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    March 18, 2007

    Double Shocker!

    In probably the most stunning day of cricket in the history of the World Cup, Pakistan crashed out of the World Cup at the hands of associate nation Ireland and favourites India were cut down by unfancied Bangladesh. India are now in serious danger of bowing out in the group stage.

    In Jamaica, on St. Patrick's day, the Irish created the biggest upset in World Cups since Kenya defeated the Windies in 1996. Irish captain Trent Johnston, won the toss and inserted the opposition on a pitch that offered some sideways movement early on. Andre Botha was the bowling star for the Irish, returning the unworldly figures of 2 wickets for 5 runs off 8 overs, including maidens. Botha got the key wicket of Pakistan captain Inzamam, as the Pakistanis lost wickets early and often. The Pakistanis never got on top of the bowling and were pinned down as they folded for 132 in 45.4 overs. Extras topscored at 29, including a massive 22 wides by the Irish bowlers. The Pakistani batting has been a major disappointment this World Cup. The best word I can think of to describe their batting is "neutered", as they lacked passion or even any sense of life in their batting.

    N'iall O'Brien topscored with 72.

    In reply, a solid 72 by man of the match N'iall O'Brien, took the Irish to the 3 wicket win. Mohammad Sami was the only Pakistani bowler on show that consistently looked capable of taking a wicket.

    Sami took 3/29

    His fiery pace earned him figures of 3/29 from his ten overs. Those figures weren't enought to stop the Irish on this day, and when Johnston hit Azar Mahmood for six to win the match, the overwhelmingly pro-Ireland crowd went wild.

    In Trinidad, India have found themselves on the outside of the "group of death". A listless, uninspiring performance by the Indians, means that they must beat Sri Lanka, or they will be joining Pakistan with an early exit.

    Batting first, the Indians failed to cope with the pace of Mashrafe Mortaza (4/38) nor the left arm spin of Mohammad Rafique and Abdur Razzak, 3 wickets a piece. These three bowlers were among the leading wicket takers in ODIs last year, so their returns should not be shocking. Sourav Ganguly topscored with a grinding 66 off 129 balls as India were bowled out for 191 in the 50th over.

    The Bangladeshis then coolly knocked off the runs, with teenagers Tanim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqibul Hasan making half centuries. They reached their target for the loss of only 5 wickets to claim their second ever World Cup win.

    Not that we like to brag, but we did say that Ireland were a dangerous team here, here and here. On St Patrick's Day, all the luck was with the Irish, lets' hope that that luck runs out when they meet the Windies. It may still be hard to believe that the Irish actually knocked off the Pakistanis, so here's one more picture to prove it:

    The West Indies will do well to avoid losing to Zimbabwe and Ireland next week, as they no longer have the points from the Pakistan match to take to the Super Eights.
    (Cross Posted from Rain, No Play)

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    Thus spake Sean @ 6:56 AM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    Sehwag must be dropped. He is useless in conditions where the ball deviated more than 0.1mm.

    By Blogger Scribbler (18-Mar-2007, 10:03:00 AM)  

    I would just like to say, I would find it very, very funny if India, Pakistan, and England all got knocked out in the group stages.

    By Blogger Geoff (18-Mar-2007, 4:38:00 PM)  

    Not only the defeats but the nature of defeats was even more telling. Both India and Pakistan were comprehensively outplayed in all three departments and it was a complete reversal of tags of minnows and majors. Both the teams did not stand a chance after losing first couple of over and the inexperiences sides played like true professionals, never allowing them to come back in.
    Smart Alec

    By Blogger Swapnil Shukla (18-Mar-2007, 5:15:00 PM)  

    Bangladesh seem to have improved tremendously, despite primarily playing Zimbabwe (played 82 ODIs since WC2003 and 35 out of them were against the 'more minnows', 23 were against Zimbabwe). Maybe winning (27-8 record against the 'more minnows') did them a lot of good to the confidence.

    Ignoring the batting and the bowling, Bangladesh fielded VERY well.

    By Blogger Jagadish (20-Mar-2007, 8:04:00 PM)  

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