All to play for in Group 2

Those wanting to know the semifinals line-up of the ICC World Twenty20 will have to wait for the result of today’s last Super Eights match between India and South Africa. All eyes will be fixed on the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium as undefeated Australia lock horns with a wounded Pakistan in the day’s first match, which will be followed by the last encounter between a rejuvenated India and a downtrodden Proteas.
The excitement and uncertainty surrounding the semifinal possibilities escalated after India’s one-sided victory over Pakistan on Sunday night, with the chances of the two sub-continental giants, who are very popular in Sri Lanka too, generating much discussion. Group 2 is now open as mathematically anybody can qualify for the last four, but the reality is that Australia have all but qualified, sitting pretty on top of the group standings with an all-win record and a very healthy net run- rate.
Anyone of India and Pakistan — with one victory each under their belts — or South Africa can still go through if Australia down Pakistan, and that is just the incentive a winless South Africa need.
2007 champions India are fortunate enough to be playing the last match because they will know exactly what they need to do, or precisely what equation is needed after the first match of the day.
“Yes, it’s the last match of the Super Eights, it could also turn out to be our last match of the tournament. We will see what the situation is, what we need to do. Of course, it will be important to win. But if there is an equation about margins, it will be tricky. It will also depend on how the wicket plays on that day. We will have to wait and watch, we still have a lot of time left,” said India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Our strategy will depend a fair bit on what happens in the previous match [between Australia and Pakistan], what the result of that match is. There is no point making a strategy now because it is possible that we might not require the strategy we come up with now,” he added before praising his opponents, saying that South Africa are a complete team even though they failed to justify it on the field so far. South Africa captain AB de Villiers indicated that they were going to make some changes in the team for the last game, where their fate will depend on others’ performance.
If Australia can extend its run as the only unbeaten team in the competition, a simple win will suffice for India, who have the same points as Pakistan (2) but a slightly inferior net run-rate (-0.452 as opposed to Pakistan’s -0.426) and then India can even afford to lose to South Africa who have a net run-rate of -0.605, provided that Dhoni’s men manage to keep the defeat to manageable proportions.
However, if Pakistan become the first team to bring the high-flying Australia down, then not only must India win, but win by a big enough margin to go through ahead of their neighbours on run-rate.
Everybody however will be looking forward to see how Pakistan manage to recover from their pathetic show against their archrivals and whether they can stop Shane Watson, for whom ‘purple patch’ would be an understatement to describe the form he is in.
Australia have had a phenomenal run in the competition courtesy of all-rounder Watson’s colossal efforts. His name will doubtless occupy much of Pakistan’s team meetings before today’s must-win game. Australia skipper George Bailey, whose side recently lost a T20I series against Pakistan 2-1 in the UAE, confirmed they will not rest their star player for the match and neither are they thinking of revenge.
So, Pakistan must find a way to breach Watson’s defences early on, but the question is how?
“Poison his food?” Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore replied jokingly but tongue firmly in cheek as he expanded: “He is very good, he is in good nick. But he is a human being; he can also play a bad shot and get out.
“If we play like this [like they did against India on Sunday] again, then we are not going to go very far in this tournament, that’s for sure. There are a number of areas that we are going to improve in, yes,” added Whatmore.
He however wanted to draw inspiration from their recent success against the Aussies.
“We had some reasonable performances against Australia just recently. But they have played very well in the last three weeks or so, in their warm-up games and in this tournament so far. We are used to playing them because we have done okay against them recently. It will be a good test, they are a good side,” said a confident Whatmore.
Regarding the qualification matter, Whatmore said: “It’s not easy to balance the need between having to win, and having to win well. Any one of three teams can actually still make it to the semifinals. It’s fantastic for them [the organisers] and for the spectators, but not for us. But yes, it won’t be easy to balance the two.”

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Young Tigresses defeat USA to advance as group champions

Sports Desk : Bangladesh batters Rabeya Khan and Misty Shaha dug deep as they saw their side off in a nervy run chase beating the USA by five wickets in their final Group A match of the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup at Willowmoore Park in Benoni yesterday. With qualification already in the ... Read more

Bangladesh stun Australia in Women’s U-19 T20 WC opener 

Sports Desk : Bangladesh women’s team made a sensational start in the ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup as they beat their Australian counterparts in their first match by seven-wicket at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Saturday. Dilara Akter scored 40 off 42 while Sumaiya Akter and Shorna Akter remained not out on ... Read more

Bangladesh win another thriller against India, capture ODI series

5-run win gives Tigers series victory Sports Desk : Bangladesh won the three-match ODI series with a game to spare after a five-run triumph at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Bangladesh continued their dominance at home, having now won 17 out of their last 20 ODIs, as they recorded a second bilateral ODI ... Read more

Bangladesh wins final-over thriller in Brisbane

Sports Desk : Bangladesh got back on track in the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday when they beat Zimbabwe in a thrilling last-ball win. Opener Najmul Shanto’s first half-century and Taskin Ahmed’s three wickets helped them win. Shanto’s 71 helped Bangladesh get to 150-7 at Brisbane Gabba ground in a game that came down ... Read more

Tigers can become very good T20 side in future: Sriram

Sports Desk : Despite their mixed fortunes in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Bangladesh’s technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, believes the Tigers have the potential to become a very good T20 side in the future. The Tigers entered the tournament with their only win in the main draw of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against ... Read more

