image courtesy cricinfo.com
The batting depth in the Kiwi ranks continues to wriggle them out of tight corners. A team with lesser might down the order might have suffered an Irish embarrassment. Three teams are clearly breaking free from the rest, and no laptops or plasma television sets for guessing which they are.
Stephen Fleming has under his command a bunch of cricketers who know their role to a fault. No frills, just plain tight cricket that cover the percentages well. The bowling is coming across well, and the form of Shane Bond augurs well for their chances and gives them the cutting edge.
Not depending too much on individual brilliance has always been
The match to be played today bears more significance than any other in the tournament thus far.
The Proteas, though, are a tough bunch and should put the reversal behind them quickly and look ahead. The hosts on the other hand are fully aware that they are on a tight rope and things can’t get worse from here. Chris Gayle has to fire to give his side the impetus. Brian Lara would not like his ODI swansong to be a whimper. If Lara bats at three it would solve a lot of problems for the hosts who need the steadying hand of their skipper.
The hosts stand a bright chance if they are to bat first and post a competitive total. If they are to bat second the chances diminish slightly if one has to go by recent records. It would be sad to see the hosts fade early. Let Lara and his men come out smiling at the end of the day, and believe me, the World Cup will have enlightened further.