24 April 2007

The better semi-final

I'll bet that today's will be better semi-final. The other one is going to be a slugfest. This one will have a bigger role for the bowlers. Murali, Bond, Malinga, Vettori, Vaas, Maharrof, Oram - the variety on display is simply delicious, and a fit feast it will be for a semi-final.

Speaking of semis, Rahul Bhattacharya has, as usual, written a brilliant article on the past four editions and their climactic semifinals.

I am excited. Fleming has been out to Vaas for a duck the last four times these teams have met. Can he avoid the jinx and continue to lead from the front as he has done through this tournament and so many times in the last decade? If he stays, the Murali threat would have suffered quite a dent. Not only does he have the left hand batsman's advantage, but he is recognized as one of the better players against this freakish king-among-offspinners. If he gets out fast, Styris, Fulton and McMillan have a job on their hands. Bond against Jayasurya will be crucial as well. Bond's initial spell will determine whether the 'weak' Sri Lankan lower middle order will come into play. And then of course, Malinga with the older ball. His contest with McCullum and Oram will be very interesting as well.

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