The ICC World Cup 2011 Cricket Tournament was first to be hosted jointly in four Asian nations: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India. Due to security risks in Pakistan, it was pulled out of the list of hosts. Two of the hosts, India and Sri Lanka, have qualified for the quarterfinals, while Bangladesh got eliminated on the basis of match results in the preliminary round.
None of the minnows could create wonder by entering the quarterfinals from either of Group A or Group B. The four top teams that have qualified from Group A are: Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. From Group B, the top four teams to qualify are West Indies, India, South Africa and England.
Zimbabwe from Group B and Bangladesh from Group A were good contenders for the quarterfinals but they could not qualify at the end of the preliminary round in which each team had to play six matches with other teams from their group. Elsewhere, Ireland shocked England by defeating them handsomely.
There were many close matches in the tournament so far. The one to mention is the one held between England and South Africa. England played first and made 171 runs. It was almost sure that South Africa would take away the match easily. But surprisingly England fought well in this match and defeated South Africa. Another interesting team that performed well was Pakistan. Australia so far has not performed as per their standards.
The first quarterfinals match is to be played between Pakistan and West Indies at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The way Pakistan has played so far makes them the favourite for the semifinals out of these two teams. West Indies crumbled badly against India in their last league match and lost the match, which they should have won easily.
The second quarterfinals will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, Motera, Gujarat, India. This match will be between India and Australia and will be interesting to watch to see India winning it, having the advantage of playing on home ground. Australia, on the other hand, has a great fighting spirit, whereas India many a times has failed to tackle tough situations in the past.
The third quarterfinals will be between New Zealand and South Africa and is to be played on Friday, March 25, 2011 at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. South Africa is in great form but New Zealand also cannot be ignored.
The fourth quarterfinals will be between Sri Lanka and England on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Having a superb spin attack and playing on home ground, Sri Lanka can be seen as the probable winner.
Though Australia, New Zealand and England could turn the tables in their respective matches, most probably it will be Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa who will be playing in the semifinals.
The first semifinals match is to be played on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The second semifinals match will be held at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, India, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
The Finals will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at the completely renovated Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.