Two big matches await cricket enthusiasts this weekend. ICC World Cup 2015 will host two crucial games involving four big teams. While South Africa will take on Pakistan at Auckland on Saturday, co-hosts Australia will lock horns with Sri Lanka at Sydney, this Sunday. Pakistan will be fighting for survival against South Africa whereas Australia will have to be careful as a defeat against Sri Lanka will affect their position in Pool A.
Weather forecast for the game at Sydney points towards a partly cloudy sky with moderate chance of late afternoon showers. Light south easterly winds will continue to blow over the region as maximum temperature is expected to settle around 29°C and minimum will remain close to 21°C. Luckily for the two teams, Australia and Sri Lanka, the extremely high temperatures being recorded in Queensland due to persistent ‘heat wave’, will not affect Sydney. Queensland has been observing day temperatures of 40°C for nearly a month now.
Meanwhile, at Auckland, Pakistan will go head to head against South Africa with a forecast for rain looming over the venue. There’s a possibility of rain showers on match day and temperature is expected to stay around 24°C (maximum) and 18°C (minimum). Broadly speaking, rain may play spoil sport at Eden Park, around the morning-afternoon period.
Returning to cricket per se, Pakistan have gained some confidence after registering a convincing win against underdogs UAE. More than anything, the win packs a morale boost for Misbah & Co., who’ve been struggling ever since the World Cup started. But do Pakistan have enough firepower to outperform the raging and in-form Proteas? The odds, as they say, are against it. South Africa have now notched up two back to back 400+ scores and hence scoring against the likes of Steyn, Tahir, Morkel, and now Abbott, will not be a walk in the park for the Pakistan side.
Speaking of the game on Sunday, both Australia and Sri Lanka will walk out with performance based confidence backing them up. On paper, Australia looks a far better side, but Sri Lanka too maintain an impressive combination. But seeing that this World Cup has majorly belonged to the batsmen, Australia is expected to continue their unbeaten run. Even in terms of bowling and fielding, Australia appear to be miles ahead of the Lankan lions. But tournament specialists Sri Lanka are masters of shock and surprise who can turn tides on any given day.
So it’s going to be a thrilling and exciting weekend for all cricket fans. Besides these two games, Ireland will meet Zimbabwe on Saturday and New Zealand will take on Afghanistan on Sunday. Cricket is on the menu as this Holi weekend promises different shades of the game. Skymet will keep you updated on cricket, weather, and more as action unfolds at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.