The storm before the calm
England are playing New Zealand
this evening in a match that, quite obviously, is vital to both teams.
Both should qualify, despite the presence of Kenya. But going into the Super Eight on effectively -2 points is a big disadvantage, especially as both will have lined the other up for some easy points. Theoretically, Australia and South Africa shouldn't care about the result of their match, as they should both make the semis anyway. They will, of course, but it will matter less.
It's likely that two of Australia, South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka will enter the Super Eight hurting from a loss. All of these teams will be looking to New Zealand and especially England for one of the four wins they (probably) need to reach the semi-finals. So the winner can afford to attempt to muddle through rather than go for broke, and we know how well muddling through
After this match, both England and New Zealand play two minnows
. For the winner, it's the perfect opportunity to lose form. For the loser, it's an opportunity to either build confidence or slide to an embarrassing defeat. Sadly, thanks to the carry-over of points, there's no incentive for teams to manufacture results
to knock another team out as they'd only disadvantage themselves in the Super Eight.
Labels: 2007 world cup, england, new zealand, world cup