Monday, March 28, 2011

Super Semis

Here I am the night before another New Zealand semi final dreaming of that time where we push through to the final for the first time, I mean you can't blame a guy for dreaming, right? But I will not just be narrow minded and just discuss my hopes and dreams for the Blackcaps so how about some semi final previews and predictions instead?

Semi final one Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand
Well here we go again in a rematch of the 2007 semi final New Zealand comes up against the quiet conquerors the Sri Lankans. First what should be applauded is the fact New Zealand is the only non-subcontinental team in the semis which is even more impressive considering their eleven match losing streak on the subcontinent. I see this game going one of two ways a close win to New Zealand or an absolute thrashing by Sri Lanka, I know slack and very on the fence of me but this is the unpredictability the Blackcaps offer. New Zealand are being offered a major boost as it is quite a possibility that Murali will miss out with a hamstring injury which removes one of the key destroyers from the pool play game and from Sri Lanka in general. New Zealand will still have to contest with the likes of Malinga and Mendis who have caused problems in the past and I think the key to us winning lies in us being able to actually bat well rather than bowling well as we did against South Africa. A fast big Brendon McCullum innings would be ideal for both chasing and setting a target but I would also like to see a key innings from Styris who has failed to perform this World Cup. New Zealand's bowling will have to be top notch to contain a batting line up with Jayawardene, Sangakkarra and Dilshan all three who have taken great joy in scoring heavily against us in the past. Sadly for the Blackcaps I do not believe this is our time to make the final and Sri Lanka will be too good.

Semi final two: India Vs Pakistan
A game which would be a dream final for a World Cup on the subcontinent but alas it came a game too soon. Pakistan stormed into the semis thrashing an inept West Indies team by ten wickets and are looking ludicrously consistent for a Pakistani side. Afridi is looking to beat Glenn Mcgrath's record for most wickets at a World Cup and needs six wickets to pass him and with the form he is currently in I would not put it past him, Gul looks to be finding good rhythm and Hafeez is looking strong with the bat and don't rule out contributions from Misbah and Younis. India on the other hand look to have a bowling attack which is hunting as a pack and taking wickets collectively, Tendulkar is still seeking that elusive hundreth hundred and my pick for a trump player is surprisingly Yuvraj Singh. His batting looks as good as ever and even with the ball he is contributing valuably and looking slimmer. This game bodes to be a thriller but I have to say this is most likely going to be India's game, they are playing at home and are looking like this will be their time to claim the crown of world champion.

For the quarters I managed to predict three out of four correctly with my doubt of the Blackcaps being my only incorrect pick and this time I will be more than happy for that to be the case again but what ever the case I'm hoping for some quality games to cap off a quality World Cup.

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