2015 World Cup – Games 29 & 30 – Pakistan v South Africa and Ireland v Zimbabwe

The games are getting more important, chances and slip-ups not allowed, and big matches come thick and fast.

Comments on the two games to be added below. I’ll be around in the morning.

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41 thoughts on “2015 World Cup – Games 29 & 30 – Pakistan v South Africa and Ireland v Zimbabwe

  1. SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 1:38 am

    Fantastic catch by Steyn to break the opening partnership. Still, 30 a better start than Pakistan’s WC average so far of 5.5.

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    • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 2:32 am

      Three sixes off Duminy’s second over – Sarfraz Ahmed, where have you been? And then he runs himself out….

      Balance of the SA team still looks all wrong. Philander was going to play until pulling out at the last moment but instead of Abbott so it didn’t change the balance they were intending.

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  2. d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 2:36 am

    The problem is that Rossouw does not bowl. That is an important advantage that Behardien in particular has.

    So they have to get 10 overs out of Duminy / AB / Faf. That is a tough ask on this wicket.

    82/2 from 20 overs from the specialist bowlers. 43/0 from 4 overs by AB (1) and Duminy (3).

    115/2 after 24 overs. Pakistan are reasonably well positioned.

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    • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 2:41 am

      It is late. It is 3.40 AM, so my math is off.

      72 runs (one catch, one run out) from 20 overs from the specialist bowlers, not 82.

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      • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 2:51 am

        Trouble is Rossouw is a much better batsman than Behardien and Behardien not much of a bowler.

        As I’m writing that, ABDV has Younis Khan caught! Of course the solution is for ABDV to work a miracle….

        If De Kock fails again, one solution for the future would be for ABDV to take the gloves again. Diffifcult to captain from there though and they’d lose his outfielding.

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  3. metatone Mar 7, 2015 / 8:34 am

    Turned into an odd, rather low-scoring game.
    Looks at this moment that SA will get over the line, and then, as I write that De Villiers is out so it’s much more in the air again…

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    • metatone Mar 7, 2015 / 8:44 am

      Pakistan win!
      Cue the usual cliches – but the cliches are there for a reason.
      When this time concentrates, they can do some serious damage.

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      • metatone Mar 7, 2015 / 8:45 am

        You have to ask why England can’t get even half this many quality bowlers on the field.

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  4. SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 9:34 am

    So the 77 runs conceded by SA’s fifth ‘bowler’ didn’t prove too crucial then?

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    • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 10:11 am

      Actually, it could have been even worse than 77 runs – Duckworth/Lewis calculations, at the mark that rain arrived, would probably have weighted them as about 80 runs, in a 37-over chase, and this is despite AB taking a wicket.

      I am really not sure what happened. I stopped watching when the rain arrived, and unless the wicket became quite spicy, such a chase ought to have been fairly straightforward. These are not exactly wickets (considering the field dimensions) where 230 would be considered a good score.

      And it is not like South Africa have not faced Irfan before or Wahab before. They have.

      And this is exactly why I won’t rate South Africa’s chances. Way too vulnerable in chases.

      Suddenly Pakistan are in the running for the second spot in the group (though NRR suggests it is unlikely they get there). West Indies, well, they must be really worried, since their position is now the most precarious.

      If Ireland beat Zimbabwe, then West Indies at best can qualify as 4th on NRR. But Zim are putting up a real fight, and if Taylor and Williams can last a few more overs together, they may well win it, despite Ireland posting 331/8.

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      • metatone Mar 7, 2015 / 10:21 am

        From what I saw, it’s easy to underestimate how good Pakistan’s bowling can be when it all clicks. Throw in that the moisture certainly added a tiny bit of help for the bowlers and I think many sides would have struggled in that chase.

        Of course, the 77 runs from the 5th bowler for SA makes a big difference in hindsight – but at the same time, it’s cheating the analysis to say a better bowler would have only conceded 45, and swap him in for a batsman who failed. (e.g. Miller.) Rather you have to look at someone like du Plessis – so you would have saved 32 runs and potentially lost around 12 on the batting.

        So a better bowler might have gained SA around 20 runs, which absent rain could have been enough to win. So it did make a difference. But it shouldn’t be seen as a dead cert IMO and again, IMO shouldn’t distract from what a difference:

        a) A less batsman-biased pitch
        b) Pakistan bowlers on song

        made to the contest.

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      • metatone Mar 7, 2015 / 10:26 am

        WI NRR should be boosted significantly by their final game against UAE though…
        WI victory over Pakistan put them towards safety so long as they don’t slip up again…

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      • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 11:13 am

        Post hoc alterations to the team are useless mental exercises. It should not have made much of a difference. Whether the target was 232 from 47 or 212 from 47.

        As you as say “when it all clicks”. That happened for Pakistan, but still 232 at this venue, you would expect a decent batting side to get there. It is not like the required runrate ever got remotely out of control.

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  5. SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 10:12 am

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  6. wrongunatlongon Mar 7, 2015 / 10:38 am

    So I woke up still drunk at about 7 this morning and bought a Pakistan shirt of some bloke in Milton Keynes on Ebay.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 11:18 am

    Williams looked to seal it for Zim, and then he got out as he either smacked a six, or was caught at the boundary. Difficult call for the third umpire to make, but it seems that that may well decide the outcome of the game.

