Into the second half of the tournament, and for the sake of the competition, South Africa need to win this one. The Big Three are fairly clear, and the prospects of them being turned over sufficiently to open up qualifying seem remote. And thus, while the concept of all playing each other is not inherently unreasonable, if there is a huge difference in resources that translates into playing success, we may end up with up to a quarter of the games rendered irrelevant in the latter stages.
There were some who pointed this out long in advance, and fair enough too, but the format in general can work passably so long as there’s competitiveness and hazard between the sides, and barring Pakistan’s win over England, that hasn’t happened. And that above all is what makes for turgid viewing, and would do however it was structured. Nevertheless, it’s fair to make the argument that structure can determine the jeopardy and that this one actively works against that.
England’s demolition of Afghanistan’s bowling yesterday was not unexpected, but it is still worthy of note, given their propensity to do it to anyone if it’s their day. The absence of Roy might be a blow, but Morgan’s tour de force emphasised that come the business end of things, England can destroy anyone. Whether they go on to win the World Cup or not, they are an extraordinary batting side.
Comments on today’s game (and whatever else takes your fancy) below:
And thus, while the concept of all playing each other is not inherently unreasonable, if there is a huge difference in resources that translates into paying success, we may end up with up to a quarter of the games rendered irrelevant in the latter stages.
Paying success? You must have worked for a rather dubious sporting board if that one has passed you by.
This is just about the last chance for the rest of the games to attain some relevance. Need a South Africa victory for that, and even then, it is long odds on someone overtaking New Zealand, let alone the other three teams.
The game is delayed at the moment due to the conditions – a lot of rain has fallen, and the field needs some serious sunshine. Let’s hope it is not another washout, even if the ICC and CSA (for sheer selectorial incompetence) don’t deserve any better than that..
Playing success. Typo.
And yes, obviously. Which is why those suddenly reacting with shock and hand-wringing given the huge disparity in resources over many years were complicit.
Edit: when the tournament is over, that obvious disparity is worth returning to in a post, and I’ll dig out all those who said it was fine, it didn’t matter etc…
Toss at 1130am.
49 overs per side.
I guess they’ll squeeze some time out of the change of innings?
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia shows how partnerships should be done. Be warned. Corporate Speak on Steroids approaching. Do not read if you have high blood pressure, English as your first language, or don’t know what “industry verticals” are and if you can tell if they are “key” or not.
Reminds me of those spoof history tests in “1066 and All That”. “What is an industry vertical and would it be a) better b) worse c) equally effective than a stick of rhubarb when facing a bouncer barrage from Kagiso Rabada?”
Every time I read this sort of nonsense I assume that some-one is taking the piss and using a random bullshit generator
So let me leave you with this thought: “Delusion is born in the gap where peace has been excluded. Yes, it is possible to sabotage the things that can exterminate us, but not without balance on our side. Without health, one cannot vibrate.”
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Or that Ed Smith has taken up writing again…
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Maybe Ed knows those web sites
He might be the first to be caught plagiarising the output of such websites.
I just accidently “liked” my own post – sorry about that.
I think if I was a South African fan I would be both angry and sad (“sangry”) about what has happened to my team.
This reminds me of something called “International Arts English.” The bullshit that describes modern works of art.
The Artist Grayson Perry tells an amusing story about an editor of the arts magazine…. Art Forum who said of a previous incumbent that….. “because her first language was not English, during her editorship the magazine suffered from the wrong kind of unreadability.”
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SA need at least 1 more wicket (ideally 2) before NZ get to “hundred runs to go” – bu at 106-4 andd Williamson bedded in, it’s not looking likely.
Morris gets Neesham and maybe a chink of hope appears for SA.
Morris has bowled really well.
SA fail to review in Tahir’s last over, looks like that might be a vital moment.
Finally a really close game. Pity that it was a group stage on its last legs. Rightfully NZ have sent the stage to the grave. Only 20 more warmups to go.
Spare a thought for the commentators. Who still have to talk up this group stage as being exciting, thrilling, etc, and the tournament itself as the best in the history of cricket.
Of all the teams in the top four it is NZ who you could say are battle hardened. They have come through two close batting chases.
However, I’m not sure if the target is a big one, say well over three hundred their batting will stand up to it. They will now chase down 350 in the semi final…..
I feel like I still don’t know how good NZ are.
Partly because I was only able to see parts of the game, but partly because I still don’t have a great sense of the pitch compared to others in the tournament.
Ferguson produced one magic ball, but his other wickets were more about batsmen trying to raise the scoring rate. Is he as big a threat as his overall figures look, or are they a bit inflated by playing AFG, SL & Bangladesh early on?
Boult was a threat at the beginning, but as the ball aged it seemed easier to take runs off him.
Henry & Grandhomme were incredibly economical, to a match-winning degree, but how much of that was the pitch, how much was SA’s low batting confidence (and as Darthez would note, relatively low talent level, historically speaking) ?
I don’t know.
Likewise, was it as close as it looked? Are NZ a bit slow in the batting? Or did SA just have a bit of luck with the slipped/trod on wicket and that combined with the psychology of chasing a lower score?
I don’t know.
I think in hindsight it was probably a good toss to lose. Pitch was not exactly great for run scoring (and that is not a bad thing in itself).
It was easily the best batting performance by South Africa this tournament. Granted, that is setting the bar low. But they were never too many wickets down other than the period when Amla and Markram lost their wickets. Even Miller was not eating up many balls. They simply found it hard to accelerate when they had to.
For most parts South Africa bowled well and fielded well. Of course they missed a few chances, and did not bother to appeal for Williamson’s wicket (of the last ball of Tahir, who was extremely unlucky to end up wicketless). South Africa only played 4 bowlers and Phehlukwayo, who had an off-day. Surprised that Faf did not give the ball to Markram, even if it was just for one or two overs, so that he would have given himself a bit more room to manage the bowlers.
The difference this match was de Grandhomme. He found it relatively easy to score runs, and bowled quite economically as well. Doubt England would have defended this target against New Zealand, but the corollary is that England would probably have scored more runs. Australia might have defended this, and I would have expected New Zealand to have lost this to an Indian side, especially if they had picked 2 spinners.
But all that is meaningless. It is just two games that matter: the semi and the final, so all these notions of what might have happened if … are meaningless. Don’t discount any side making it to the semis. On their day, each of them can beat whomever they are playing.
Because the upcoming games for New Zealand are against Australia, India and England, we might get more of an idea from those games. However the intensity may also simply not be there, since these are likely to be fixtures which will determine who plays who in the semis, rather than who qualifies for them.
Be interesting to see if the commentators so much as mention it, or whether they are just going to cheerlead the “Product” instead.
Feel a bit sorry for the SA bowlers, a little more support from their batsmen and they might have nailed it. (Not to mention if a couple of potential catches had gone to hand- or even if they’d reviewed that last Tahir chance.)
If only they had taken along batsmen instead of Duminy and Miller. Oh, and it would have picked if they could have picked say Kyle Abbott (Rabada is massively overrated in ODIs).
South Africa did not deserve to qualify. At all.
And frankly the ICC don’t deserve a good tournament.
*Oh, and ti would have helped if they could have picked say Kyle Abbott
Darn lack of edit functionality
Seems my long comments are regularly in the doghouse now.
Or maybe the WordPress system is just a big NZ fan.
TL;DR – I still don’t feel like I have much of a handle on how good NZ are.
Today’s match provides a bunch of arguments in both directions…
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