Up until 2 days ago, on the eve of playing England, the West Indies had played 4 of 6 preliminary games, winning 3 (having 6 points). They were coasting, well in control of their destiny, knowing that a win in the next game would put them into the next round.
But in their way
But in their way was England, who would be eliminated with a loss. You see, this was England’s last match and they had 5 points. Their record up to that point was 2 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw. England was desperate. When you face a desperate team, they can either force your hand or implode.
Match Day: England vs The West Indies
West Indies bowled out the English team for 243 runs, with the last 2 batsmen actually playing well for them to reach that total. Seemingly reachable total, the West Indies started briskly, though they really didn’t need to. After Chris Gayle got out, LBW to the new spinner Treadwell, the West Indies lost wickets, then steadied, then lost wickets. At 222 for 7, the West Indies was in a weird position but seemed like they would be able to pull it off. They were still well-ahead of the run-rate and needed about 4 runs per over to win with 3 wickets in hand.
Alas, falling short again
Alas, it was not to be, the West Indies imploded and lost 3 wickets for 3 runs to finish 225 all out, losing by 18 with 32 balls to spare. Yes, they did. Was it planned.
West Indies goes up against the might Indian batting lineup. What’s strange is that only South Africa is already assured of a spot in group B and Ireland and Netherlands already eliminated. So next, Bangladesh faces South Africa and the West Indies plays India India is on 7 points, England is on 7 with a lower run-rate, West Indies on 6, and Bangladesh on 6 with a much lower run-rate. Everything is out of England’s hand, however, as they have to wait on the results of the 2 upcoming matches, and need a loss by both teams or a draw by Bangladesh.
Not England, the West Indies
Yes. So here’s how things stack up. Do not dismay. The West Indies can still make it by winning, drawing, or even losing their final match against India.
- South Africa – already into the next round with 4 matches. Match against Bangladesh would be to win group.
- India – a draw or win guarantees them a spot, or a loss by Bangladesh.
- England – a loss by either Bangladesh or West Indies guarantees them a spot OR a tie by Bangladesh and any result by West Indies.
- West Indies – a win or draw guarantees them a spot, a loss can give them a spot if Bangladesh loses and they maintain the better run-rate.
- Bangladesh – a win guarantees them a spot, a draw and a West Indies loss also guarantees them a spot. A loss will virtually eliminate them unless it’s a close loss and the West Indies is utterly destroyed by India [which I can assure you will not happen].
So any of the last 4 can be the odd team out. I doubt it will be India, so it will be between England, West Indies, and Bangladesh. I suspect that Bangladesh may be the odd team out when all’s said and done.
I want all the cricket fans and / or sports fans to chime in on this one.