Eased into the tournament, but struggling a little with the bat. Were seemingly not paying attention to the required run-rate against India, and got completely bogged down by Afghanistan after a flying start. On fast pitches their bowling is impressive, but may come unstuck on slower pitches.
Finalist: 31.8% Winner 17.0%
Over-rated. Their form is ordinary, their batting flaky and their fielding shoddy. Being Pakistan there is always the sense that they could win four on the trot to take out the title again, but it seems unlikely with this side.
Finalist: 29.7% Winner 15.5%
Under-rated, but possibly lucky to be here. Morgan aside, the batting was horrid against a limited Irish attack, but pummeled the marginally stronger West Indians around the park. Will be greatly concerned about the lack of match play for their bowlers, but happy that their tight schedule is a little more relaxed. Need to beat New Zealand.
Finalist: 20.4% Winner 9.3%
Won a thriller over Sri Lanka and an odd one against the unlucky Zimbabweans. Are dangerous on slow pitches, but look like their batting is too fragile to go further than the semis.
Finalist: 18.1% Winner 8.0%
Have somehow firmed as favourites without doing much. Defeated a lacklustre Pakistan easily but looked poor against Bangladesh. Bat deep but like South Africa, reliant on a pace attack that might struggle on slow pitches.
Finalist: 37.6% Winner 21.3%
Jayawardene aside, the batting looks awful, but still managed to take New Zealand to the wire. Will miss Murali, but still an outside chance. Must beat the loser of India v Australia to progress.
Finalist: 25.4% Winner 12.4%
Under-rated (though not by their fans). Are in a tough group, but are almost certainties to go through if they can beat Australia. That match, more than any other, will give a sense of how far India will go.
Finalist: 22.0% Winner 10.2%
Probably still under-rated on account of losing to Zimbabwe a few months ago. Have the batting to chase any total however, and home ground advantage. Will build momentum if they can stay in contention, but must beat Sri Lanka.
Finalist: 14.8% Winner 6.0%
Travelled a long way to play less than 50 overs in the rain over two days. Unlike others, they weren't terribly unlucky, already falling behind a mammoth total against Sri Lanka and rolled for just 84 against New Zealand. Were impressive in the warm-ups though, which bodes well for the next couple of years.
Expected to do better. The batting, as usual, failed to fire when it needed to, leaving them short of two difficult targets. Will be pleased that they competed well, but should be upset that they couldn't turn either game into a win.
Flogged, horribly, in the first game. Their batting (obviously sans Morgan and Joyce) cannot do the job at this level, even if their bowling and fielding gives them a sniff. Were in a position to dislodge England when rain intervened, but can't have any complaints about being knocked out on NR-R.
Undoubtedly the best non-test bowling lineup ever, boasting both balance and natural skill. Most of their attack could push for a place in any test side, with Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran and Samiullah Shenwari looking particularly impressive. But as evidenced by recent collapses against light-weight associate nations, their batting is poor, and both South Africa and India were too good for them.
Idle Summers 7th May, 2010 15:20:43 [#]