Cricket World Cup - Quarter Final Preview

Author - Zaheer Haque

Pakistan v West Indies
Pakistan go into this QF match with a brilliant win over Australia & have the best bowling unit with all bowlers contributing at vital times in the tournament. Afridi has led from the front & is leading wicket taker in the whole tournament.
Pakistan opening batting partnership has failed in the whole tournament. However Asad Shafiq, Yonus Khan & Misbah & Umar Akmal have the best middle order combination in the tournament. Also they have the dangerous combination of Afridi & Razzaq who can take the game away from any team.
West Indies go into this match with 2 shocking batting collapse firstly England and then India. West Indies need to bring back Chanderpaul to bolster the batting & have been wrong to not have played him in the last few games due to poor form. West Indies need a big score from Gayle Devon Smith & Sarwan in this game. Bowling Roach has done really well but not consistent support regularly from the other bowlers.
I see Pakistan winning this comfortably as long as they apply themselves as they are known to implode at crucial times. I really can’t see West Indies winning based on the performance last few games.

Australia v India
The winner of this Quarter Final will play either Pakistan or West Indies in Semi Final.
Australia have played consistent cricket but not any exceptional cricket through out the tournament & lost their only real test to Pakistan. The middle order hasn’t really turned up in the tournament & Ponting has been woeful with the bat throughout the tournament. Bowling has been their better suit so far but don’t possess a world class spinner.
India on the other hand done well at stages with the bat but have also suffered unthinkable batting collapses against South Africa & West Indies. Bowling has been good in parts.
I think that Australia will edge out India in this match but ever so slightly will be the best game of the Quarter Final with a thrilling end to it.

South Africa v New Zealand
South Africa finished their group top & their best performance was against India when they came from behind to beat India. Also their worst was against England losing in the low scoring match. South Africa batsmen have all contributed at various stages of the tournament except for Captain Smith who has had an average tournament. Bowling has been good with Steyn & great find for South Africa Tahir with his leg spin.
New Zealand only really played outstanding well against Pakistan. The batting has really fired as they would expect. Also in the bowling department hasn’t been that exceptional also Vettori being injured hasn’t helped their cause.
I think this will be a close game but not as close as Australia v India & South Africa will do enough to win this.

Sri Lanka v England
Sri Lanka batting & bowling has been also consistent through out. The only game they have found themselves under pressure & lost it was the Pakistan match. They will be looking to their spinners to play a big part with the ball with murali & mendis. Also will look to Dilshan, Sangakara, and Jaywardene to pile on the runs.
England on the other hand have been absolutely brilliant at times & then absolutely shocking at times & senseless cricket at times to. They will be looking to finally bat & bowl well in this game which frankly hasn’t happened in the tournament.
I fear the worse for England as I see this being a very 1 sided affair & Sri Lanka win comfortably. This is because Sri Lanka spinners will be too hot to handle.

My predictions for Semi-Final places.... Pakistan v Australia & South Africa v Sri Lanka.


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