World Cup Matches 8 and 9 – India v South Africa & Bangladesh v New Zealand

So enter the giants. Bring on the gladiators. Bow down to the titans. India belatedly join the “party that is gripping a nation”, and in front of them is a team that if it loses, might as well ensure they are on that flight to Johannesburg prior to July 14. The stakes are high.

You’ll be thankful that this isn’t a 1000 word epic. There are two games scheduled for 5th of June, and India are on first in Southampton. Highly favoured, they won’t be overly concerned that they have had to wait, or really what they’ve seen from their opponents. Their’s will be a more intense campaign, but not that much. A tournament where there is still four weeks of the qualifying competition to run allows such indulgences like waiting a week to start!

The second game puts together two unbeaten teams up against each other. Bangladesh return to the scene of their triumph on Sunday with a hope to repeat the formula. New Zealand blew Sri Lanka away on a lovely green surface in Cardiff and look a formidable unit. While you have to favour the Black Caps, Bangladesh aren’t to be taken for granted. One of my favourite cricketers, Mushfiqur Rahim, is always a key man for the Tigers, and his lovely knock on Sunday got a little overshadowed by Shakib, but was utterly valuable (going to a country like Bangladesh makes me want them to do well. I loved my time there). By all reports their fans were brilliant on Sunday and brought a great sense of occasion to the match. Good on them.

The match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan was the first one that was weather affected, and yet there was still a pretty gripping contest (due to disruption in London, I had to work from home, but I’m not going to watch cricket, sadly, if I have to work – honestly). Sri Lanka got off to a great start, collapsed in a heap, eked out something competitive, and then Afghanistan got off to a half decent start, collapsed in a heap, rebuilt a little, but then fell short. The bowling attack may sneak them a game during the tournament, but the batting looked a little short for Afghanistan today. They are by no means outclassed. I am watching the highlights and what a really good comms team they had on today. Doull, Smith, Mitchell, Sanga and even Pommie was OK today too. Nothing pants on fire enthusiasm, no screaming and hollering, just adult commentators treating their audience as adults. It will never catch on.

As we have seven games under our belt we have two hundreds. One suspects India might add to that total today. Let’s see if they are for real. South Africa are in turmoil, and it will be a huge upset if they win. It is especially sad, though sadly not unexpected, to see Dale Steyn won’t be playing a part. I saw him in his first series back in 2004/5, and he had an action and pace to die for. He’s been an amazing player, but time stands still for no-one, not even a warrior like Dale Steyn. It’s terribly disappointing.

Comments below.

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18 thoughts on “World Cup Matches 8 and 9 – India v South Africa & Bangladesh v New Zealand

  1. dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 9:48 am

    Problem with this format (as all but the incompetent Dave Richardson acknowledged) is that if South Africa lose today, they practically have nothing left to play for but pride (either after today or their next fixture), which could unduly influence the tournament as well.

    Oh, and Amla failed again. What a surprise.

    For example, they might decide to open the batting with Duminy and Miller since those two cannot be arsed to contribute positively (although it must be said, at some moment in the game against Bangladesh, Duminy got out of REVERSE gear, but still stuck in neutral) whenever they play in the middle order. Amla is a spent force (which I have been banging on for years now), and Quinton might add some desperately needed backbone to the middle order.

    That could lead to anything, including an easy win for say New Zealand or Australia, which might be beneficial to their respective NRRs …

    Like

    • Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 9:54 am

      tbf, it was a pretty good ball from Bumrah.
      Saving grace for SA so far is that Kumar’s radar is a bit off…

      Like

      • dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 10:20 am

        Remember, South Africa decided to play without a #5 or #6 since both Miller and Duminy were picked. So the effective score after 10 overs is more akin to 34/4 than 34/2.

        Honestly, if Miller or Duminy asked a member of the crowd to bat, they could hardly do worse And yet the selectors keep persisting with them. Hint: no one has expressed an interest to Kolpak them, which should signify to the powers that be that they are not good enough.

        Like

  2. Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 10:23 am

    Hallelujah. Pandya bowls a yorker length ball to get a dot early in the innings.
    Someone make Woakes watch that on endless loop.

    Like

  3. Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 10:25 am

    WC debut for Kuldeep.
    Big opportunity for SA batsmen to get on top of a bowler.

    Like

  4. dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 11:04 am

    What batsmen? Duminy, Miller and the bowlers left at 80/4.

    But congrats Duminy and Miller. A six-week holiday paid for by the ICC, while masquerading as competent cricketers.

    Like

  5. dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 11:19 am

    TheBogfather missed his opportunity to tweet about JP’s marathon efforts against spin. Before the game we knew JP averaged less than 10 against Indian spin, so let’s pick this imbecile at #6, confident that he will contribute.

    Seriously, if the SA selectors are not tried for sporting treason they should be sacked.

    Like

    • thebogfather Jun 5, 2019 / 3:25 pm

      Sorry Darthez, I didn’t get chance to catch the score until his masterful 3 was over…

      Like

  6. Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 11:23 am

    I know it’s going to go on a long time, but I’m actually quite liking the idea of every team playing every other team once. Learn a lot about them in detail. Of course, as D’Arthez has been pointing out, what we’ve learned about SA so far is not so positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      The problem with the format though is that say Pakistan could miss qualification due to a washout in their game against South Africa. But then all is well. Or it could be Australia …., and then suddenly the ICC will find fault with the format … But then again, Pakistan won the World Cup when the weather gods favoured them.

      Never mind that after today, South Africa have basically nothing left to play for, and that may influence results as well.

      But given the incompetence of the selectors, on full display, I’d be interested in some bank account examinations. Because this appears to be beyond incompetence to be honest.

      Like

  7. Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    Seeing Rabada at work you have to feel for SA re: injury to Steyn.
    If Rabada had some backup they’d instantly look more competitive despite their batting woes.

    Like

    • Metatone Jun 5, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      That said, excellent start by Morris – if they can keep this up they’ll put some pressure on India.

      Like

    • dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 3:11 pm

      There is this guy called Kyle Abbott. Really good ODI bowler. Wonder what happened to him …

      Like

  8. Jim Jun 5, 2019 / 3:05 pm

    Ebony Rainford Brent says ‘I haven’t seen a lot of…’ a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jun 5, 2019 / 3:23 pm

      …and that’s one of her more insightful contributions to the commentary…

      Like

  9. AB Jun 5, 2019 / 4:14 pm

    I don’t really care about the format of this version of the world cup, I think getting the qualification and formatting right for the World T20 is far more important in growing the game globally. Now that really should be organised along the same rough schedule as the FIFA world cup. 32 teams, 8 groups of 4 with 2 games per day every day, straight into the last 16 and then QF, 1 days break then SF, 1 days break, F. Total of 33 days, and if India get knocked out early, tough.

    Like

  10. dArthez Jun 5, 2019 / 5:03 pm

    Brilliant fielding by Miller. Can’t be bothered to take the most straightforward of catches. Not that it matters much with India needing just 20 odd from 30 balls, but hey.

    Like

  11. Grenville Jun 5, 2019 / 10:22 pm

    My feeling about the world cup. The pitches are about right, not absolute roads, and the really good teams, other than England, have worked out ways to bowl that are effective. In short, I think that team ECB is back in the chasing pack. Maybe I’m just an optimist.

    As for the intrigue, I feel that England, New Zealand, India and Oz should make it to the semis. Pakistan and Bangladesh could make it and South Africa could cause trouble, though so far they haven’t. That’s quite a competitive field.

    Like

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