SHOWDOWN – SUPER EIGHT – MATCH DAY 19

Yours truly is left alone to do the showdowns from now onwards, since Ashok has moved on to greater things (this shall be mentioned soon in the About Us page). However, I think I can predict for him considering the affection he has for the Australian side.

Australia has not lost a single match in the last three World Cups and one feels that the remaining two matches will be a good test for this team of ‘Invincibles.’ The Aussies take on Sri Lanka today and will play against the Black Caps later this week.

Sri Lanka have, as experts suggest, a bowling attack on par with Australia. Lasith Malinga (who may miss out today), Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando are maybe a bit behind in ability compared to Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken. However, Sanath Jayasuriya and Mutthiah Muralitharan and Tilekaratne Dilshan are much bigger match-winners with the ball than Brad Hogg, Andrew Symonds, and Michael Clarke.

Had the Lankans not beaten the Aussies to be World Champions in 1996, the Kangaroos would have already had their treble of World Cup trophies. Though a unfavourable result in this match can’t stop the Aussies from having a go at the treble, it would surely end their winning streak and more importantly increase the confidence of the team that will face them in the semis. Our predictions :

Australia v/s Sri Lanka
MJV for AKG: Sri Lanka
MJV: Sri Lanka needs to bat first and score 260 if not more for a chance of winning. And Jayawardene should be quick on the go to bring Murali as soon as possible when Australia is chasing. Captains need to stop worrying too much about the powerplays. The more important task is picking up wickets, and if the Sri Lankan spinners can’t do that in the 30 non-powerplay overs, there’s no way I see them eke out a win. But the Aussies still remain favourites.

Match scheduled to start at 1900 IST on DD-1, SET MAX (English) and SAB TV (Hindi).

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