Whew! Who would have thought the India-Pakistan match would be the dullest of the day?
We have gone from the luck of the Irish to Dutch daring in the blink of an eye. It was supposed to be a contest between Zimbabwe and Ireland -- in fact, Zimbabwe were deemed to have one foot out the door because going by form the Irish were expected to beat Netherlands who were looking a little out of sorts, until yesterday evening that is.
It was all going according to script -- Zimbabwe rode on Elton Chigumbura to beat UAE at a canter and were waiting for Ireland to lose. Ireland for their part had ridden on Kevin O'Brien's high-octane 15-ball 45 to reach 189 and were probably eyeing a Super 10s spot. A little over an hour later however, both Zimbabwe and Ireland were licking their wounds while Sylhet was painted the brightest shade of orange. Needing to win the match in an improbable 14.2 overs Dutch skipper Peter Borren, opener Stephan Myburgh, Tom Cooper and Wesley Barresi made a mockery of the Irish attack, and the heist was completed when Barresi hit a massive six -- a world record 19th for the innings -- to seal the match and a spot in the Super 10s.
In the end what was supposed to be the main course turned out to be ceremonial dessert as India continued their dominance over archrivals Pakistan in the opening Super 10s match. As the qualifying rounds came to a close, the organisers must be congratulated for coming up with a format that truly makes the tournament seem a global one as Associates have been given maximum opportunity to shine, and this time Orange has shined brightest.