Australia won the World Cup convincingly, and they deserve all the praise for doing a marvelous job, going unbeaten now for two entire World Cups! What an achievement that is! Granted, the team is almost the same, but to do it and that too without a key bowler, is fantastic.
It was always going to be an uphill climb for Sri Lanka after Australia, riding on Gilly’s masterful knock, got to 280+ in 38 overs. Speaking of a masterful knock, how amazing is it that Australia always finds a way to have one or two such brilliant performances in the big games? They are just too good.
Jayasuriya and Sangakarra gave me some hope of a Sri Lankan fightback, which there was a hint of. But I also knew that once one of them got out, the momentum would be stopped and it would be the end of the chase.
And that is exactly what happened. Sri Lanka ultimately could not keep up with the required run rate and Australia had another final wrapped up.
The question now is, who can challenge Australia? My thought is Australia A. I think Australia’s A team would be better than most, if not all, international teams. Australia/Australia A would be boring to watch for people who follow stars, but would be very exciting to watch for the true cricket lovers.
Just my thought.
Finally, after what seems like ages, the round robin crap is over and the semi finals are set in the Cricket World Cup 2007.
I pick South Africa upsetting Australia (have to stick to my earlier prediction of South Africa winning and Australia not even making it to the finals!) and Sri Lanka beating New Zealand.
I know I am going against the tide by picking SA over Australia. But it is a matter of one day’s play. And I think SA will play to win whereas Australia will play with their minds set on the finals and lifting the cup again.
New Zealand will lose to Sri Lanka on the mental front. Once again, I have to stick to my perception of the New Zealand team – that it is great one day team on its day, but it has very few days on big game days.
So, Sri Lanka-SA will set up a repeat of the exciting game that happened earlier, with Malinga creating a riot!
SA will win …
And that means we have to just beat Sri Lanka. Not necessarily with a bonus point.
But the way the Indians played today, it does not seem like they are going to be able to win against SL.
A lot has been said about this team of late. The consistency being the main point of conversation. But in this tournament, they are hardly consistent. Hopefully this is the first tournament and hopefully they will only improve.
They were able to survive the last day and somehow manage a draw. To get a draw against these rampaging Aussies is a big deal. Especially after they put up such a huge score in the first innings. And especially after a collapse in the final innings from Sri Lanka.
Their lower middle order and the tail somehow survived some tough times at the end of a dark final session. Warne has equaled the world record for wickets, but Murali is going to win that race for sure.
Congratulations, Lanka. Now, please stay in that test match mode, because you are in India’s group for the Asia Cup 🙂
SL 43/3 in reply to Aus 207 all out
At the end of day 1, after being all out for 207, Australia fought back by taking 3 quick wickets. McGrath got both the openers, one bowled and one lbw.
Tells me something scary. Could be that McGrath is back! 😦