    16 balls left, 29 runs to get for Zimbabwe, with only Chakabva and the bowlers to get them there.

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    • Rooto Mar 7, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Didn’t see it, but, seeing as Ireland won by 5 runs, looks like a crucial call.
      Get in!

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      • LordCanisLupus Mar 7, 2015 / 11:39 am

        Took me about six replays to see the movement on the board. Those most vociferous were those that saw it on the first replay. You needed to look at the right place to see the board move (I was looking at the base, the movement more noticeable at the top).

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  8. d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 11:31 am

    Zim lost it in the last over. Just 7 needed from 6, with 2 wickets (one of whom is a batsman) left.

    Congrats to Ireland. Rain in one of their remaining games will mean qualification. And if they can add a third Full Member scalp to their collection …

    But a great game!

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    • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 11:39 am

      Great game? Absolutely! Shunt matches like this off into a pre-qualifying tournament? No!

      Jeez, what does a bowler have to do to win MotM? Cusack (where had he been?) took 9.3-2-32-4 out of 326 including two wickets in the last over with gutsy slower cutters with only seven needed. And they give it as always to the highest scorer on the winning side! I love Ed Joyce as a player but that’s nonsense.

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      • Arron Wright Mar 7, 2015 / 11:50 am

        One of my biggest pet peeves in cricket, MotM awards. By pet peeves I mean things obviously way less important than the major issues we all care about, but still bloody irritating.

        Anyway, bad feeling about this: I think Ireland will go out on NRR against a side they beat, ie WI. NRR is absurd: values runs scored much higher than wickets taken (as seen with the maths on NZ v Aus – wouldn’t Aus have had the same negative from the match if they’d taken one instead of taking nine?). NRPW would be better, though in a round robin I would prefer head to head to take precedence anyway.

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      • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 11:52 am

        Agree with that. It had to be Cusack. As good as Joyce’s knock was, he was not the only one to bat well this match, or even his team’s innings. Balbirnie, Williams, Taylor, all got 90+ scores.

        To pick a batsman then, when there is only one bowler with an economy of less than 5.6 is criminal.

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  9. thebogfather Mar 7, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Off out now for a Guinness or six… (maybe a few Jamesons or Bushmills too -Slainte!)

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  10. LordCanisLupus Mar 7, 2015 / 11:42 am

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    • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 12:44 pm

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  11. SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    I thought Mooney had touched the rope after that first replay but the post-match replays with magnifiers and super slow-mo suggested it was more that his shadow had created an optical illusion that it had moved.

    Assuming Ireland lose to India (with a hit to their NRR) and West Indies beat UAE (with a boost to their NRR) then Pakistan vs. Ireland next Sunday becomes an effective eliminator. Assumptions have been dangerous in this Pool though!

    Arron’s already pointed out what a nonsense tie-breaker NRR is. More analysis of that to follow I’m sure.

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    • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 1:04 pm

      Ireland will go out in all likelihood on NRR if they lose their last two games. If they get as much as a single point, either due to a washout or tieing one of these games, they’ll be through. West Indies just have to win. NRR does not really come into the equation, since even if Ireland lose by 1 ball in both games, their NRR will be worse than what the WI have now. And WI NRR will definitely improve if they beat UAE, even if it is by just 1 ball.

      Interesting, that the only difference between South Africa and Ireland would be the result between the teams, if Ireland lost both those games, and SA beat UAE. That would hardly signify a massive gap, unlike what Mr. Richardson suggests.

      Oh and don’t think that Pakistan – Ireland and West Indies – UAE will start at the same time. Barring weather interference, Pakistan will know exactly what they need to do at the start of the second innings to qualify. Not sure how that is fair on the West Indies.

      The other thing is, that because all the venues get allocated to sides in Group A, the sides in Group B can only influence their itinerary by changing places. To the West Indies third place is not particularly attractive, since they ‘ll have to play on the 15th in New Zealand, and may be required to play Sri Lanka on the 18th in Australia. At least they’re not spoiled for choice, after Ireland won.
      It is even worse for the fans. Imagine the advantage fans from teams in Group A have in terms of buying tickets for the right venue. India won their group (barring extremely unlikely results), but they still don’t know where they will play. They can make a reasonable guess, but you could possibly see 30k Indian supporters turn up for something like South Africa – Bangladesh. Oops.

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  12. SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    George Dobell’s latest on England’s failure to swing the ball is a must-read.

    I’ve tried to provide a direct link both here and at TFT but it keeps failing on wordpress.

    You’d think maybe former swing bowlers in the press corps might look at this – but not apparently if it involves any criticism of their mate the bowling coach.

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    • LordCanisLupus Mar 7, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      ESPN cricinfo links, for some reason I cannot fathom, are treated as spam links. They should be up soon.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 7, 2015 / 12:24 pm

      ESPN cricinfo links, for some reason I cannot fathom, are treated as spam links. They should be up soon.

      That said, it’s not in my spam queue. Odd.

