Friday, April 13, 2007

Old men dispatch Kiwis

“Kiwis” as in New Zealanders, not the fruit. Old men don’t like exotic fruit; it frightens them. Give them a corned beef sandwich any day.

So on to the cricket. Old campaigners Benevolent Uncle Sanath, Granddad Chaminda and Crazed Nephew Murali did the job for Sri Lanka, to see them home against a rather deflated New Zealand.

Stricken by the curse of batting first, the heart of the New Zealand side was ripped open by a great spell of opening bowling by W. P. U. J. C. Vaas. Fleming, Taylor and then Fulton all fell for not much. Here Muttiah Muralitharan took over, keeping the runs down and taking some wickets, as was his want. Only Scott Styris offered some resistance, mounting an innings-saving Nelson.

But it wasn’t enough. After some early innings fireworks from Sanath Jayasuriya, the reliable old Kumar Sangakkara saw the Lankans home. An impressive display, I thought.

People have been suggesting that the Black Caps are actually quite good, and could perhaps win the World Cup.


No one listens to me – not even the sides that lose to them. I am right, though, they will fail. To see when they would lose, I consulted the Predictoron on this. It said “soon”. So that cheered me up a bit.

More importantly, my desperate search for a “Stop The Australians” candidate has settled on Sri Lanka. I thought that South Africa was a safe bet, but they’ve gone all England on me. So now, it seems, all our hopes rest on a smallish island in the Indian Ocean. Or, as I will now call it in honour of my new champions, the “Mad Murali Seas”.


Cam said...

Oh Dear...You don't know much about cricket if you thought that the saffas could ever beat the aussies in these conditions. Their bowling attack is one dimensional and not suited to WI pitches (possible exception being bridetown in barbados which will host the final). They have psych issues against the aussies too. NZ is still your only good australia killer, SL could do it but not if Jayusuriya doesn't get runs. NZ has the one thing that no other team has that can be vital in coping with 50 overs of aussie fielding pressure - they bat deep.

The Atheist said...

That's not a very nice thing to say. In future, all comments must be friendly.

Well, I don't quite understand you points. First you argue that SA bowling is ineffective on the (easily generalisable) West Indies pitches, and thus could not challenge Australian.

Then you go on to say that the only team that could go on to beat the Ozzies is New Zealand, not because they have a varied bowling attack, but because they have a deep batting line-up.

Applying your logic further, if, as you suggest, bowling is irrelevant when facing Australia, then the Proteas, who also, I am told, bat fairly low in the order, may also fancy their chances. So perhaps I was wrong to lose my belief in SA?


Cam said...

Apologies for being mean, but you said mean things about NZ, who despite their crappy nickname still have the sharpest uniforms. I usually like atheists too. Now, something else that should be banned is putting words in other peoples keyboards so to speak - I never said only NZ could do it said that only Sri Lanka and NZ could do it and that of the 2 NZ had a slightly better chance. I never suggested bowling is irrelevant against australia which is ludicrous, only that it is SA major weakness. You were not wrong to lose your faith in SA I predict England will be the 4th semifinalist...

All will be revealed in the last two games for the aussies...but to beat them you need these ingredients in no particular order:

1) Confidence (SL, NZ, not SA)
2) A deep batting lineup (NZ, not so much SL and SA) OR a powerful top order (SA, SL sort of (jayasuriya is vital to them), NZ not so much...come back Lou, show some form Rosco)
3) 50 overs of bowling, fielding pressure, bowling backup options and variety and some luck (SL definitely, NZ yes, SA no way...

Aussies only real weakness is of course their bowling, as NZ showed in the CH series...McGrath is old, no warne no lee...they can be scored against. We shall see...SL have shown their batting frailty against England and SA...

The Atheist said...

I'm sorry I was mean to the Kiwis, but I genuinely think Twickenham second eleven could have them. Them AND their mums.

I also picked on the bowling point because you didn't mention it. I am, apparently, a trained philosopher, so I like to make petty points and create an atmosphere of hatred around me.

All I think you need to do beat the Australians is take lots of wickets: it's as simple as that. No one has challenged the Ozzie batting line up; no one has got into their tail-enders. Take enough heads and the ensuing chaos should take you home.

Thanks for the interesting comments, though.

Cam said...

You should have sent the the twickers seconds to the world cup then - They sound like a bloody good side!

On the bowling point...should NZ fulfill their destiny and meet Australia in Barbados...I refer you to names 1 and 3 on this list of Shane Bonds wickets:;playerid=10280;class=odiplayer;filter=advanced;team=0;opposition=0;notopposition=0;homeaway=0;continent=0;country=0;notcountry=0;groundid=0;season=0;startdefault=2002-01-11;start=2002-01-11;enddefault=2007-04-14;end=2007-04-14;tourneyid=0;finals=0;daynight=0;toss=0;scheduledovers=0;scheduleddays=0;innings=0;followon=0;result=0;seriesresult=0;captain=0;keeper=0;dnp=0;recent=;runslow=;runshigh=;batposition=0;dismissal=0;viewtype=bow_dismissals;bowposition=0;ballslow=;ballshigh=;bpof=0;overslow=;overshigh=;conclow=;conchigh=;wicketslow=;wicketshigh=;dismissalslow=;dismissalshigh=;caughtlow=;caughthigh=;caughttype=0;stumpedlow=;stumpedhigh=;csearch=;submit=1;.cgifields=viewtype

Now note the name on the top for one DL Vettori:;playerid=4380;class=odiplayer;filter=advanced;team=0;opposition=0;notopposition=0;homeaway=0;continent=0;country=0;notcountry=0;groundid=0;season=0;startdefault=1997-03-25;start=1997-03-25;enddefault=2007-04-14;end=2007-04-14;tourneyid=0;finals=0;daynight=0;toss=0;scheduledovers=0;scheduleddays=0;innings=0;followon=0;result=0;seriesresult=0;captain=0;keeper=0;dnp=0;recent=;runslow=;runshigh=;batposition=0;dismissal=0;viewtype=bow_dismissals;bowposition=0;ballslow=;ballshigh=;bpof=0;overslow=;overshigh=;conclow=;conchigh=;wicketslow=;wicketshigh=;dismissalslow=;dismissalshigh=;caughtlow=;caughthigh=;caughttype=0;stumpedlow=;stumpedhigh=;csearch=;submit=1;.cgifields=viewtype

NZ match up better against aus than against SL unfortunately

The Atheist said...

Well, those statistics are very interesting, and compare favourably to Twickenham’s performance.

However, it seems as though Australia haven't read these stats and have simply battered the bread out of the Kiwis. Not just battered, but totally annihilated.

Look, I'm really sorry to tell you this, mate, but New Zealand are just rubbish. I know a pants team when I see one - I'm an England fan. We are well used to failure.

All our hopes rest with Sri Lanka now. And maybe some timely injuries.

Sorry, but the Black Caps looked almost good at one point. Which is better than most.

Cam said...

umm well, yeah. Most people seem to have missed the obvious point that Australia are absolutely terrified of defending large scores against NZ:

And that this was obviously just a ploy by the kiwis before the final to lull the aussies into a false belief that they are actually capable of defending such totals.

If you're not buying that yet, I'll just shut up then provided you allow me at least one I told you so when we beat Australia in the final...

The Atheist said...

I'm afraid we'll never find out whether the Kiwis had it in them to beat the Australians in the final, because New Zealand were too rubbish to beat Sri Lanka.

I think New Zealand played good cricket in this World Cup, though. Not exceptional, and no where near Australia-beating quality, but solid, nonetheless.

Another semi-final. That's something to be proud of, don't you think?