Vantage point

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Well, it has happened. Kenya has just completed a convincing win over Zimbabwe to book a place in the semi finals. This leaves Sri Lanka and New Zealand in one hell of a situation. If New Zealand win against India, then they go through even if SL beats Zimbabwe. If they lose however, then Sri lanka will go through if they beat the Zimbies.

If anyone is gonna crib again saying that the faulty rules have enabled an undeserving team reaching the semis, let us take stock of the situation. One would have expected NZ and SL to both make it to the semis. But Kenya played out of their skins today. It was a marvelous performance as they trounced the Zimbabweans. So it is Kenya that is going through at the expense of one of those teams. Now correct me if I am wrong but Sri Lanka has lost to Kenya convincingly, and New Zealand chickened out of going to Nairobi. So I don't think either team can complain.

Who would have thought that the match New Zealand conceded to Kenya would have such major ramifications? The Kiwis who have already witnessed two suicide attacks in Colombo and Karachi, were loath to play in terrorism's newest venue, Nairobi. Actually, Nairobi is not that dangerous, but the attack Al Qaeda carried out some months back, targeting an Israeli airliner put the fear of the bomb in the Kiwis' heart.

So I guess, the Al Qaeda can add one more item to its list of "achievements" - Getting Kenya into the World Cup semis, albeit unwittingly.

Indians should take care not to celebrate right now though. Though we meet the Kenyans in the semis, we can not count our chickens before they are hatched. Actually it turns out that the scare we got at Capetown, almost losing to Kenya before Yuvraj took matters into his own hands, was a blessing in disguise. We have lost to Kenya under lights twice, once at Gwalior and once at Port Elizabeth. At Capetown under lights, they gave us a major hard time. Now the semis are at Durban, again under lights. I guess complacency is a word that will be missing from the Indian team's dictionary, come the semis.

Waiting for the India-NZ match now. I get a gut feel it is gonna be the dress rehearsel for the final. If that turns out to be true, you people can safely proclaim me Nostradamus the second. Check out the post I made in January, where I wrote either India or New Zealand will win the World Cup. =-)