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The Ground Realities


Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. The name rings one of the biggest bells in the cricketing world. A ground that has seen many West Indian legends grow, it ranks right up there with the Eden Gardens, Lords, the MCG and the SCG amongst the pilgrimage sites of international cricket. Undoubtedly, the perfect venue for a World Cup final. A fast and bouncy yet helpful-for-batting pitch, it promises us more than an exciting and nail biting finish.


A crowd of around 22000 is expected to be a part of the biggest event in cricket this year. They may well witness a target of 250 odd posted and chased if the stats are to be taken at their face value. The ground records a decisive 62% win rate for teams batting second. More importantly, the figure ascends to 75% when it comes to test playing nations. So don’t be surprised to see captains yell “bowl” even before calling the toss.


The teams batting first have an average of 239, while teams batting second have scored, on a average, 244. However, filtered stats for this World Cup say teams batting first stand to make 227 whereas teams batting second can notch up upto 251. So if the team batting first manages to post anything above 250, the match is clearly up for grabs.


Ideally, Australia, like in the semi-finals, would like to bowl first and put opposition on to the back foot with early blows. But if the Lankan batting clicks, they will have a daunting task ahead – that of chasing under pressure against the likes of Muralitharan and Jayasuriya bowling on a weared out pitch. For Sri Lanka, the decision is clear. Bowl first, keep the target within reach and come out to bat, and in keeping with what is at stake, try and produce the innings of their life. 

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