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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

India Vs Pakistan! One Enter Semis, One Crash Out Of Cricket World Cup T20!



 The India-Pakistan match on September 30 became historic not because India defeated Pakistan convincingly, but because the intense duel continued till the latter threw the former out of the ICC World Cup T20 2012. India crashed out despite defeating South Africa in a thriller by 1 run and thus allowing its arch-rival Pakistan enter the semi finals.

There was a technical possibility of both India and Pakistan entering the semis. For that Pakistan needed to beat Australia by minimum 40-run margin and India too needed to beat South Africa by a large margin. Unfortunately this did not happen. What happened was this: Pakistan indeed defeated the mighty Australia by a big margin of 32 runs, but not the required 40 allowing Australia qualify. This gave India the challenge to win against South Africa with a good enough margin to better the Pakistan net run rate to throw their arch-rival out of the tournament. The duel raged on.

India would have loved to chase yesterday knowing exactly how much they needed to edge past Pakistan’s net run rate. But South Africa won the toss and sent them in. India struggled to make 152/6 in allotted 20 overs. Now, India needed to restrict South Africa to 121 or less and win the match and reach the semi finals edging out their arch-rival. The duel finally ended when South Africa reached 122 in the sixteenth over with the loss of five wickets and Pakistan thundered into the semis. Making tactical blunders all the way South Africa skipper yesterday brought in Faf du Plessis in place of out-of-form Richard Levi, and Plessis ironically threw India out of the tournament single handedly by making an explosive 65 off 38 balls—the highest individual score of the match. South Africa, their dreams being mercilessly broken so many times by other teams, this time demolished India’s though languishing with 3 consecutive super eight losses.

Pakistan deserved to be in the semis, because they stopped the juggernaut called Australia in this tournament. With four consecutive wins while chasing Australia chose to chase again yesterday and again restricted its opponent to less than 150. But this time their match winning machine Shane Watson failed and Pakistan spinners mesmerized them into absolute submission at 117/7 in 20 overs. Pakistan meet the hosts and another tough Asian rival Sri Lanka in the first semi final on 4th October. With India out of the way Pakistan has a tremendous opportunity to emerge the ultimate champions.

Maybe India never deserved to reach the knockout stage. The reasons are all clear: Skipper Dhoni could never find his best team making experiments unnecessarily and resting key players in key match earlier on. He succeeded with three spinners against a weaker opponent and failed miserably against the toughest. He made the changes with desperation and won against Pakistan. When he should have taken two spinners against South Africa who struggled with spin so far he decided to stick to the same winning team against Pakistan. Overdependence on Virat Kohli continued throughout. Gambhir continued with his inexplicable failures. And yesterday, when they needed to post a huge total their all match winners failed after promising to build on the good starts initially—Virat, Yuvraj and Sehwag. Yuvraj later made up with his bowling efforts capturing the man of the match award, but Sehwag fell to a downright rash shot. Even the modest total of 152 was possible thanks to some lusty hitting by Raina and Dhoni who came in late, again inexplicably. Only the most balanced team can hope to win the final honors.

On 1st October defending champions England got eliminated losing to Sri Lanka and New Zealand could not win against West Indies from a position of command at least three times.

The rest of the matches now: October 4: First Semi Final—Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka; October 5: Second Semi Final—Australia Vs West Indies; October 7: Final. Al day and night matches in Colombo.


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