What looked like a comprehensive win for Scotland was almost one of the great turn-arounds in cricket history. Chasing just 75 in the fourth innings, Jonkman ripped out 5 wickets to have them teetering at 6/18. McCallum and Haq successfully counter-attacked to get a deserved win, but the Netherlands could reflect on what might have been if they'd not suffered four reckless run-outs, and scored even another 100 runs. While the loss ends the Netherlands chances in this competition, for Scotland the win catapults them to the top of the standings, with games against their likely finals opponents (should they make it) in Afghanistan and Zimbabwe to come. They'll be perturbed by the weakness in the top order, and an over-dependence on the all-round efforts of Berrington, Parker and Haq, but with their stock continually rising, they might take over as the most highly ranked associate by season-end.
The beauty of the internet is that I had my choice of games between technically poor sides being outclassed by a ruthlessly efficient opponent. West Indies actually had the best of this game early on, playing tight, attacking cricket to have South Africa 5/107 after 47.5 overs. But from then South Africa dominated, first grinding out a comparatively large total, then inducing two rapid collapses: first Morkel ripping out Nash, Dowlin and Gayle to have them 3/12, then Steyn causing a collapse of 6 for 4 in just over 4 overs to effectively kill the game.
As usual, South Africa showed a remarkable lack of urgency in their second innings, setting a moderate, not comprehensive, target but with Steyn and Morkel in such compelling form, they were never going to lose. The West Indies managed to turn around their first test performance in Australia in December, but in the absence of a number of first-choice players, it is hard to see how their current batting or bowling lineup can contribute enough to win. Only close losses or better can keep them above New Zealand in the next couple of games.
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.
Idle Summers 17th June, 2010 19:17:14 [#]