Tigers suffer their worst-ever loss in T20Is to SA

Batters surrender against their opponent Sports Desk : Bangladesh’s batting was no match for their counterpart South Africa, which led to a massive loss for the Tigers by 104 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground today in the two teams’ second Super 12 fixture of the T20 World Cup. Chasing a daunting 206, Bangladesh ... Read more

Taskin leads Bangladesh to 9-run win over Netherlands

Sports Desk : Bangladesh began their T20 World Cup campaign on a high note today, defeating the Netherlands by 9 runs at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. The Dutch were all out for 135 after 20 overs, in reply to Bangladesh’s 144 for eight after 20 overs. The result is historic from Bangladesh’s perspective ... Read more

Tamim to attend Brazil’s match against Serbia at FIFA WC

Sports Desk: Tamim Iqbal, captain of the Bangladesh ODI team, will attend the FIFA World Cup match between Brazil and Serbia. Tamim told The Daily Star he was gifted the tickets. Brazil plays Serbia on November 24 at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium. The FIFA World Cup attracts interest from around the world, and seeing Neymar ... Read more

Netherlands become Tigers’ first opponent

Sports Desk: Bangladesh may start analyzing the Netherlands after Group A qualification ended yesterday. The Tigers will face the Dutch on October 24 in Hobart. Despite losing by 16 runs against Sri Lanka, the Dutch are in the Super 12s as runners-up behind the Lankans after UAE beat Namibia by seven runs on Thursday. ... Read more

West Indies ousted, Ireland reaches Super 12

Sports Desk: Veteran opener Paul Stirling smashed an unbeaten 66 to propel Ireland into the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 and eliminate two-time champions West Indies in a shocking upset on Friday. Gareth Delany took a career-best 3-16 to reduce the Caribbeans to 146-5 before the Irish reached their goal with 15 balls to ... Read more

Shakib reclaims the top all-rounder ranking

Sports Desk : Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan will enter the ICC T20 World Cup on top of the world after he was elevated to the No.1 spot for all-rounders on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings. Shakib claimed top billing on the back of an excellent tri-series against New Zealand ... Read more

No more opening slot experiments: chief selector

Sports Desk : Bangladesh national cricket team chief selector Minhajul Abedin reassured that the team management wouldn’t experiment further with the opening slot during the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. Bangladesh are scheduled to start their campaign in the Super 12 round on October 24 in Hobart against the Group A runners-up from ... Read more

Pakistan win tri-series final, sends T20 World Cup warning

Sports Desk : Mohammad Nawaz, an all-rounder, helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by five wickets on Friday to win the tri-series Twenty20 final in Christchurch with three balls remaining. After the hosts finished on 163-7 at Hagley Oval, spinner Michael Bracewell checked Pakistan’s early momentum in the tourists’ reply, before Nawaz stepped up with ... Read more

Rain ends Bangladesh’s title defence

Sports Desk : Rain ended hosts Bangladesh’s chance of qualifying for the semi-final of the eighth Asia Cup as their match against the UAE was washed out in Sylhet on Tuesday. The wash-out meant Thailand moved to the semi-final for the first time in history with six points collected from as many matches earlier ... Read more

Bangladesh defeated by SL in thriller

Sports Desk : India and Sri Lanka advanced to the eighth Women’s Asia Cup semi-finals after defeating Thailand and the host Bangladesh, on a rain-hampered day in Sylhet on Monday. Pakistan joined them in the semi-final as well because both teams have eight points and are tied for second position with Sri Lanka. Bangladesh ... Read more

Conway leads New Zealand to victory against Bangladesh

Sports Desk : In the third game of the tri-nation series, played on Sunday in Christchurch, opening batsman Devon Conway led New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh. The left-handed batter smashed six fours and a six as the hosts chased down Bangladesh’s total of 137 with 13 balls to spare, in the ... Read more

Bangladesh utterly defeated by India

Sports Desk : India recovered from a shocking loss to Pakistan to defeat hosts Bangladesh by 59 runs on Saturday in Sylhet, effectively securing a spot in the semifinals of the eighth Women’s Asia Cup. India has eight points after winning four of its last five games, with one more match to play in ... Read more

Tigers hope to improve against Kiwis

Sports Desk : When Bangladesh plays New Zealand in today’s second game of the ongoing tri-nation series in Christchurch, they will be trying to get back on track. The game will start at noon (12:00pm). The match will be broadcast live on T Sports and in Bangladesh Standard Time. Bangladesh, which lost to Pakistan ... Read more

Dona Ganguly diagnosed with chikungunya

Sports Desk : Dona Ganguly, wife of Sourav Ganguly, President of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday after being diagnosed with chikungunya. As per reports, she was rushed to Woodlands hospital after showing symptoms of the virus. The acclaimed Indian Odissi ... Read more

Nepalese cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is in custody for rape

Sports Desk : Sandeep Lamichhane, a former captain for Nepal, returned home on Thursday (October 6) to defend himself against rape allegations made against him about a month ago. Lamichhane, who has denied all the allegations, was immediately arrested, according to Dinesh Raj Mainali, a spokeswoman for Kathmandu District Police, spoke to AFP news ... Read more