So far, the World Cup threw up a variety of results for the underdogs in the last three days — with memorable victories (Ireland upsetting England), close misses (England-India tie), one-sided hammerings (West Indies thrashing Bangladesh — and now crowd unrest (alleged attack on West Indies players’s bus by irate Bangladesh fans) — they make way for heavyweight clashes between some of the big guns in the next two fixtures.
Sri Lanka and Australia, who have met in two World Cup finals, face off in Colombo today. Unbeaten South Africa and England team desperate to banish the memories of its slump against Ireland then clash in Sunday’s early game in Chennai.
The weekend ends with India hoping to negotiate the high-flying Irish in Bangalore, the scene of Ireland’s greatest cricket moment just a few days ago. Bizarrely, the men in green are likely to feel more comfortable at Chinnaswamy Stadium and the home team will be reminded of the massive expectation placed on them by happenings in Dhaka.
In Colombo, the other co-host, Sri Lanka, is boosted by fit-again fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who blasted out six Kenya batsmen and claimed his second World Cup hat-trick in a convincing return from a back injury last match.
Meanwhile Australia, the three-time defending champion and winner of four titles in total, has been quietly going about its business with impressively efficient victories over Zimbabwe and New Zealand in its two games.