Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crunch time

So, it's come to this simple equation. If England lose today, they will (at long last) be out of the World Cup. If they win, they will put one foot in the semi-finals with just the final group game against the West Indies to come.

(I'm discounting the prospect of a tie, although South Africa have finished both their last two World Cup campaigns with such a result)

On the face of it, the match should be close: two underperforming teams, each mentally shot, lacking the confidence to go out and win matches they shouldn't have lost (England against Sri Lanka, SA against Bangladesh). The latest revelations about South African drinking after their defeat to New Zealand also have strong echoes of, er, pedalogate. Perhaps in the World Cup of boozing, this would be the final.

My prediction for the match is this: a South African will have a big impact on the result. Either one of the Proteas themselves, or England's own South African, Kevin Pietersen, who loves playing against his former countrymen. If he can score big, we might be able to win. Otherwise I think the lads will finally be on the pedalo home.

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