Five Things We Learned
(1) West Indies might be contenders
West Indies beat New Zealand (by 91 runs), who beat India (by 6 wickets), who beat Bangladesh (by 95 runs), so that puts West Indies top of that pile, New Zealand second, India third and Bangladesh last, and it puts West Indies up there with the other two undefeated teams, Australia (2 wins) and South Africa (1 win). By my reckoning, it puts West Indies 3rd, and in that top half. If they keep this up, they just might make the semi-finals and from there you never know.
(2) You can never write India off
At one point India were 4/102 after 22 overs, their best batsmen all out, and looking down the barrel of a low score of perhaps 200 to 250. Then came MS Dhoni, and with KL Rahul they pushed the score right up to 359 and won by a massive 95 runs. Wow. I mean 113 off 78 is amazing when the team is finding it easy but to do that when they are losing is incredible. Sri Lanka started similarly against Australia but only managed 247. Bangladesh probably would have chased 247 down.
(3) Bangladesh just don’t look good enough
It might sound harsh, after they had such a good start, and even managed a 120 run partnership in the middle, but they were just so far behind in the end that it was a big, big margin. They were well behind on the run rate, never even getting past 6 runs per over, let alone the 7 that was required, and ultimately finished closer to 5, while being all out. If you thought Bangladesh were going to make the semi-finals for the first time, you were sadly mistaken.
(4) New Zealand came crashing down to earth
To start with it looked like an overly risky innings from Chris Gayle had cost the side, then there were a few hopes but it just never looked like continuing, except it did, and in the end 421 was just too much. In the World Cup proper they may have tried harder to chase it down but in the end 330 was never close to good enough, well behind in the run rate and being all out, but it was still a good hit out. Such a pity that they couldn’t back up their performances against India.
(5) We kind of know our World Cup Warm-Up ratings
In order: (1) Australia (2) South Africa (3) West Indies (4) England (5) New Zealand (6) Afghanistan (7) India (8) Pakistan (9) Bangladesh (10) Sri Lanka. In terms of who beat who and by how much, that’s the order, as we head into the World Cup proper. It might change once the World Cup starts, but right now, as the only team with two wins from two, Australia are sitting pretty with 11 wins in a row in ODI cricket.