CUP THAT COUNTS (PART 2)!!!
Before I start of this article one relevant question to all cricket enthusiasts. Is Ab De Villiers from “Planet Earth”? ICC would certainly need to redefine the cricket manual or there should be a disclaimer put up: “Please don’t try this at home.” West Indies would be sick of falling prey to South Africa and mainly Ab de Villiers .As if the South African sojourn wasn’t enough De Villiers has come back to haunt them again . Ab De Villiers is the new “Jaadoo” of Koi Mil Gaya for South Africa. He should surely start thinking of inventing new adjectives now as I am falling short of one to describe his unorthodoxy. Fastest 50…Fastest 100…Fastest 150…This guy is a complete freak. He came in at a precarious position and he meant business from ball one. West Indies too weren’t doing justice to themselves. They were serving food on platter for Ab De Villers to have a feast and he gleefully accepted it. He battered his counterpart Jason Holder for 76 runs with a combination of scoop-sweeps and reverse sweeps and what not!!West Indies in reply couldn’t even manage to surpass De Villiers.
Minnows answered quite a few critics as their clashes were the most nail-biting of the lot. Their performances certainly did no harm to the calls for their existence in the 2019 edition. My take on this is that if cricket has to survive on global maps ICC should adopt an inclusive approach and work on improving the standards of the Associates. The concentration of power is unhealthy if the game has to be flourished. The game is currently in an impoverished state and for it to become affluent Associates needs to be backed. Cricket needs to identify new fans, explore new horizons for it to become an iconic sport otherwise it will remain as marginalized as it currently is. For that to happen Associates need to play more with the Creamy Layer as simple as that. Another question that will arise is where you would fit in these matches in the cramped schedule? My simple solution is to scrap all those non-sense and baseless ‘Tamasha’ leagues like the Champions League and suddenly the room becomes a lot emptier. Ireland for example has shown an appetite for improvement on a timely basis but they have been starved of quality international cricket. Their current standing of 12th is a complete injustice to their performances. They are a better side than that and certainly deserve more opportunities.
Australia were hit by two storms in the space of two weeks as Gayle announced his return to form with a swashbuckling double-century against a beleaguered Zimbabwean bowling attack. Nowadays Gayle storms are a rare phenomenon in International Cricket. You get them once in ten matches.
Moen Ali scored a blazing century to hand England their first victory of the World Cup. The opening partnership of 160-odd had provided them an ideal platform from where they could have launched but thanks to their ‘Middle’Disorder they could only crawl to a total of 307. Luckily Scotland showcased their inexperience at crucial moments to allow their more-fancied neighbors to taste victory.
Saturday was a day of low-scoring affairs where New Zealand and India made huge strides in topping their respective groups albeit in contrasting fashions. India made light weather of their relatively lesser opponents as they further stamped their authority on the World Cup with a handsome nine-wicket victory. Ashwin was the star-performer as he bamboozled the UAE batsmen with his variations. They simply were all at sea against the pace and bounce at WACA. Rohit Sharma too got into the thick of things as he must have been eager to make a mark after that run-out against South Africa.
It certainly must have felt like a government job for Team India as the curtains were down soon after the supper break on a nice Saturday afternoon ( It was a foolish decision to have one especially when India was on the cusp of victory with barely 10 runs to get. What if the rain had poured down during the mid-innings break and the match was washed off? This matter needs to be looked at seriously by the ICC as this can very much dent a team’s fortune).
Eden Park produced a humdinger of a clash between the Trans-Tasmanian rivals. These are the sort of clashes you as a cricket fan relish. Australia was way on course to reach a three-hundred figure until they were ‘boult’ed by some world class swing bowling. I have been a huge fan of Brendon’s captaincy. He being a positive personality has imbibed the same in his team and he has transformed this team into more than a competitive unit. This team has got all their bases covered and are genuine title contenders and not pretenders. Australia on the other epitomized their never-say-die attitude and almost stole it from New Zealand in the end. Mitch Starc was at his fiery best as his spell almost propelled the Aussies to an improbable victory but Williamson did a Miandad and took his side out of jail as they almost made a meal of a straight-forward chase. As Michael Clarke summed it up nicely in the end Batting was horrendous but Starc was genius. Australia quickly needs to tick a few boxes going into further clashes especially with regards to the batting department.
As I end this article I would like to wish a very Happy 25th Birthday to Boom Boom!!(Oops Sorry 35th !!)