ICC World T20 Super 10s : Story till now
Following a dramatic end to the qualifiers, thanks to a blitzkrieg chase from Netherland, the Super 10s started off quite successfully, with India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand emerging victorious. Here is a brief review of the first three matches of the super 10s
India dispatches Pakistan in the opening encounter : In what has been a 20 year ritual since India met Pakistan for the first time in the 1992 WC, India defeated Pakistan, this time by 7 wickets in what turned out to be a one sided match. Raina was India’s best man in the match, as he took 3 wickets and steered India to victory along with Virat Kohli. Whereas Amit Mishra was impressive on his own terms, and Virat Kohli was at his usual best. The best aspect of the performance was a clinical death bowling, as Shami and Bhuvi were perfect with their Yorkers. Pakistan looked a pale shadow of themselves, as Misbah’s presence in the middle order was dearly missed. Except Umar and Shahzad, nothing inspiring came from the Pakistan batsmen. It was always hard for the bowlers to defend a below-par total, that too against a strong Indian batting line-up.
SA chokes, as their batsmen fail to capitalise : In one of the lesser dramatic chokes from SA, Sri Lanka defeated SA by 5 runs in what turned out to be a see-saw encounter. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, the bulk of the contributions came from Kushal Perera and Angelo Mathews. While Kushal continues to impress all with his talent, Angelo Mathews clearly cherishes his new captaincy role and has reinstated the claim of being a genuine all-rounder. Imran Tahir was by far SA’s best bowler, as he bamboozed the SL batsmen with his leggies. All the top-4 SA batsmen were quite positive with their approach, but failed to convert their starts. They found Sacharitra Senanayake to be too hot to handle, as he was miserly with his off-breaks. Eventually, with 15 needed off final over, SA choked as David Miller ran himself out and eventually ended the contest for SA.
NZ pip ahead of Unlucky England : The flaws of D/L method was left exposed yet again, as NZ defeated England by 9 runs, thanks to some lusty blows from Brendum McCullum. England started off well, inspite of losing Alex Hales in the very first over. Michael Lumb and new-entrant Moeen Ali were impressive, as they counter attacked the NZ bowling. Both of them fell in quick succession, thus failing to capitalise on good starts. Mitchell McCleanagan was by far NZ’s best bowler, and gave away just 22 runs off his quota of 4 overs. NZ had an aggressive start to the match, scoring 52 of 5 overs before rain intervened. But unfortunately for England, Baz’s lusty blows in what eventually was the penultimate over of the match decided the fate of the match.
Today is a double header in group 2, with Asian Giants India and Pakistan taking on Australia and West Indies respectively.