World Cup Beckons First Quarter Final




Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

Even though this edition of world cup had a mix of luck, fortunes, thrillers and many more drama all the top eight teams have made the final cut to the quarters. To add more spice, knockout stage builds up more expectations and hopes to bring out the best out of everyone and having said that it becomes a do or die situation from now on.

Wednesday is about to witness the first of four quarter finalswhere Pakistan takes on West Indies in Mirpur. Pakistan entered in as underdogs and that only helped to top their group and halting the undefeated streak of Aussies in their quest to conquer the Holy Grail. Pakistan’s strength has been their bowling attack. With a speedster like Shoaib Akthar to a bowler who can reverse like Umar Gul to a tactical wicket taker in the likes of Razzaq in medium pace and Hafeez in spin and a spearhead leading the wickets column by the captain Afridi himself you can’t expect a much better balance bowling lineup. However the same balance seems to plunder when it comes to batting. The openers have not kept the runs ticking and the middle order weighs heavily on Umar Akmal. The experienced due of Younis and Misbah have to play out the middle orders to leave the rest to boom-boom Afridi and Razzaq. The Pakistanis go into the quarters without a centurion and that certainly is a cause of concern. The batsmen will have to fire on all cylinders to take some pressure out of the bowlers and march with a comfortable victory.

West Indies right now certainly look out of sorts right now as they are dumped with injury worries in terms of Gayle and bowling spearhead Kemar Roach. But the skipper’s remarks on these two will make it on the field come what may be shows their thirst to build some reputation and reach the semis. Losing wickets in quick succession can happen but losing 8 wickets for a shear 33 runs is ridiculous. Their batting collapse has become a regular phenomena as they proved the same against England too. It’s a scrambled brain as far as Sammy is concerned whether to seek some experience through the out of form Chanderpaul or trust Smith ahead of the decisive clash tomorrow. Rampaul has helped himself with his five for performance against the Indians last Sunday. But whether to go for a full time bowler ahead of a dashing all-rounder Russell would tweak more nerves for the captain as he is left with rather more than required options.

It turns out to be a battle between the biggest hitters of the cricket ball, Pollard versus Afridi. Pakistan stand out as clear favourites but West Indies have been on the receiving end when it comes to finishing games for a while and can they end up on the right side this time around and build a team of 70’s or will Pakistan move an inch closer form underdogs to a team to look out for.

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Karthik Gopalan

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Hello, I am Karthik aged 19, pursuing B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering in SASTRA UNIVERSITY, TANJORE. I have always had an interest in journalism and computers right from the beginning. With computers as my profession and journalism being my part time career, I would enjoy every single day of my work. I have passion for writing articles (mainly sports) and doing presentations and I got this opportunity through “The Sports Mirror” to unleash my work as an article writer and I am looking this as the stepping stone for my success in the future.

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