The World Cup cricket tournament in India suddenly woke up from its hibernation.
After South Africa achieved a thrilling last-wicket victory over Pakistan on Friday, Australia and New Zealand built on that in Dharamsala on Saturday and provided another spectacle.
All of a sudden, all matches are much better attended after India’s cricket bosses plan to fill the stadiums.
The Aussies, who scored 388 in their 50 overs, won by five runs after the Kiwis reached 383/9.
The Kiwis had to score 19 runs in the last over, but after Jimmy Neesham was run out, the scales swung in the Aussies’ favour.
The teams scored a combined 771 runs (the most in a World Cup tournament) in just 100 overs.
There were two brilliant centuries by the Aussies’ Travis Head (109, 69 balls, 10×4, 7×6) and New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra, who scored 116 runs (9×4, 5×6).
It was Head’s first game in this year’s tournament after he broke his hand a few weeks ago. All of a sudden the Aussies’ batting list looks long and very dangerous.
Add to that the great contribution of David Warner (81) and the other teams will no longer be able to sleep peacefully.
Apart from Ravindra, the Kiwis’ Jimmy Neesham (58) and Daryl Mitchell also set the table for the rest of the tournament.
South Africa and India now jointly lead the points table (both have 10 points), but the Proteas have a much better run rate, although India have played one game less.
New Zealand and Australia (both 8) fill the next two positions.
It now seems almost a foregone conclusion that these four teams will make it to the semi-finals, because they are crowned above Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and the underdogs such as England and the Netherlands.