Thursday, February 17, 2011


Eng 243 all out in 49.4 overs, Can 227 all out in 46.1 overs - Eng win by 16 runs

This was a close shave for England. There was a huge surprise (or rather, a shock) in store right at the start of the match... as Kevin Pietersen came out partnering Andrew Strauss at the top. That they have had to send Pietersen opening and will continue to do so in the tournament should worry England. That they stumbled to a sub-250 score against minnows should worry them even more. Trott and Prior scored 50s to bring some respectability to the total as medium pacers Chohan and Baidwan grabbed 3 wickets each for Canada.

England started their bowling innings destructively as Canada was 28 - 5 in the 8th over. What should have ended there and then turned out to be an exciting run chase as Canada finished just 16 runs short of the English total, bowled out with 23 balls to spare. A 71-ball 93 from Rizwan Cheema, ably supported by Chohan with a 44 (looks like a good all round cricketer, this one!) were the two major contributions in this brilliant chase. And Canada might even have pulled it off had it not been for a 5-wicket haul from Stuart Broad... who took 3 in his initial burst and came back later to grab 2 and clean up the tail.

If the warmup games are a sign of things to come, I'll definitely be watching the games involving the four minnows very closely. They have definitely shown a lot of promise!

Ind 360 - 5 in 50 overs, NZ 243 all out in 43.1 overs - Ind win by 117 runs

The game began with just one thing on everyone's mind... to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat in coloured clothing, and watch him bat for long! While he did not bat too long, he did not look to bad either in his short stint. He got out attempting a shot, which I am sure he would never have attempted had this been an official match, and not a warm up.

The Indian batters needed just this kind of a warm up game to feel good about themselves. It is a pity that Yuvraj did not get a chance to stroke himself into some sort of a form, when four batters (Gambhir, Kohli, Dhoni and Raina) got 50+ scores, the captain eventually making a 64-ball 108*.

The Kiwis have bowling troubles, and they have batting troubles too! Even though Guptill, McCullum and Ryder all got starts, no one could play a long innings and get some kind of a batting practice. As far as Indian bowling is concerned, here is the key stat: Spinners 28-0-119-7; Pacers 15.1-0-112-2, not to mention the fact that both those wickets were of tailenders!

India desperately needs to find a solution to the pace bowling woes... or decide firmly to use spin bowling to cover up for the pace bowling woes! It may be a risky ploy once the knock out stage arrives, but they have 6 matches before that to get everything in order.

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