For anyone who’s counting, here’s a brief list of some of the great matches we’ve seen in the World Cup’s first stage — long derided and dismissed as useless:
Ireland v. Bangladesh — Bangladesh win after facing near-certain defeat
Ireland v. England — Celtic Revolution.
England v. India — Tie! It’s a tie!
England v. Netherlands — Remarkable century from both Strauss and ten Doeschate
England v. South Africa — Strange to see the South Africans collapse, but all the more thrilling. (And yes, I’m aware every match England has played has ended up on this list.)
New Zealand v. Pakistan — Ross Taylor takes New Zealand into the heavens.
Sri Lanka v. Pakistan — Close stuff; 266 to 277.
It’s no surprise England and Pakistan appear often; their mood seems to determine what level they want to play. Some would say seven exciting games out of 28 isn’t exactly a thrilling standard, but that’s not necessarily the fault of the Associates or minnows (as Ireland, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and — in one possibly great game against Pakistan, Canada — have shown). Yes, things would be better if this tournament were shorter and if there were fewer teams, but this World Cup hasn’t been a complete bore by any stretch of the imagination. And we’re not even into the knockout stages yet.
You are absolutely right – it’s not been a bore at all! And your list might just have been increased by 1 had we not witnessed washout at Colombo during Sri Lanka v. Australia!
DB, I’m on record before the world cup as saying both that the group stages will be interesting, particularly group B and that the format is awful. They aren’t incompatible positions. You are wrong too about fewer teams. The number of teams has little bearing on the number of good games, just the number of games played by certain sides that bring in a lot of cash.
I thought Canada vs Pakistan, Ireland vs India and West Indies were all good games too. As was Canada vs Kenya, even though the format made the result pointless. There is still an outside chance Zimbabwe will beat Pakistan to enliven group A as well. Good games, just not enough urgency in the fixturing, or pressure to win.
Well, you are spot on. It certainly has been a ridiculously good world cup. After all, never have there been as many good contests. People might keep complaining that quite some boring matches(or mismatches) have been played, but then one can’t hope for every match to be cracker.
Anyone who was doubting the existence or importance of ODI cricket has got a solid answer.