The Black Caps have guaranteed themselves a quarterfinal spot with a resounding win over Pakistan. They look to be enjoying themselves again, especially after a disappointing six months.
They built the innings cautiously and made sure there were wickets in hand to launch an assault in the final overs. Then they bowled the opposition out with an inspired bowling and fielding performance.
Ross Taylor rode his luck and played a superb innings. It was an awesome display of power hitting. But where were the yorkers from the Pakistan bowlers?
When the Kiwis were 202/5 with five overs to go, I wonder what the betting odds would have been on reaching 300. Perhaps 100/1 or better! This was some of the worst 'at the death' bowling performance I have ever seen.
Wrong Pak showed up
Taylor also offered two catches behind the wicket in one over — he should have been out for naught and Pakistan paid dearly for those misses. It was a woeful fielding and bowling display. Everyone knows that Pakistan have two teams — one day they can be brilliant and formidable, the next day poor.
Pakistan are good enough to rebound and be a threat but another day like that in the knockout phase will see them exit. Perhaps, it was one of those days!
As a former fast bowler, it was sad to see Shoaib Akhtar struggle the way he did with the ball. He has been a magnificent fast bowler but at 35, he is well past his best.
He was pummelled by the Black Caps and to see him come back for his last spell and concede 28 runs in one over suggest he is nearly finished.
India looking good
Along with South Africa, India's batting looks to be the strongest. However, a lot has been said about the bowlers being India's weak link.
I would not be too concerned at this stage — there is a lot of experience in the attack. Zaheer Khan is going well and Munaf Patel is a little expensive but getting wickets.
Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla are not getting the results they are capable of as yet though.