Now Hot Favorites South Africa Knocked Out!

South Africa choked again! They must seriously consider this malady. Big occasions, big matches and knockout stages are continuing nightmares for them. Another World Cup gone! Fours years will be long wait before they hope to team up and say.' We are no longer 'chokers'.'  Okay, New Zealand tonight outplayed them, but the scrappy target of 222 set before South Africa was immensely gettable. This is the point they should take it forward from in a determined frame of mind never to choke again.

Though hailed as a major upset in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 this was not unexpected. I had been saying all the way and also yesterday that New Zealand was fully capable of winning on its day. NZ did not set a huge target, but their tremendous fielding combined with some inspired bowling finished a mindless performance by South Africa. Sluggish Dhaka pitch also helped, but that factor helped SA too in restricting NZ.

Champions gone yesterday! Clinically proficient favorites gone today! Who will ask for the return tickets tomorrow? England or Sri Lanka? Nobody can dare make a guess Colombo conditions notwithstanding! My advice-- the eventual winner should never for a moment heave a sigh of relief at the prospect of meeting NZ in the first semi final on March 29.

Meantime, the Indian Prime Minister today decided to be a part of the spectators at Mohali for the gigantic Ind-Pak encounter. The Prime Minister also invited the Pak President and Prime Minister over and the invitation was reportedly welcomed in Pakistan. Reports further say that Ind-Pak bilateral talks may benefit from this mega sporting event. Let cricket be the binding force. Let cricket defeat terror.


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