Weblog of Nazly Ahmed
The match played yesterday against England and West Indies in the Super 8 stage of the World Cup 2007 reminded me of the match played against these two during the Champions Trophy. I even blogged about that match with the title "Fireworks, too late" and yesterday it was the same case. England's hopes of qualifying for the Semi Finals ended after the heavy defeat in the hands of South Africa. In that match England decided to bat first after winning the toss but the batsmen failed to capitalize on it. But England were exceptional yesterday. It was an emotional match as far as the West Indies are concerned coz it was the last match of the career of Brian Lara, one of the best batsman the world has ever witnessed. Unfortunately Lara couldn't make a mark in his last innings as he was run out for 18. West Indies made 300 in their innings thanks to some powerful hitting by Chris Gayle at the Top. In reply England approached the target with some positive batting. Michael Vaughan hit 79 off 68 balls at the start and gave a confident start to the innings. England lost their way in the middle a bit but it was that man, Kevin Pietersen who won the match in the Champions Trophy pulled this one out. His 100 off 91 balls and Paul Nixon's quick 38 saw England home. Kevin Pietersen has been brilliant this World Cup. The No.1 ODI player in the world scored 2 centuries and 3 half centuries in his total runs of 444 at an average of 55.50 in this tournament. He also reached to 2000 ODI runs in just 45 innings equaling the fastest to 2000.
Brian Lara would have wanted to end his last ODI in high note but failed to deliver a final show of his great career but that doesn't take anything off this great batsman. The Super 8 stages are now over so we are down to the Semis. Sri Lanka will play New Zealand on the 24th and Australia will play South Africa on the 25th. It will be interesting to see who goes through to the Finals.