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Crick Down the Legside


September 25, 2009 3:44 AM

Champions Trophy yet to ignite

Three matches into the Champions Trophy, and we're none the wiser. We know Sri Lanka have a formidable batting line-up, Pakistan and South Africa are capable of blowing hot and cold, New Zealand batsmen need to show more urgency and West Indies won't pose too many threats, being bereft of so many star names.
South Africa are an enigma wrapped in the mystery in that they have some of the best players of the tournament in de Villiers, Smith and Kallis, but still an air of vulnerability. More teams may be tempted to follow the Lankans' lead and bat first, try and post a big total and see if the hosts crack under the weight of expectation.
Pakistan almost contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, although the fact West Indies couldn't even muster 150 will be as much a worry for the organisers as the players.
Reports that England are targeting a top four finish are fanciful bravado on current form, and it's hard to see them overcoming Sri Lanka today. Similarly, we may be waving goodbye to the black caps when they take on Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Hopefully tomorrow's game, when the Subcontinent comes to a standstill, will be the match that gets it all going.

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