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Saturday, March 24, 2007

India disappoint and are disappointed: World Cup day 11

In the Group B match at Port of Spain India won the toss and sent Sri Lanka in. 6/254 from 50 overs (Upal Tharanga 64/90b, Chamara Silva 59/68b) was a good score, but not beyond India with its (on paper at least) strong batting line up.

It didn't turn out that way. A promising start was checked by Chaminda Vaas, who took the first two wickets, and Dilhara Fernando, who bowled Sachin Tendulkar for 0: 3/44. Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid steadied the ship until the total reached 98, when Muttiah Murilitharan took the first of his three wickets: Sehwag 48/46 b. Yuvraj Singh was run out at 112, M S Dhoni didn't trouble the scorers, while Ajit Agarkar, who needed to stay with Dravid to help refocus the innings, was out for 10, making it 6/137 . When Dravid was caught in the deep by Murali off Jayasuriya for 60/82b it was 8/159 and all over for India, not just for the match but almost certainly for the tournament.

India will now probably follow Pakistan back to the sub-continent much earlier than they'd hoped, leaving Sri Lanka, a form team, and Bangladesh, who have made the most of their abilities, to represent their region in the Super 8 stage. Sri Lanka are very strong candidates for a semi-final place: they bat down the order and have a varied attack built around Chaminda Vaas and, of course, Murali.


Scorecard.

In the Group B match at Kingston, West Indies, who have surprised many observers with their commitment, easily defeated Ireland (their first loss of the tournament) in a Duckworth-Lewis result. Ireland won the toss and batted, but were all out for 183 in 48 overs (Jeremy Bray 41/72b the best, with six others getting to double figures and five WI bowlers sharing the wickets).

The West Indian reply was built around Shivnarine Chanderpaul's 102 no/113b. Brian Lara didn't need to bat as his team only lost two wickets (and little time) in knocking off the runs in 38.1 overs, ie with 59 balls to spare.

Despite their drubbing by the West Indies, Ireland have qualified for the Super 8 stage. Their next match will be against the winner of today's Australia v South Africa game. That should be a reality check for them of an even higher order than they've had thus far.

Scorecard.


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