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    • ZeroBullshit Mar 7, 2015 / 4:50 pm

      I had the same problem a couple of days ago. I countered it by shortening the link via Google url shortener. Here is that George Dobell article:

      http://goo.gl/NvZFi4

      Like

  13. Arron Wright Mar 7, 2015 / 1:24 pm

    Is it just me that wanted to puke after reading this BTL contribution to Selvey’s latest?

    kevinmitchell 52m ago
    Staff

    Excellent, as ever, from his Lordship. Adil Rashid: now there’s a talent you to be properly encouraged

    I think it’s the “as ever”, a few days after the fruitfly article, that did it. That and ‘Lordship’.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Mar 7, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      A few days after the fruitfly *and* a week after Finn was “back to his best”…

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      • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 2:51 pm

        I enjoyed Selvey’s claim that England had selected too many players when Ali Martin had published on the same day an article (which presumably Selvey hadn’t bothered to read) showing that England in reality picked fewer players than any other major nation except SL.

        I gave up reading the comments after there were three “I only care about Test cricket” posts in the first twenty or so. I pity the poor fools who couldn’t enjoy Ireland/Zimbabwe.

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      • Rooto Mar 7, 2015 / 8:28 pm

        I was also gobsmacked at Selvey saying that Broad was more likely than Tredwell to play because of the short square boundaries at Adeleide.
        Well, Mike, if Stu could ever find the other half of the pitch to land the ball in, then you might have a point, but we all know he aims at his own feet, so it’s a moot point, isn’t it?
        Plus, of course, is it not within either the bowler’s or the captain’s nous to counter such things? I’m sure Tredders is capable of such adaptation. Morgan, I’m no longer sure.

        To be honest, I’d rather they stay unchanged (replying to SimonH’s post below), because they don’t deserve better, and it’s more likely to be a nice, clean, swift end if they don’t bring in people ike Tredwell.

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    • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 2:43 pm

      Absolute nonsense from Morgan – how has Ballance been ‘unlucky’ in his dismissals for example? It’s going to be an unchanged team again, isn’t it…..?

      On the worst selection since Ahmedabad, I’d put selecting an unfit Bresnan at Perth ahead of any of the “three tall drinks’ waiters” as worse than Ahmedabad or Ballance now. Picking Borthwick ahead of Panesar at Sydney is right up there as well – as is the selection of Rankin in the same match if he was unfit. Let’s throw picking Cook instead of Hales for the home ODIs against SL in there as well (unless Cook’s selection is so bad it is in a category of its own!).

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    • d'Arthez Mar 7, 2015 / 8:19 pm

      I do have an inkling that the excuse of the bowlers not being fit (Rankin, Finn, Tremlett) is used as an excuse for the shambles the ECB served up. Sure Tremlett was down on pace, but anyone who had bothered following the CC knew that. The lack of pace then cannot be used as an excuse – the selectors slept on the job. You would have thought the selectors learned from that.

      I still think that the selectorial lowlight of 2014 was the picking of Prior with “only” a three inch tear in his achilles. Not for a once-off T20 as a specialist batsman, no for the first 4 Tests of the home summer. Prior at least dropped himself, or else he’d probably have played all 7 Tests.

      “It was a feeling at the time and a lot of people would agree with me in saying that if we had gone with Alex you wouldn’t have been surprised.”

      Hogwash. Maybe we would not have been surprised if you had gone with Hales. But ODI cricket is not the kind of sport in which you get runs for surprising your opponents by making the worst pick possible. There is a reason bowlers with limited batting ability bat in the tail, just as there is a reason why batsman with extremely limited bowling ability don’t bowl.

      You can be unlucky in the sense that eventually you will get a ball that has your name on it. That one can come first up, or after a 100-odd balls. Pity that Ballance has done his best to make relatively innocuous deliveries have his name on them. I guess Ballance needs to upskill in that department.

      Mind you, I don’t blame Ballance much. Whose bright idea was it to make him bat at #3 with no proper preparation? And how much will said person make from his severance packages, both for his first stint and the second stint?

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      • SimonH Mar 7, 2015 / 8:51 pm

        Yes, I’d been thinking that I’d forgotten Prior but perhaps picking injured players deserves a whole category on its own?

        Even if one accepts Rankin was injured and Finn unselectable at Perth that still leaves Tremlett. Tremlett was undoubtedly fit and although his pace was down he’d still have been a better pick than Bresnan because of the bounce he could achieve. Tremlett was clearly angry at the decision and that anger is why he has been a bit of a loose cannon since.

        By the way, I’ve checked all the main British newspapers and can find only the Daily Mail reporting Tremlett’s mid-week praising of Pietersen. The Guardian ignored it – as did the BBC while managing to cover Hoggard and Hollioake saying negative things about him.

        Hales was actually not only ignored by England but his county coach and England selector Mike Newell wouldn’t pick him initially for Notts and he had to go on loan to Worcester to get a game. Newell preferred 35 year old Phil Jaques and Steven Mullaney who finished the season with an average of 18. Hales had scored England’s only ever T20I century and not against some so-called minnow in a nothing game but against the world champions in the World Cup. It really beggars belief.

        Like

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