Monday, April 23, 2007

WC07 - Semi-Finals 2 out of 4

Not bad !! 2 of my 4 semi-finalist predictions were correct. An England win over South Africa would have made it 3 out of 4. England has been a big disappointment and South Africa has been playing cyclically - bad performance against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and good ones against England and West Indies.

So, is it going by Australia vs Sri Lanka in the finals?? Both New Zealand and South Africa would be aching for revenge of their Super-8 defeats.

Gravity might finally catch up with Australia. Anything that goes up has to come down. South Africa had started the run-chase well in their Super-8 encounter and were looking all set at the half way mark. Till Shane Watson turned it around with a direct hit from the boundary and Smith getting cramps made it look like a one-sided encounter. Both sides play with lot of tenacity, passion and planning.

New Zealand would in full force too, with Bond and Oram back in. So will Sri Lanka with Malinga in. These two teams have played several times in the last few months, with Sri Lanka having an upper hand in one-days. It might, finally, be New Zealand's day.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me to be a South Africa vs New Zealand final. But, may the best teams win.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bangladesh vs Ireland in Super-8 ??

St.Patrick's day brough luck for the Irish. Pakistan is out of world cup. India is not far behind.

Always a fighter, the tame exit of Pakistan from this world cup comes as a shock. This also means entry of Ireland into Super-8 and free points for all the teams in that round.

India following Pakistan is a good possibility, though there is still hope...very little. The exuberance and the energy of Bengal Tigers (from across the border) showed India seniors are getting old (and slow). If India does make an early exit, Bangladesh and Ireland would probably be playing on weekends in Super-8, courtesy match planning by ICC to maximise TV revenue (India vs Pakistan and India vs Australia matches were planned for weekends).

Maybe, Indian and Pakistani cricketers are using this trip to replenish their accounts in St. Kitts and Cayman Islands. Maybe they should, because they cannot go home after such a display of cricket.

Jokes aside, full credit goes to Ireland and Bangladesh for an excellent performance. Tamim Iqbal, the 17 year old Bangla opener, showed his entertaining array of shots. His 50 basically closed the doors for India. Patel, Khan and Agarkar were carted all around by the Bangladesh teenagers. If they do stay consistent, Bangladesh has a very good cricketing future.


Moore's Law: Microprocessor power would double every one to two years.

Wirth's Law: Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cricket World Cup - 2007

The Cricket World Cup is starting on Monday. Here's my take on it.

Few weeks back, Australia were the favorites to win. But, England beat them in the tri-series, New Zealand beat them soon after, and South Africa became the top rated team. And Whoa !! The competition became wide open. A recovering Symonds and no Brett Lee could hurt them a little and give that opening to other teams.

New Zealand blanked a depleted Australian side But had failed to make it to the finals of the tri-series and had lost the series to Sri Lanka before that. With genuine fast bowlers like Bond and Miles, and Fleming being the best of all the captains, they can surprise anybody on their day. But, its hard to see them making through to the finals.

England lost the Ashes 0-5. They recovered and came back to win the tri-series. With Collingwood in the form of his life, Pieterson being his most explosive self, Vaughan back as Captain, Flintoff and a decent bowling attack have a good chance at claiming one of the semi-final berths. Monty Panesar might be very effective on the slow Caribbean pitches.

South Africa, the top rated teams have as good a chance to win this time, as they had in the last two tournaments. The big choker label could still catch them. They have tried to prove themselves anything but, but beating Australia, India and Pakistan in the recent past. The fast bowling attack would cause trouble for most teams. But, their batting had problems against Ireland in the world cup warm up. Could this be a sign of things to come?

Pakistan is ever unpredictable. Yonus and Yousuf have been very consistent and piling up runs. But, the inconsistent openers, talented but unreliable Afridi and Malik, and Sami - a choice by default, bring the unknown into the equation. Their fighting spirit could still make the difference. But, semi-finals do not seem a possibility for them.

Sri Lanka have on a come back after loosing badly to India in Rahul Dravid's first series as captain. They have won against England and New Zealand. But, then again lost to India. The slow bowling and the explosive batting of Jayasurya on slow and small grounds and Sangakara's consistency could really make a big difference. They have variety in their bowling attack with Vaas, Murali, Malinga and Jayasurya and a deep batting lineup. A semi-final is a definite possibility.

India won against Sri-Lanka, lost badly to West Indies and South Africa, beat Sri-Lanka and West Indies. Experience may be the solution to India's woes. A very strong batting lineup, with Tendulkar, Dravid and Yuvraj, and maybe Sehwag in the middle order, India looks better. The bowling seems to be working too. If warm-up win against West Indies is any indication, India is definitely in the finals.

West Indies are a good one day team. But, the host hasn't been lucky in world cups. The odds are against them.

It could be Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka in the semi-finals.

Mixture Bag

This is just a place for sharing random thoughts, opinions and happenings. So much is happening every day. While we are always thinking about tomorrow and making it better, we sometimes forget to look back and remember the past. This blog could be just the tool, if I am able to find time and motivation to keep it updated. Hopefully, I will...