Wednesday, May 12, 2010


West Indies have won the toss in the last Super Eight match of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship against Australia and elected to bat first at St. Lucia.

The last-ball win by Sri Lanka over India a few minutes ago has made the situation a lot tougher for the hosts. Had India managed to hold Sri Lanka away from victory, West Indies would have needed a win to go through. Now, with Sri Lanka having won with a six, West Indies will need to defeat Australia by 24 runs to edge Sri Lanka out on NRR.

Harsha Bhogle has just said on air that West Indies will need a 23-run win, but my calculations suggest that would leave them just a fraction short of Sri Lanka's run rate. On the other hand, they will need to win by 82 runs if they want to top the group and face Pakistan in the semis. Or further, they will have to beat them by 151 runs to eliminate them from the Championship altogether. What say!

On a more serious note, if Chris Gayle fires like he did against India... or like he did against Australia (Brett Lee in particular) in the previous World Twenty20, there would be a distinct chance for West Indies. Their best chance to qualify would be to get Michael Clarke in to bat early... and then not get him out. The longer he stays on the crease, the lower the scoring rate will tend to be.

Sri Lanka's middle order has fired well in the last two games... which is good for them if they get into the semis. They (or West Indies) will be facing England in the semis (unless there is an 82-run win)... which should give them a positive feeling. Even if Kevin Pietersen does return, facing England in the semis is a lot less threatening than facing any other team, maybe except South Africa.

There is no doubt that Gayle is the single most important player in this match. He is walking out to bat with Chanderpaul now. And I am about to sleep now. Let the match begin...

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