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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Cricket: West Indies vs. England Final on 25th Sept.

Category: Misc. Cricket.

ICC Champions Trophy. September 2004. England.

It is going to be an England v. West Indies Final.

West Indies easily defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in the second semi-final played yesterday at the Rosebowl in Southampton.

Pakistan is an unpredictable team. A polished performance vs. India, and then a batting collapse vs. the West Indies.

Pakistan captain Inzaman-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat, which was a decision based on playing to their strength of bowling, however in this tournament, most of the teams batting first have lost and Pakistan's decision of opting to bat first back-fired as they lost early wickets and were allout for 131 runs. The only significant partnership was the second wicket stand of fifty odd runs betweens Yaseer Hameed and Shoaib Malik. Inzamam and Yousuf Youhana scored a few runs and Shahid Afridi scored a few, late in the order, however they did not last long enough to score half-centuries.

A target of a hundred and thirty two to win of fifty overs was an easy chase for West Indies, provided they didn't lose early wickets. Shoaib Akhtar struck early on and got Chris Gayle out LBW, however Ramnaresh Sarwan took the fight to the Pakistani camp with attacking shots and with good support from Brian Lara, the target was easily achieved. Brian Lara was injured by a Shoaib Akhtar delivery (I didn't see that. There was a power cut). Brian Lara will be fit for the final.

England will start as the favourites to win the the final, based on their current form and performances of their bowlers Harmison, Gough, and Flintoff; and the batting of Vaughan, Flintoff, Trescothick, and others. Brian Lara has always excelled against England and the West Indies would be hoping that he gets a big one in the finals.

The final match is going to be played on Saturday, the 25th of September at The Oval in London. The match will be telecast live on SetMax from 01:30 p.m. IST.

News. Australian captain, Ricky Ponting is injured and will miss the first test match vs. India. Australia's tour of India is starting next month and it promises to be as exciting as the last tour of 2001.