World Twenty20 2012: Lessons as Super Eights line-up nearly complete
World Twenty20 2012: Matt Cansick takes a look back at the talking points as more spots are filled for the Super Eights
England brought down to earth
After their emphatic win over Afghanistan on Friday, the defending champions suffered a humbling of their own as India put them to the sword. A paltry 80 runs were the sum total of a poor batting performance, although credit is also due to spinners Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla, who shared six wickets. While 170-4 was a solid total, it should not have overawed the England batsmen, and it appears their frailties when faced with spin still remain. Suddenly their grip on this title does not appear so secure.
Shortened matches still provide excitement
Rain unfortunately thwarted two games that had the potential to be the best of the tournament so far, but there was still time for some exciting cameos. South Africa managed a 32 run victory over hosts Sri Lanka despite their match being reduced to seven overs a side, captain AB de Villiers smashing 30 from 13 balls. The biggest disappointment was that Australia’s attempt to chase down the West Indies’ 191-8 was reduced to a Duckworth/Lewis win, having posted 100-1 off 9.1 overs. This was time enough however for Shane Watson to continue his fine form with 41 off 24 balls.
Irish in last chance saloon
An ill-timed bout of illness going through the squad is threatening to hamper Ireland’s preparation for their deciding match against the West Indies. Already a daunting prospect given recent results, the task appears to have gotten a little harder, but perhaps they will benefit from returning to their role as the under dogs. For the West Indies, Chris Gayle will be looking to follow up his impressive knock of 54 from 33 balls against Australia with another demonstration of his talent in this format.
Super Eights await
With only two spots left to be decided from the final two group games, attention turns to the Super Eights stage. Mixed performances and weather-affected games mean it is not entirely clear who the favourites are to reach the final four, but if the West Indies and Pakistan win through – against Ireland and Bangladesh respectively – then what is arguably the strongest possible field will battle it out to reach the knockout stages.