Associate Cricket: WCL 2 Review
Russell Degnan

Almost a case-study in how similarly matched teams tend to throw up exciting games and huge mismatches in similar measure. Namibia and the UAS emerged as the superior teams and the CC wil be hard-pressed to find reasons to look elsewhere when determining the two I-Cup spots. The UAE emerged victorious, having won both ties, the first in a thriller, and the second more comfortably, but with the top two wicket-takers, two of the top three batsmen, and a young side with good batting depth, they'll be confident of making an impact against better opposition.

Amongst the rest, PNG came third, as expected, but struggled against better opponents and could have been relegated as easily. Hong Kong put up the best performances against the finalists, perhaps lacking the experience to close out both games, but ultimately came away with only one win. But with 16 y/o Chapman and 18 y/o Nizakat Khan having a strong tournament again, they look to have a bright future. Uganda finished the table in last, but were a single run from beating PNG and relegating Hong Kong in their stead. Unfortunate for a team with a good pedigree, but not surprising; their poor showings against their fellow I-Shield competition was what ultimately cost them. Bermuda, with such a small population, may never reached such storied heights again, but they'll always have the 2007 world cup to look back on (if not aspire to again).

On another note, the ICC really ought to find someone to broadcast these games, setting up their own broadcast if necessary. In a world where I can get live streaming of the Korean Basketball League, the Indonesian Super Liga or the European Junior Badmington championships, I ought to be able to find coverage of cricket internationals between teams in the world top-20. Cricket will never expand in these countries without tv coverage.

Americas Division 2 went to Suriname as expected, but not without drama, or a lot of rain which seemed to ruin several games. Only the Surinamese victory over Bahamas preventing a 5-way points tie for first, but they dominated the 50-over final to clinch their place in AmerDiv1. Why exactly a 50 over game is being used to determine a 20 over tournament qualification is a little beyond me, but I assume it is trying to reduce the luck quotient of qualifying. Amongst the rest, Panama came second to contest the final, and Brazil was the only dissapointment, losing all 5 games fairly heavily, and being in some obvious need of some bowling penetration.

Cricket - Associate 17th April, 2011 16:28:36   [#]