The World Cup is truly underway now in the West Indies, with the hosts hopefully recovered from their opening win against Pakistan. Yesterday the defending champions Australia took on minnows Scotland in a one-sided game which showed a return to form for Ricky Ponting’s side, whilst later the 2003 semi-finalists Kenya took on Canada.
The Scots played admirably against their determined opponents, although a few fielding errors cost them the initiative in the opening stages, and they were unable to do anything against Australia’s last gasp efforts in the dying overs to bring their tally to 334 for 6. Australia then proceeded to show how it’s done, punishing a jittery Scotland in the early stages of their innings, Glenn McGrath showing why he’s the best in the business at World Cup level, taking 3 for 14. The Scots can certainly feel proud about their performance, and Majid Haq looks to be a promising all-rounder for the side, despite his unnecessary run out in the early stages.
Whether Australia are back to form after their recent spate of losses is hard to tell, and it won’t be until they play South Africa on the 24th of March that we’ll see them really tested. Kenya put in a solid performance to push past Canada by 7 wickets, with several overs spare after Canada set the modest target of 199. One wonders whether the West Indies should feel too confident having only set a target of 241 in their opener against Pakistan.