Monday, May 10, 2010


South Africa (102/5 in 16 overs) are struggling in their chase of 149 against Pakistan. Both the teams need to win to have a chance... but even a win in itself will not be enough. They also have to hope for a favourable result in the next Eng - NZ game.

It's a similar story in the other group. After their defeat to West Indies yesterday, the Indian team must have been glad to see Sri Lanka being thrashed by Australia. This thrashing has made the equation a lot easier for India (though its still pretty tough)!

Now, here's how India can qualify:

Bat first, set a target and then defeat the Sri Lankans by 20 runs or more. Then, hope that West Indies lose to Australia (even a 1-run margin will be enough... just a loss is needed).


Bowl first, restrict the Sri Lankans to an achievable target, and chase whatever the target set in about 17 and a half overs (exact number will depend on the target set). Then, hope that West Indies lose to Australia (again, just a loss needed... any margin would be good enough).

Now, after all the calculations, I appreciate even more the favour that Australia did for India in inflicting such a heavy defeat to the Sri Lankan team. A 20-run win does not sound too outrageous a task to achieve. The key for India would be to silence early a newly-oiled and restructured run machine called Mahela Jayawardene. After him, the Sri Lankan line-up is in a state of confusion. Dilshan's woeful form, Jaisuriya's uncertainties and Sanga's rustiness have been hidden by Mahela's music. Even their main bowler, Malinga, has not been very effective at the Carribbean islands.

Sri Lankan supporters will be hoping that Lasith Malinga rediscovers the rhythm he had found at the Carribbean islands in the World Cup 2007, where he played a big role in their march to the finals. Something similar will be required by them now.

As for India, I hope Dhoni learns a few lessons from the demoralising defeats. And I hope that the bounce at St. Lucia is lower than Kensington Oval, Barbados.

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