Monday, May 26, 2008

One upset, one not-so-much

As just about everyone has noted by now, the Manchester and Kingston test matches have been great advertisement for test cricket. But of the two underdogs going for unlikely wins today, New Zealand will have greater cause to rue their failure to seize missed opportunities. The Kiwis had a lead of 179, and at one point, were 264 runs ahead with eight wickets in hand. The collapse that followed effectively handed the match back to England. And given England's efficient start yesterday, and resumption today, the odds are that England will squeak through. Anything is possible of course, but the crucial passage of play was that 7-29 disintegration yesterday. Before that, a gigantic upset was brewing; now it looks distinctly less likely. (England 129-1 as I write).

Meanwhile, the Windies did the opposite: they bowled themselves back into a game in which they had surrendered a first innings lead of 119. Though they let Australia get to 167 after having had them down and out at 5-18, and 6-70, the chances of someone playing a rescue innings were always high (cue Symonds). But Symonds did not make a big ton, he made 79, and there were no huge partnerships. In the end, the Australians have set the Windies a target that is within reach given all the usual caveats about partnerships and playing normal cricket. Needless to say, Chanderpaul will be as important as he was in the first innings.

Final call: England by five, Windies by three.


Anonymous scorpicity said...

One has lost and the other on its way to losing... no amount of divine intervention can make a team win... for the windies with hayden out, they had their best chance.

2:26 AM  

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