. Ajantha mendis spined a web around the Autralians as he picked 3 for 29 in his quota of 4 overs.
The Australians were keen on playing defensive to Muralidharan as the man finished with figures of 0-29 in 4 overs. Sangakkara rotated his bowlers around in one or two over spells, which hepled Malinga the slinger. The batsman never got used to his pace or action as the bowler picked 3 important wickets in his 4 overs. After what was76 for 5 in 12 overs, Australia finished with a score of 159 for 9 at the end of 20 thanks to blasting innings by David Hussey.
Srilanka started badly as they lost Jayasuriya early. It was then the partnership between Dilshan and Sangakkara that saw Srilanka get closer to the toal, Both batsman scored fifties. The rest of the middle order sealed the deal for Srilanka as Ponting was left wanting to catch the earliest flight back home.
Both Srilanka and WestIndies are on a high after their crushing victories over Australia well before the teams meet in the league stage. Bangladesh’s loss to Ireland last evening means that both India and Ireland now qualify for the super 8. In other groups, NewZealand and South Africa have also qualified after victories over Scotland. The mystery still continues in Group D, where England loss to Netherlands has put the super 8 spot under question.
Scotland sent some shivers down the spine of a few Newzealand supporters Scotland batsman smacked 89 in 7 overs in a rain affected match. Though the Batting poweress of the Newzealand team is known to the world, a few Newzealand players confessed that they were suprised and worried. An optimistic Ian Obrein after being smacked for 22 in his 1 over said that he was confident of the batsman on a good batting track. And so they did, NZ batsman chased it down in 6 overs. If only scotland bowled well, We could have enjoyed another surprise.
India managed a meager 25 run victory over Bangladesh in their opening match. Their score of 181 batting first looked small when the Bangladesh went after the Indian bowling. Thanks to an 18 ball 41 from Yuvraj and a 4-23 from Ojha, India managed to clinch a victory. India play their next league match against the Ireland, who look more like a good english side. Luckily, we have qualified!
After Netherlands managed a surprise vicotry over England in the first match of the tournament, the spot of the top 2 teams has come under the question. England crushed pakistan to a drilling 45 run victory putting Pakistan lower on the NRR than the Netherlands. In the all important match between the Netherlands and Pakistan, all Netherlands got to do is to win, or lose close so that their NRR remains unaffected, by default allowing them to qualify and surprise a few other teams.
The tournament has already seen a few surprises, and with teams like Ireland and Netherlands making it to the Super 8, We can expect more. All said and done, My predictions are falling flat on it’s face, which means that cricket is still a surprising game for a number of people. Go Ireland, Go Netherlands.
PS: Team India, South Africa, Srilanka and NewZealand should be the ideal top 4. How about a Netherland vs Ireland final, remember the practice game? They finished in a super over where Ireland scored 6 and Netherlands were all out for 2 😀