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Cricket World Cup 2015 - quarterfinals round up
Posted on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 07:49 IST (last updated: Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 07:56 IST)
As we approach the business end of the Cricket World Cup 2015, I think that the best teams have made it to the knock-out stage. The quarterfinals were a disappointment though. None of the matches were really close encounters, though Pakistan did challenge Australia quite a bit with the ball. Here are my thoughts on the quarterfinal round of the World Cup.
South Africa vs Sri Lanka
Let's just say that Sri Lanka had a bad day with the bat on that particular day. South Africa's performance was clinical and impressive. It was not exactly the ideal farewell for the Sri Lankan veteran batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, but I think South Africa simply deserved to win this one.
India vs Bangladesh
Everybody thought that Bangladesh would give India a run for their money in this game. I must admit that for the first 30 overs of the Indian innings, I felt that Bangladesh would restrict India to around 260-270 which would have made it a really tight contest. But I think Bangladesh players took the Rohit Sharma decision to heart and stopped focussing on the game from there onwards. Their sense of hurt is understandable, but I simply think India were too strong in any event and that the Rohit Sharma decision did not have as big an impact on the game as the Bangladeshis liked to believe. Simply outplayed in the end by a team that was consistent and professional to the finish.
Australia vs Pakistan
The best of the quarterfinals. I think Pakistan really messed it up with the bat and needed 30-40 runs more. Then their bowlers could have really made life difficult for Michael Clarke and co. As it was, Shane Watson was hopping around for a major part of his innings against Wahab Riaz. It's too bad that the Pakistani fielders could not live up to the standards expected of a top quality international side. In the end, I think Pakistan fought well, but they were simply too inconsistent with the bat and too sloppy on the field to make it to the semi-finals.
New Zealand vs West Indies
The West Indies were probably the side that least deserved to make it to the knock-out stage. Ireland showed better team spirit than the Windies in this tournament. New Zealand simply crushed the West Indian bowlers and used their expertise on home conditions to their best advantage. West Indies did show some fight with the bat at one stage, but it was too late by then to make a difference. Chris Gayle's short cameo could not mount any kind of challenge to the massive target of 393. Frustrating to see one day cricket of this kind, to be honest.
So that's it. I think South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand have been hands-down the best teams in this World Cup and they have rightfully made it to the semi-final stage. As of writing this, New Zealand have gone on to make it to the Finals, breaking their World Cup semi-final losing jinx in the process. Sadly South Africa might just continue to hang on to their tag as "chokers" in spite of an impressive overall performance in this Cup.
It's all set for a fantastic finish. Hope we have a couple of more close games.