Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket

Super Eight : NZ vs WI

( 659 views )

As things have turned out, life in the semis of both the teams involved in the third Super Eight encounter will depend, to a certain extent, on this game. In a match that will determine the positions and destinies of the six other teams in the fray (ok, five, the Aussies are possibly safe), enthusiasm and determination of the players will probably count for more than their playing skills and ability.

 New Zealand play their first match of the Super Eight, and possibly face their first real challenge. As mentioned, they come in with a two point advantage, further backed up with two games against easier opponents. But, having said that, they still have a tough job ahead. It is perhaps important to mention that this is, in fact, the same team which collapsed against Bangladesh in the warm-up match. Also, they haven’t really been tested so far - the win against England can hardly be called a test, because as we all know England chooses only extreme ends, outright wins or spineless defeats. So this match should clear a cloud of uncertainty floating over the Kiwis and give a clear indication of how good they really are.

 West Indies come into this match with a relatively low morale. Having lost to Australia in the second round opener, they have already given away the early chance to put pressure on Lanka and England. However, Lara and co. will come in with the local crowd backing them (or maybe not, going by the semi-empty stands during their game against the Aussies and Lara’s complaints thereafter).

Mind games apart, statistics too, point at some interesting results. Let us try and understand them.

 

Projected scores
The Stats start off by putting us in a bit of a deadlock. Surprisingly, both the teams stand to concede 238 runs in 50 overs and put 230 on board when they bat (without taking into consideration the extras involved). That leaves us with very little to choose from, error margin or not. Let’s analyse their strengths and weakness in closer detail to try and find a probable winner.

 

Weaknesses
The West Indies are more or less dependent on big scores to get them hefty totals. Not surprisingly, they lose several games because on an average, every player in their batting order can provide them with a 50+ innings only once every 15 matches . Having said that, we may have to point out the fact that biggies from Sarwan and Gayle are long overdue. Sure, the Kiwis would be hoping that the law of averages can wait one more match. But these three along with Chanderpaul score at a whopping 15 points above the team’s batting average.

 Kiwis, we maintain, are more about uniform group efforts than individual heroics. But without a doubt, they too remain vulnerable to collapses, as their batsmen provide a biggie only once every 10 matches. However, with Vincent out of the team, the Kiwis face an uphill challenge. Time for the captain to lead from front, perhaps.

But the batsman to worry about for the Windies is Taylor. Scoring at 19 points above the team’s batting average, Taylor along with Fleming will hold the strings of the Kiwi innings. Styris maintains his robin-hood image this tournament too, conducting unexpected raids and guerrilla invasions on the opposition.

 The Windies have a young but dynamic bowling battery with Taylor, Bravo and Gayle each being well above the team’s bowling average. At the other end, the Kiwis rely mainly on Bond and Oram as well as Vettori and Styris for wickets.

 The best way to counter a stubborn, unified pack is by coming up with the exact opposite – a virtuoso, powerful individual effort that cuts through the ranks of the pack. The Windies will either need a couple of fantastic individual efforts, or will need to hold tight together to give to give Kiwis a scare. Having said that, though, black magic is what seems to be on the menu.

 

 



Rate this article:

About the author

Articles:
1856
Reads:
5609555
Avg. Reads:
3022
FB Likes:
3977
Tweets:
0

...

View Full Profile