Aussie laced Ireland tie with Zimbabwe: A warning signal for Pakistan?
Hmmm...after giving South Africa a real scare in the warm ups, Ireland have now opened their World Cup account with a thrilling tie against Zimbabwe. Bob Woolmer has been saying all week that Ireland are one of the most improved associate sides in the minnow world's right now and they're certainly showing that with their performances on the field.
Ireland's opening batsman Jeremy Bray, originally from New South Wales, Australia, made an unbeaten 115 that propelled his side to 221-9 in their allotted 50 overs and eventually fetched him the Man-of-the-Match prize. Later some disciplined bowling from their opening bowler, another Aussie, Dwayne Langford-Smith (the same guy who took 4 wickets against SA in the famous warm up game) and a couple of run outs for Zimbabwe saw the Irish tie the match, and wild celebrations from their small but vocal group of fans followed.
As Dileep Premachandran says in his match verdict matches like these are a real credit to these sides and their faithful bunch of fans. Besides they're also something of a spat on the face of the likes of Holding and co. who've questioned the presence of these minnows in a big stage like the World Cup. Three days and five matches into the World Cup and this thrilling nail-bitter between two unrated sides has produced the most exciting finish of the tournament so far. I wonder what Holding has to say on that.
The Irish skipper, yet another Aussie, David Trent Johnston, has already spoken about how much he's looking forward forward to his team's match against Pakistan, and I'm not convinced we should be worried or anything, but we could do no worse then throw out any complacency that might have crept in. In fact, Bob Woolmer could actually use the exact quotes of Johnson to fire us up, here's what the brave man had to say about out match tomorrow:
Once the euphoria over a first World-Cup point dies down, Pakistan lie in wait on Saturday, knowing that nothing less than victory will do if they're to progress. Johnston joked that "they might come out and make 500 against us", but he was confident that his squad had the strength to cause one of the great upsets. "If we bowl well up front, who knows?" he said. "We're not particularly worried about their bowling, but we'll have to play out of our skins and they'll need to have an off day."
Prosper Utseya, the Zimbo skipper was also on record saying last week that he was targeting Pakistan because our "inconsistency", and now the Irish skipper is also going on about how his side isn't "worried" about our bowling! Gul and co. might feel they've got a lesson or two to deliver to these sides. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for these lesser sides to compete at the World Cup and grow as cricket nations too, but upsets against Pakistan? Er...lets keep the good will verbal only, shall we?
Cross posted on Sundries and Cricket Bloggers of Pakistan
Labels: 2007 world cup, ireland, pakistan, world cup, zimbabwe