If Sunday resurrected hopes of the World Cup revival following the unforgettable tie between India and England at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy stadium, Monday thrashed all of those miraculous thoughts. It was a given that Netherlands and Canada would end up on the losing side. However, the least one could have expected was a closer contest. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be as both West Indies and Zimbabwe got home rather comfortably, without dropping a sweat, in their respective games. While Canada’s performance wasn’t out of the blue, the Dutch had raised plenty of hopes following their highly impressive effort against the Englishmen. Sad that they couldn’t replicate their effort.
Both the games featured plenty of match-winning efforts which will stand the respective sides in good stead in the games to come. The Zimbabweans did particularly well with both bat and ball, to confine their disappointment against the Aussies to history. Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine put together a healthy partnership that completely sapped the Canadian energy. The bowling side began really well, getting rid of the Zimbabwean openers Brendan Taylor and Charles Coventry with close to nothing on the board. However, once Taibu and Ervine got together, Canada’s bowlers were totally exposed. Their lack of skills were evident from the fact that neither Taibu nor Ervine looked in much trouble at all. They also scored their runs at a fast pace, which never allowed the Canada bowlers to settle at all. And once they got the runs on the board, the bowlers just took over and did the rest.
The Zimbabwean spinners, in particular, were highly impressive. For Canada to do well, they needed experienced opener John Davison to do well. But, that wasn’t to be as Ray Price just snuffed the life out of the Canadian innings with three top order wickets. Not only did he pick up wickets, but also was extremely economical which made sure that Canada were never in the game. Price apart, the other bowlers to joined in the fun as the Canadian batsmen were clearly short on confidence. Graeme Cremer polished off the lower order while Prosper Utseya and Greg Lamb took care of the middle-order. In short, it was a perfect-ten performance by the Zimbabweans, which should give them great confidence for the future games.
In the other game too, the winners West Indies took away most of the positives. Devon Smith, Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan got some important batting practice. But, it was Kieron Pollard’s swashbuckling effort that was the most heartening batting performance. Okay, it came against a minnow nation. Still runs are runs and Pollard should take away some confidence from this game for the bigger battles.
The bowling effort was equally good if not more. And it was the effort of Kemar Roach that stood out. The quickie’s six-wicket haul, which included a hat-trick, ensured that the game was over in flash.
The match may have gone a lot of good for the two winning teams but not much for the tournament.
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