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World Cup hots up

With the two day break at the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, maybe its time to take stock and review the action of the last few days and look ahead at the coming crucial matches which will decide who reaches the semis and who goes home.

I think England had a good chance of winning against Sri Lanka after good work by their bowlers who managed to restrict Sri Lanka to just 235 runs but the Sri Lankan bowlers did very well to defend the target. I think England were let down by their opening batsmen who didn't give their team a good start. Michael Vaughan could only manage 10 and Ed Joyce went out for a duck and the team had to once again depend on Kevin Pietersen but it was Ravi Bopara who nearly got home the victory.

The result means that Sri Lanka now have six points and are joint top with Australia and New Zealand. I actually think that these three teams will be in the semis plus possibly South Africa.

England have two points at the moment and to get to the semis they will need to start winning matches and to kick start that they will have to beat the Australians in their next match. I think they can do that because they beat Australia three matches in a row just a few weeks ago but they are playing an Australian side bubbling with confidence at the moment.

South Africa should see off Bangladesh on Saturday to get two points that will take their points tally to six and its looking very likely now that the two unseeded teams still left in the competition, Bangladesh and Ireland, will prop the ladder in the end but its only the order that will be determined in the coming weeks.

A South African loss though against Bangladesh would give hope to the West Indies whose next match is against the southern African nation.

Away from the action, Greg Chappell has resigned as India coach following their group stage exit. I am not really surprised by this but I don't know what the coach could have done when India's experienced players just failed to fire.

So there is still so much to look forward to and I hope that we will be able to witness some more riveting matches like the England/Sri Lanka one.

One big difference between the England side that beat Australia three times in a row and the one that is at the World Cup right now is Michael Vaughan. Vaughan is not contributing much to the team at this world cup and in my opinion that could be the difference between losing and winning for England. He is the captain and can't be dropped in favour of Strauss for an opener but unless he gets some runs his team is always starting with a handicap.

Depending on how Australia go tonight in their clash against England, I think they'll be pretty tough to beat from here onwards.
With more than a couple of Australia's key batsmen showing promise with the willow and with Symonds and Ponting both in the team.
Sri Lanka and New Zealand are also in great form with both teams joined on the top of the table with Australia.

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