A final of New Zealand and Australia feels a bit inevitable, doesn’t it? South Africa was always going to find a way to lose—painfully. India had the air of a paper tiger throughout the tournament. At no point during the competition did Pakistan seem convincing. And that’s to say nothing of a West Indian side that seemed to take glee in tiptoeing on the edge of a precipice; a Bangladeshi squad punching above its weight; and a team of Sri Lankans that have already taken to blaming their woes on a lack of cardio. The less we discuss Zimbabwe, the better.
The spirited play of the associate nations has been my personal highlight of the tournament, but an Anzac final is a fitting coda to the cricketing marathon of the past two months.
I’ll spare you a point-by-point breakdown that nearly every cricketing site of repute has posted an iteration of by now, but one note: Australia has won their last six ODIs at MCG. New Zealand’s result their last ODI on the same ground? A six wicket victory against Australia in 2009 that came down to the final seven balls.
Let’s hope this meeting will be similarly close.
Prediction: New Zealand over Australia—but just barely.