Update: Great Cricket Around Us
I haven’t been able to update my site much in these past few weeks since I’ve been rather busy. Still, the cricket has still been going along pretty well! Despite the few hiccups which were the spot-fixing cases of several players, the entertainment provided by the game hasn’t been disturbed much. Right from the IPL, where the Mumbai Indians won their first ever IPL title – one that has narrowly been eluding them for six years. Then we have the Champions Trophy, which has been just as exciting. India’s men have been extraordinary, and are showing flashes of brilliance that resemble those of the side that won the 2011 World Cup. Also, luck (and the D/L method) finally went South Africa’s way as they edged past Dwayne Bravo’s West Indian side to get into the semifinals by virtue of a better net run rate after the rain-soaked affair that ended in a tie. Still, M.S Dhoni and AB de Villiers are the only two teams to have assured semifinal spots so far, as everyone in Group A still has a chance of qualifying (yes Australia, you too). Still, I feel that New Zealand – spearheaded by the efforts of Martin Guptill and Mitchell McClenaghan – look favorites to qualify. England, being the home side, would generally start as favorites, but I would say otherwise, after their dismal loss to Sri Lanka. Australia, though, require an enormous slice of luck to get through, and are really stuck in the mud here (David Warner punching Joe Root didn’t help, either). Still, the biggest shockers of this tournament (apart from the men from Down Under) are the Pakistan side. They were rated as favorites to win this season, and have responded by being the first to be knocked out, thanks to some scrappy, below-average batting which lost them both of their league matches. To give you an idea of how dismal they’ve been, only Misbah-Ul-Haq and Nasir Jamshed managed to post double digits in both matches, and are also the only two men from their country to score above 20 in this tournament so far. Even more embarrassing : the Pak side is yet to score 200 runs in a single innings. This – even for a bowling attack consisting of Junaid Khan, Mohammed Irfan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammed Hafeez and Wahab Riaz – is a little too little to defend. They will look to go out on a high this season with a win over their all-time arch-rivals India today. Other than that, there’s no other game today. Hope you enjoy the match!