Saturday, 12 March 2011

Ireland miss it yet again

Well a little bit of brains by the Irish players would have seen them make it to the second round of the world cup for the second consecutive time. A total of just 276 on the board should have not been a tough task for a team who have chased down a mammoth total of 327 against an opposition that was better than the West Indies in all aspects. And, with a player having scored the world cup's fastest hundred, the task should have been just a formality. However, a tough fight was evident when they finished with 231 falling 44 runs short.

If not for the match against Ireland, the West Indies had nothing more to take home. They first lost all their ten wickets against a team that is yet to gain test status. Secondly, if not for the two West Indian players namely the opener Devon Smith and the man of the match Kieron Pollard, no other player really stood to the challenge. Had it not been for these two batsmen, the West Indies total would have been just 74 runs with 12 extras put together. This should have been a chasable total for any team let alone Ireland or any other team.

If this is the fate of the West Indies team against a non-test playing nation in Ireland, one can imagine their fate against England and India against which their next major encounter is due in days to come. They have lost surrendered to the Proteas by 7 wickets in their very first encounter and have since then not faced any major opposition. If Kieron Pollard can be as destructive against the stronger teams, then his inclusion in the list of dangerous batsmen can be justified. Or else, he is no different than some Shahid Afridi who has failed with the bat so far.

On the other hand, even Ireland failed to do what they did against England. This is for the second time that Ireland have disappointed their fans who would have expected them to do the wonder yet again. They first failed in the match against Bangladesh when the asking rate was just above four an over and the target just above 200 runs. They had beaten Bangladesh in the 2007 world cup in the super-eights by 74 runs. This time, one has to wonder whether because Ireland was batting second that they lost. But, if this is the way West Indies' cricket goes about, then the team that faces it in the quarter-finals will have an easy walk.

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