The West Indies are teetering on the precipice and now have nine days to wait for their next match where, presumably, South Africa will shove them into the abyss. This Super 8 stage is quite interesting. When you strip it back, the West Indies have no advantage with their carry through points and Sri Lanka have hardly any (I say that because it is conceivable that Bangladesh will win a match).
If I can explain: All other teams will beat Ireland and catch those two points up. The fact is that the Windies and Sri Lanka have a harder draw because they have only one gimme instead of two. It is NZ and Australia who really have the head start in the Super 8s. Now that those two have both had a “real” win in Super 8, they are almost guaranteed 8 points (from a possible 14) which almost assures them both of a spot in the semis. They need to beat just one of the other three decent sides they play to be really safe.
The draw for Super 8 is puzzling. The West Indies have played three games now while most of the other teams have played one or two matches. And then they wait nine days for a match. Both Bangladesh and the West Indies had two matches, separated by just one day. With the rain reserve day, that means they could be playing three straight days, as in fact the West Indies did. And what’s with a 22 over match? What a load of rubbish. It’s not even half a match. Given that there are reserve days, why not try and get a decent match in? For the first Super 8 match, we were very close to the West Indies chasing Australia’s 322, reduced to a 20 over target of 163. A chasing side would take that any day. That is because 20 overs is the minimum for a match and the objective is to complete that match on the scheduled day if at all possible.
I reckon that a match should have to be 30 overs to be a match on the scheduled day, and if there are still weather problems, resort to 20 overs on the reserve day. And if the team batting first has completed 50 overs, the team batting second should have to bat at least 30 overs. As it turned out, the West Indies batted the next day, for the full 50 overs in equitable conditions.
Anyway, I’m getting bored. At least a quarter of the matches are a foregone conclusion and very few are hard to pick. I think we will see an Antipodean final. The semis will be Australia, NZ, Sri Lanka and South Africa. The semis are your standard 1 v 4 and 2 v 3. It’s likely that NZ or Australia will finish at no. 1 and unlikely that the other will finish at no. 4. It will be bigger than the Bledisloe Cup.
Finally, on batsmen making slow starts, let’s look at Chanderpaul for a case in point. He had made 37 from 87 balls (42.5 rpbh). He brought up the 50 in 94 balls (53.2 rphb) and was dismissed for 76 from 110 balls (69.1 rphb). You can see that he was building and accelerating (scoring 39 runs from the 22 balls before he was dismissed). However, he could not go on with it and the snail-like start could not be erased. It’s a big risk to fall behind on your strike rate.