After South Africa’s agonisingly close loss to New Zealand that went down to the final over, they are now well and truly out of contention, except that, with England losing to Sri Lanka, and now facing India, New Zealand and Australia in their last 3, if England lose all 3, and South Africa win all 3, then suddenly South Africa might be 4th – at least, if nobody else in the chasing pack are ahead of them. Pakistan have 1 less loss but they too are at the last chance saloon. For Pakistan, this is the same start as in their victorious 1992 campaign, 1-3-1, but now they need to win all of their other matches, and hope that other games go their way, with the other games most notably being England needing to lose all of their matches. This is kind of like a knockout. Whoever wins might still have a chance, but whoever loses doesn’t, especially if it’s South Africa.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) Mohammad Amir will fire – again
He’s just been so consistent that he is sure to do well again. If he were to get a single man of the match award to go with his record of being best in the team in almost every match, then he could be in contention for player of the tournament. He’s just been so good lately. And to think that he was originally left out of the squad.
(2) Hashim Amla will fail – again
If only they had someone to replace him, he would surely be dropped. Yes, he got 50 in the last match, but it was such a terrible-looking 50 that it doesn’t count. If only A B de Villiers was there. It’s a bit of a broken record, but hey at least we’re not talking about choking.
(3) Pakistan won’t bat well
With the exception of the England match, Pakistan’s batting has failed over and over again, and against such a good bowling line-up it is hard to imagine them doing well.
(4) South Africa won’t bat well either
Who is going to do well here? Faf perhaps? Maybe Rassie? Perhaps QDK will recover some form? There’s slim pickings there, and against the likes of Mohammad Amir steaming in it is hard to imagine them getting too many.
(5) England will win
The result of this match probably won’t really matter, as if England win then the top 4 is settled anyway. South Africa should win, as far as their ranking is concerned, but Pakistan have been in better form, and at least are showing more confidence, so they should win. Only Pakistan are their own worst enemy and could lose anyway. Argh. Too hard to pick. Do I go against South Africa for the first time or do I stick to my guns, in spite of how much it hurts my tipping record? Tie? Washout? I don’t know. It’s so hard to pick this one. I guess I should go for Pakistan, but it’s a nervous prediction.