Saturday, 13 June 2009

New Zealand Unfit For T20?

Well last night, I had written a post regarding Sri Lanka's advance to the semis at the cost of Ireland and Pakistan (may be), with New Zealand being the other team to get qualify to the semi finals, given their good run rate and the unpredictable cricket from Pakistan side. But, after yesterday's match between Pakistan and New Zealand, it is almost confirmed that New Zealand can no more hope to go to the finals of the tournament. Perhaps! A win against Sri Lanka can grant them a place in the semis provided conditions apply. First of all, Sri Lanka should win against Ireland with a bad NRR and lose against New Zealand as well.

It has been a long way back since New Zealand has beaten Sri Lanka in any international tournament sponsored by the ICC, be it the world cup, T20 Championship or even the ICC Champions Trophy. I remember New Zealand last beating Sri Lanka in a mega event in the Benson & Hedges world 1992 played in Hamilton. After that, the two teams met in the Champions trophy 1998 where Arjuna Ranatunga's men made the better off New Zealand (probably under Adam Parore). There were no contests between New Zealand & Sri Lanka in the 1996 or 1999 WC. Then in 2003 WC, Sri Lanka beat NZ by 47 runs and later in 2007, SL beat NZ twice.

Likewise, even Sri Lanka had never beaten Pakistan in any major ICC event. Perhaps! Sri Lanka had never faced Pakistan after the 1992 world cup until 2007. However Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the CT 2006 and then in the T20 world cup in 2007. Anyway, coming to the match between Pakistan and New Zealand, New Zealand were found to be in the game only in the first over of their batting, where Brendon McCullum blasted 16 runs aided with twi hits to the fence. And the rest of the match, especially the New Zealand's batting is all about Umar Gul. who devastated the New Zealand batting returning with figures of 5/6. Such figures are available only in the matches involving a minnow and a test playing nation barring Bangladesh.

This is I guess the lowest total in a T20 world cup by a test playing nation after Bangladesh were bowled out for 83 in the inconsequential match against Sri Lanka. It was amazing to see only three batsmen crossing the double digit mark in a match that could prove too costly for New Zealand. On the other hand, Pakistan chased the total of 99 in 13 overs. C'mon how could this be such a one sided affair? In the beginning, New Zealand threatened to steal the show after blasting 16 runs. Then, gradually the run rate dropped to 8.0 in the third with the loss of 1st wicket and finally, neither could New Zealand cross the 100 run mark nor could they play their full quota of 20 over nor could they maintain a run a ball run rate.

I wish the ICC make norms for a team to qualify for T20s like it has been done for the tests. Just kidding!!!

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