Ratings - 29th January 2010
An adjustment to the non-test team initial ratings this week. Teams with ODI status (and the USA) begin on 300, the others on 150. The major change is to push the minnows (of the minnows) downwards.
Recently completed matches
|Expected Margin||India by 260 runs|
|Actual Margin||India by 10 wickets|
Given how dominant India was expected to be, the main interest in this game was whether Bangladesh could continue their gradual improvement in play. And they did, sort of. At 5/51 the game was effectively over, but their lower order has the ability to innings of substance, not just the haphazard cameos of the top order. Still, when India reached 2/421 in response the main point of interest was whether they could force the innings and 12 run defeat they needed to push back above Australia in the rankings. For a moment, with Tamin Iqbal blitzing at one end, and India facing a small chase with two batsmen injured, maybe, just maybe Bangladesh could make something of this game. No sooner had the thought crossed the minds of those watching than they lost 7/22. No team can overcome that kind of collapse. Bangladesh need to learn to concentrate, for days, not sessions, to grind out wins. India, perhaps are a step too far anyway, but Bangladesh's good moments are better than those of some of their poorly ranked rivals; unfortunately their worst moments are very much worse, and that will hurt them. The forthcoming tour to New Zealand will be a more interesting contest.
|I-Shield Match||United Arab Emirates||v||Uganda|
|Expected Margin||Uganda by 15 runs|
|Actual Margin||Match Drawn|
The U.A.E. will feel hard done by after this match, having failed to secure first innings points or a full victory, despite being wel placed to achieve both. Uganda's collapses offered both opportunities to the opposition, losting 4/5 in the first innings when just 29 runs from their target, but saved by Nsubuga, and 5/12 in the second, before the same batsman, along with Ssemanda and Ziraba saved them from an inglorious defeat. The U.A.E. should equally regret wasting their chance to attack, with a 200 run lead in the second innings and 70 odd overs to play, the chance was there to set Uganda something chaseable from more than the 43 overs they left themselves. Both sides are well placed for a rematch in the final.
|Expected Margin||Ireland by 130 runs|
|Actual Margin||Afghanistan by 7 wickets|
An upset of sorts, that puts tremendous pressure on Ireland to qualify for the final. But for those following Afghan cricket, merely another sign that they are likely to be a force in Asia sooner rather than later - notwithstanding the immense difficulties they have playing in the country. A rel team performance from Afghanistan, with particular note of Mohammad Nabi's all-round performance (64 and 4/33). A lack of penetration in the Irish bowling and an untimely collapse at the start of the fourth day sealed the contest for AfghanistanThe sort of competitive fixture that both sides need more of as thei games develop.
|Expected Margin||Kenya by 7 runs|
|Actual Margin||Scotland by 8 wickets|
A game decided on the opening day when the Scots ground their way relentlessly through the Kenyan batting - the slow motion collapse of 7/17 taking 25 overs to complete. Kenya's second innings was better with Ouma making a ton, but they lost wickets too regularly, and often failed to keep the scoreboard ticking over despite some lengthy knocks (notably Varaiya who took 237 balls to make his 44). Scotland back on top of the table, and closing a little on Ireland in the rankings.
|2 Tests||India||v||South Africa|
|Expected Margin||India by 62 runs|
Organised in a rush to take advantage of India's number one status, this series is an abomination against sensible scheduling. Nevertheless, it might still produce some interesting cricket. South Africa's recent form slump and India's home advantage are balanced against an excellent record for the tourists and some injuries in the home team. At least one game is likely to serve up a mountain of runs, but expect India to win the other.
|Rankings at 29th January 2010|
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
30th January, 2010 01:54:16