Articles By Deepak Vikraman
Don't utter the 'C' word, because we are certainly not that, said South Africa prior to the semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval against England. Well, after all was said and done, it will be rather difficult to justify that claim.
In the last two matches, two of Sri Lanka's all-time greats have stepped up in some style to ensure a passage to the semifinal. A few days after the brilliant hundred from Kumar Sangakkara, it was Mahela Jayawardene's turn to play a delectable unbeaten 84 and help Sri Lanka past Australia in their ICC Champions Trophy game at The Oval.
It is never a great thing when the hosts of a multi-team tournament exit in the early stages. The intensity goes down to a certain extent and a minority, if not a majority, of the crowds lose interest.
India vs Pakistan - easily the most anticipated match of the ICC Champions Trophy, never mind that it was a dead rubber with India's place in the semifinals secured and Pakistan's exit from the tournament already written in stone.
It is not easy to negotiate the Duckworth-Lewis method, as South Africa, a team renowned for choking when it comes to crunch moments and big tournaments, will attest to. On Friday evening on a cold and soggy day in Cardiff, and ten years since South Africa so famously miscalculated to knock themselv...
Kumar Sangakkara was not going to let Sri Lanka exit the tournament in a whimper. The classy left-hander played an outstanding unbeaten 134 from just 135 balls to help his side to a massive seven-wicket victory over England in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 game at The Oval.
Well, it wasn't quite as either team would have planned it; but then, playing in England, they probably should have been prepared. Australia and New Zealand shared a point each after their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 match was abandoned following irritatingly, yet typically, expected rain at Edgbaston.
Cricket is really simple. Bat well, bowl well and field well - you will win the match. On Tuesday at The Oval, India aced all three departments with flying colours to ease to an eight-wicket win over the West Indies and book themselves a place in the semifinals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
Pakistan have a wonderful ODI bowling attack, with the right battery of pacers and some brilliantly clever spinners. Unfortunately, their batting is pretty awful, with just one masterful batsman amongst them - Misbah-ul-Haq -- who alas cannot do all the work in a 50-over game.
Who said low-scoring matches cannot be entertaining! On a day when just 277 runs were scored in total, New Zealand and Sri Lanka put on a show filled with drama worthy of the priciest tickets at the West End. New Zealand made heavy weather of a 139-run target, surviving a yorker onslaught from Lasith Malinga to scrape to a one-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy.