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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dull games continues in Cricket World Cup 2011: Today Its Sri Lanka V/s Kenya


I think its really pity on the part of the ICC associate  teams like Netherlands, Canada, Kenya,  and Ireland that they are losing matches one after another in the World Cup. Netherlands did raise some excitement against the England but failed to pull out any upset. Canada was expected of giving tough fight to the Zimbabwe but they also surrendered quite easily. So no upsets so far in this World Cup and the way associate countries performed so far also signals that there will be no major upset will happen in this World Cup.
Yesterday two matches played between Zimbabwe-Canada and West Indies-Netherlands but both ended as one sided affairs where stronger teams scored  more than 300 runs and bowled out opposition for paltry total. Apart from Kemar Roach's hat-trick nothing was interesting in both the matches. Roach picked up sixth hat-trick of the World Cup against Netherlands.  I think, decision taken by the ICC of reducing the teams from 14 to 10 in the next World Cup is correct because nobody likes to watch dull matches in the event like World Cup. There were hardly any spectators in the ground during these dull matches which is quite unique for the tournament like World Cup. One  can understand from the fact that out of the 49 World Cup matches 26   involves weaker teams, so more than 50% matches are useless in this World Cup. 

In earlier World Cups atleast one or two upsets happened but this time it looks like all the big teams are playing carefully and negating the chances of upset by learning from the earlier World Cups, but yet you can't predict anything about the teams like India and Pakistan who can lose match to any team. India lost to Bangladesh in last World Cup. Sri Lanka was defeated by Kenya in 2003 World Cup and went on to play semi-finals.So hopes are still alive but it is highly unlike that any upset will happen and  create some excitement.

In this World Cup New Zealand is the one team which does not look  strong on the basis of current form and looks vulnerable but they also played very well against Kenya in their first match and crushed Kenya badly. Today one more dull game going to happen and that is between Sri Lanka and Kenya. Cruel memories of 2003 World Cup must be fresh in the minds of Lankan players and they will definitely going to take revenge of that loss. It is also important from the Lanka's prospect to play this match with high intensity and beat Kenya by big margin in order to increase their run-rate after unexpected loss against Pakistan. Its important for Sri Lanka to try out few things in this match and they will be bolstered by the return of Lasith Malinga who is fit and likely to play today's match. Malinga will provide teeth to the Lankan pace attack and also get match-practice ahead of their remaining big matches against Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand Dilshan and Tharanga have a chance to fine-tune their batting skills because both the Lankan openers were clearly struggling in the matches played so far. Sri Lanka have to include Ajantha Mendis in this line-up because he is far better spinner than Rangana Herath. 
Squad:
Kumar Sangakkara(Captain/WK), Upul Tharanga, Chamara Silva, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Mahela Jayawardene(Vice-Captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chamara Kapugedara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thisara Perera, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Tillakratane Dilshan. Trevor Bayliss(Coach)
As far as Kenya is concern, nothing going right in their favour so far in this tournament. They lost both the matches they played and will go in this match with lot of pressure. However they can take inspiration from the 2003 World Cup match against Sri Lanka. Tikolo, Ododyo and Collins Obuya are key players for Kenya and they have to fire in this match if their team have to do well. Kenya is capable team but somehow they don't look confident enough, like they were in earlier World Cups. I believe if they play as a unit and with some confidence then they ask few questions to the opposition. Lets hope today's match becomes exciting and Kenya give some fight to the Lankan team to break the jinx of dull matches which involves minnows.

Squad:
Jimmy Kamande(Captain), Thomas Odoyo, Tanmay Mishra, Peter Ongondo, James Ngoche, Elijah Otieno, Shem Ngoche, Maurice Ouma(WK), Rakep Patel, Steve Tikolo, Seren Waters, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, David Obuya(WK), Nehemiah Odhiambo. Eldin Baptiste(Coach)

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