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Super Eight : England vs WI


So far we have seen teams performing below their potential far more often than we would have liked in this World Cup. Finally, someone put up an exhibition of some above-potential performances and look what we got - potentially the best game of the whole tournament.  

England raised their game, and an average team performance of score of 188 turned into a matchwinning 301. This happened not because Pietersen scored his 100 - he was expected play well anyway, with an average 25 points higher than his normal average. But essentially because Vaughan (scoring at 8 points poorer than his usual average) and co. finally came to the party.

 Likewise, Gayle overcame his World Cup sleeping sickness (rather late, but better late than never we guess) and pushed himself up from a -7 score on the team averages  to a solid 79.

In a curiously twisted way, Lara not scoring a 100 in his last game was a big gift that he gave his team. The Windies managed to get to a nearly-match winning score of 300 despite three of their top four batsmen in terms of team averages (Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Lara) failing to get to their potential score. That is an excellent sign for the Windies, because it shows that even after accounting for the fact that Lara's iconic presence will no longer be there in the middle order, there is still potential for the West Indies to put up good, solid scores. More than a Lara hundred, it is this that will help the Windies in the times to come.

This little pattern of unexpected support coming to the batting side's aid, incidentally, has also been reflected in the English inninngs. Bell, Pieterson and Collingwood have been involved in 12 of the 15 best partnerships so far in the World Cup for England, but this combination put up next to nothing. Instead, it was theVaughan- Bopara and Pietersen - Nixon partnerships that won them the game.                           

Likewise, only one of the key bowlers for both the teams, from amongst Flintoff, Powell and Bravo was upto scratch. Flintoff, despite two important wickets, gave away way too many runs. Powell's economy was the same as that of Flintoff's, minus the wickets.

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