Monday, March 16, 2015

Cricket World Cup 2015 Quarter Final Predictions

So more than a month ago I made some predictions regarding the current 2015 Cricket World Cup. Let's see how I did before I analyze the quarter finals.

POOL A

The most obvious mistake in my prediction was that Bangladesh performed well above expectations. I have no qualms saying I did not mind being wrong at all ( :-D ) in this case. As a Bangladeshi fan whose team had a annus horriblis in 2014, such was the low confidence in the team that they even managed to lose to Ireland in the warm ups. Yet, when it was time to perform, they delivered, and knocked out England.

I had Australia to top the group followed by New Zealand, and this was reversed due to a game of Australia being rained out and them losing to New Zealand by 1 wicket. Sri Lanka came third as expected, and England crashed out.

POOL B

I fully expect Pakistan to beat South Africa - this is what I said, and it happened. Only if they had picked Sarfraz earlier. I was dumbfounded when they made Umar Akmal a keeper and benched Sarfraz, their most dynamic and game changing player.

West Indies should make the fourth playoff position, but barely - this is what I also said, and it's also true. Tough luck to Ireland, who deserved to be in the quarters, but their heavy loss in one match (vs. South Africa) came back to haunt them.

Of course what I did not see is the emergence of India as the team to beat and the team in form. The previous tri-series leading into the tournament seemed to have confounded every body.

So now, here's the quarter finals and my predictions.

Sri Lanka vs. South Africa

Sri Lanka has awesome batting (in form) and a threadbare bowling attack coming into this match, but they know how to win the knockout games. South Africa are notorious at choking in the knockouts of the World Cup and have never won such a match. It makes for a fascinating contest.

I expect whoever bats first to have a big advantage. Nevertheless, I am going to pick pedigree over potential and tip Sri Lanka to win this.
Winner: Sri Lanka

India vs. Bangladesh

Can I remain unbiased in this? Of course I want Bangladesh to win. I hope they win. My heart says they will win. But logic dictates, of course, that India will win. What Bangladesh lack is the finishing touch - the one who can come and belt 40 off 18 balls to boost a competitive total to a massive total, or the one bowler who is so miserly no one can take him on. India has batsmen in form, bowlers in form and their fielding has been great too. Every one of their batsman has been in the middle and scored runs. Hard to see Bangladesh repeating a 2007 here.
Winner: India
PS: I hope I am wrong.

Pakistan vs. Australia

This is Pakistan's last game in the world cup. Or so everyone thinks. And everyone is probably right. Pakistan remains a dark horse, and they have unpredictability, and they beat South Africa, and their bowlers are in form ... yes to all of that, but this is Australia in Australia. And Australia is in form, and they have awesome batting AND bowling. Sometimes unpredictability and emotion can only take you so far.
Winner: Australia

West Indies vs. New Zealand
This really should have been Ireland vs. New Zealand but somehow the Windies made it. And they will go home after this. You don't even need any analysis to back this up - New Zealand is a far better team than Windies and they have experience in winning knockouts and they are in form.
Winner: New Zealand

So there you go. The semi-final line ups should be:

India vs. Australia
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka

7 comments:

Salma Dinani said...

I don't follow cricket but I love how passionate you are about your team :) Good luck to Bangladesh and with your next round of predictions!

mezba said...

Salma, thank you!

mezba said...

Salma, thank you!

LivSports said...

Well thats thorough. You have analyzed every team so well. but your 1st prediction just proved wrong ;) but remaining predictions sound logical. lets wait and watch

mezba said...

@LivSports, that's the fun of predictions, when teams manage to confound. I wouldn't mind being wrong for tonight's game (Ind Bd) as well :-D

LivSports said...

Unfortunately you were right about second prediction. But Bangladesh also did good. :)

mezba said...

@LivSports ... looks like I was 3 out of 4 in this round.