All Things Cricket: November 8th

  • As we hit a pause in the T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia, let’s go through the semifinalists and see how they got here.
  • India – The Men In Blue started with a last-ball thriller over the yang to their yin (or something) Pakistan. Pakistan seemed to have the game in hand numerous times even after Virat Kohli hit two majestic sixes, one down the ground which seemed to defy physics. The last over was pandemonium, with almost everything that might have happened happening, including a no-ball, two wickets, a wide, and I think Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny making out in the stands. They followed with an easy win over the Netherlands. Their lone blemish was a 5-wicket loss to South Africa that seemed wildly out-of-character. After a drubbing of Zimbabwe, they managed to squeak by an inspired Bangladesh by 5 runs on DLS. Litton Das started 59 off his first 26, but was almost immediately injured and then run out on the restart after a torrential shower stopped play after the 7th over.
  • Pakistan – The Green Machine lost the brutal opener to India, and then came up 1 run short chasing only 130 against Zimbabwe. It looked all but over at that point, but they rallied and beat the Netherlands and destroyed South Africa. After the Proteas gacked one against Netherlands that would have gotten them into the semis, Pakistan needed to beat Bangladesh in what was essentially a play-in game to get their 5th and 6th points, and chased down 127 comfortably in the 19th over.
  • England – The Poms opened with an easy 5-wicket canter against Afghanistan, followed by a shocking 5-run DLS loss to Ireland. They then waited out a long rainstorm to get a point from their Ashes rivals Australia. They got their act together to beat the other Antipodeans, New Zealand, by 20 runs, and gutted out a last-over win against Sri Lanka, thus eliminating Australia from their own tournament, which had to be satisfying.
  • New Zealand – The Blackcaps beat Australia so badly (89 runs) in their opener that Australia had almost no shot at winning any NRR competition, and then the Aussies lost on NRR to both England and New Zealand. New Zealand was then washed out against Afghanistan, clobbered Sri Lanka by 65 runs, took a seeming hiatus in losing to England, and finished strong with 35-run thumping of Ireland.

  • This sets up tomorrow’s semifinal between New Zealand and Pakistan in Sydney. New Zealand, only having had to travel across the Tasman Sea and having plenty of supporters on hand, should have the edge here. They’ve generally been dominant aside from the hiccup against England. Pakistan will also have their share of fans and are always dangerous. The ICC would love to see a Pakistan/India final, so look for the conspiracy theorists to be jumping out of the shadows if any questionable call goes for Pakistan.
  • Thursday will be England and India in Adelaide. These two have played some great matches over the years, and both seem to be in good form. England probably has the advantage due to knowing these conditions extremely well and spending a lot of time thinking about how to win here. India still has Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, and a host of other experienced players, and like I said, the whole of ICC management cheering them on.

  • Tell me your favorite moments of the T20 World Cup and your predictions in the comments. According to various new social media platforms that have sprung up to enlist departing Twitter followers, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are confirmed ticket buyers for the final. I hope those crazy kids can make it work.