Time for big boys to shine in World T20

THE lesser-known cricketing nations have had their fun at the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies but now the competition enters the stage where they must pack their bags and let the big boys scrap it out for the winner's trophy.

THE lesser-known cricketing nations have had their fun at the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies but now the competition enters the stage where they must pack their bags and let the big boys scrap it out for the winner's trophy.

From today the two-week event enters the Top 8 stage with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the next round of the competition.

At Kensington Oval in Barbados, South Africa were playing Afghanistan for the second spot in Group C after India had already qualified with wins over both teams. The match was set to finish in the early hours of this morning.

Group A was also undecided, with Bangladesh hoping to leapfrog Pakistan and book a place in the Top 8 with a win over group pacesetters Australia, who were virtually assured of a place in the next round.

New Zealand are already through to the knockouts. The Kiwis, thanks to a second man of the match performance by Nathan McCullum, beat Zimbabwe by seven runs on Tuesday.

Also through are Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England.

Coming up today is the first match in the Top 8 - India vs Sri Lanka. Even without Sachin Tendulkar in their ranks, the Indians have been looking particularly sharp.

For Sri Lanka, the potential loss of spin wizard Mutthiah Muralitharan as the result of a groin injury will affect their bowling options.

However, captain Kumar Sangakkara is not giving up on having star Murali at his side.

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