One of the dangers of the T20 format is that some matches can just fizzle out into tame endings without the flash and dash that the format generally has. This can happen between two mismatched teams or when a team gets overly adventurous and loses its way and gets out cheaply.
In the T20 format even the minnows have a chance, but they have to believe in themselves to be able to spring a surprise. They have to catch the better team off guard and then finish them.
Mind you, this was easier when T20 was in its infancy and lot harder, now since teams have started to think tactics for this version of the game too so not many loose ends are seen as they were in the first edition of the ICC T20 World Cup.
Ireland were thus subdued by a clinical performance by the Australians and Zimbabwe, poor things, are on their way home after barely three days of the tournament starting. That could well be the fate of Afghanistan too and that could well be what the schedulers of the event want.
Send the minnows home as quickly as you can and save on expense. Considering the fact that Pakistan and West indies have not even played their first game of the tournament yet, it does appear harsh, but then the economics is something that needs to be taken into account as well.
What has been a revelation is the behaviour of the pitches in the games seen so far. Quite clearly the pitches do have something for the quicker bowlers and those ready to give it all are finding the ball thudding nicely into the wicket keeper's gloves.
What this has also done is to make the well directed short ball as a good run-stopping delivery. The limited overs format does not encourage the bouncer as much since the possibility of it being called a wide is immense and so many a quick bowler looks for the yorker instead
But here in Lanka the ball is coming at just the right height around the shoulders and with most batsmen plumping for the front foot the ball is turning out to be very effective indeed.
Of course, as the tournament progresses the batsmen will be more prepared for it and as the pitches also get more worn out the bounce may not be the same as now.
South Africa’s win against neighbours Zimbabwe was just as impressive as Australia's over Ireland and they remain the teams to watch out for.
The Proteas are really hungry to win something big and shed the chokers tag and Australia have not done well in this format so both have tremendous motivation to go out and give their best.
There is also the thought lurking at the back of every player's mind that a good performance here will mean a contract for a team in the Indian Premier League.
The tournament so far has been dominated by the classics. The dashers will take the field now and that’s when the tournament will come alive.
Professional Management Group