March 28, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011 - Semi Finals 1: Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand

    Alas, the final 4. In the first of the two semi finals we have co-host Sri Lanka take on the surprise packet New Zealand. Funny story, I had a dream where Australia lose in the Quarter finals and  New Zealand play the semi finals. No Shit!! Oh wait... So, coming back to the game, Sri Lanka steam rolled passed English muffins in their quarters encounter while, Kiwis pressed the Choke button rather dint need to as Proteas have mastered it over the years. 
When every appeal matters!
Team News:
  Kiwis - Mills has been finally sent home, Andy McKay flown in as his replacement might not get to do much. Tuffey might get the slot in the playing xi depending on conditions. Otherwise, Oram's form will help Vettori go in with some slow bowlers who should be handy in Sri Lanka.

  Lanka - Murali looked highly uncomfortable in the ending stages of his spell in the quarter finals game vs England. Whether Lankans will risk him or rest him is the million dollar question. With Herath and Dilshan turning out to be more than handy options and Mendis around Lankans are most likely to play a seamer in his place.

Head-to-Head (probable 12)

Dilshan               B McCullum
Tharanga            Guptill
Sangakkara        Jesse
Jayawardene      Taylor
Samaraweera     Styris
Silva                   Williamson
Mathews            Oram
Perera                Franklin
Malinga              N McCullum      
Mendis               Vettori
Herath                Southee      
Murali*               Tuffey*
   Man to man Kiwis have the depth in the batting but a big score depends on the big names. Lanka clearly banking on familiar home conditions and using spin as their key weapon.
Key Encounters :
  • Lankan Openers Vs N Mac
   Lankan openers have bullied most teams(minnows), they were hardly tested by the Poms. But, last time they played the Kiwis it was 19/2 and Southee was on a roll. But, Nathan McCullum has been excellent with the ball. And this battle will lighten up the game  early on. If Kiwis want to get under the skins of the home team, they need to strike early or else like other teams their fate is sealed.

  • King Kumar Vs Dan the Man Vettori
   Easily the clash to look forward to. Last time these two teams met in the tournament, Sangakkara notched up a 3 figure score (first since 2008) and helped his team post a  respectable 265. But that was Kiwis sans Vettori. With Vettori back in the equation the battle will be the key to the match, perhaps!

  • M-factor Vs Kiwis batting
   Kiwis batsmen will have to tackle the "M-factor" at the Premadasa, Malinga, Mendis, Mathews, Murali (if he's fit). Kiwis batting has depth, probably the most among the teams but, they need a key innings from their top order. A key three digit score can really lift the spirits of the rest and the late hitting can be left to Oram, Franklin, McCullum, Vettori.

   Last time these two sides met. It was game on till the innings break and then fizzled out without a fight. Once again, Lanka have the home advantage. Luckily, for Kiwis their league match was held at Wankhede and not the Premadasa. It doesn't matter what happened in the past. Just two wins away from taking the 'World Cup' nothing can be taken for granted.

1 comment:

  1. Great post !
    Welcome to a complete website on the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.The 2011 ICC World Cup begins in Bangladesh on 19th Feb. Viewer watch all the matches live on the computer with Cricket TV.