Posted by: nestaquin | June 16, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

coversThe improbable and deliberately wicked dream of England winning the World T20 and squandering their Ashes preparations in a boozy haze has ended with a predictable rain interrupted loss to the West Indies.

Even though the West Indies task was made all the more easy by the mysterious calculations of the veritable and much maligned English statisticians, the home team failed to score enough runs on the quick outfield of The Oval and were duly defeated by a dynamic Caribbean side that enjoy the T20 format more than most.

Five teams remain in the tournament and only four after this evening’s fixtures. Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies have booked their positions in the finals and this evening’s match between an undefeated Sri Lanka and an undermanned New Zealand will decide who will join them.

Logic suggests that Sangakkara’s unique combination will continue their winning streak however, the Black Caps can never be discounted as they are a team that thrive in their perennial underdog status and use it as motivation to continually punch above their weight.

It will no doubt be an interesting match and one that will be worth losing sleep over. As much as I’d enjoy a Sri Lankan success in this tournament the romantic in me would rather witness Vettori and his motley crew hold up the cup in a few days time and warm the hearts, not to mention the frostbitten fingers and toes, of my Kiwi brothers and sisters across the ditch.

[Image: Getty]


  1. Secretly, Nesta.. I want that very same thing, but without Mc Cullum, , I can’t see it happening, but over many a long year of cricket gazing, I have learned, albeit painfully, to never, never discount the NZers . Ever.

    Gayle!!!… The quintessential Mr.Cool. I could watch that bloke with a bat till Kingdom come, he truly is magnificent, and Bravo!!!… Fidel and Taylor, how simply superb. John Dyson will be tucking into his lemon barley water with a great deal of well earned satisfaction today.

    • There is a little piece of romance attached to every one of the remaining five teams.

      Neither the Kiwis or the Proteas have ever won a major championship. A West Indian win would be a remarkable story of underdog resurgence. While a Pakistan or Sri Lankan victory would be a welcome and heartwarming distraction considering the bloodshed and grief caused by their domestic conflicts.

      South Africa appear particularly strong but any of the five could conceivably come out on top. We’ll all know soon enough and then another more ancient contest can begin in earnest.

  2. Nesta. I think that 20/20 is all about romance ! I want Pakistan to be there as well.. Younis and Tanvir, simply superb. NZ, I would be thrilled, SriLanka, those gorgeous graceful men , and SA, businesslike, concentrated, and unflappable. The WI, just so comitted and skilled..

    20/20 to me is cricket in essence, really. Lots of stuff about how it’s a batters game, but it’s a bowlers game, too. Most of all , it’s a fielders game.. in each match so far, whoever has had the least errors in fielding has moved up. There just is no place for a fielding error, of the smallest magnitude. There is just no leeway to make up for it. And every member of each team is a fielder at some stage of the match, it’s not a matter of just one man with skills, they all have to have that genius as well as their bowling and/or batting expertise.

    I just love it, Nesta..

    • Too right Pepp. The 2009 T20 World tournament is indeed a splendid homeopathic remedy for many a wet, cold and dark southern midwinter. It’s also mighty helpful in adjusting to Greenwich Mean Time which will be all so important during July!

      Merv is in my hometown today and I hunted him down at Bellerive and he assures me that our heroic fast bowling trio from South Africa will get first crack in Cardiff. He also hinted that regardless of conditions either Lee or Big Stu will join them. So it’ll be a four-man pace attack with North, Clarke and Katich as spinning options. He also tells me that Hilfy is swinging it both ways with the Duke as is Mitch. Hearing that direct from under the big mo cheered my day no end.

      • a splendid homeopathic remedy
        Are you saying it’s actually a placebo?

  3. My God, nesta, we will be ratshite when the Old Game finishes.. this Sydney/London time thing has already made a drooling idiot of me, I had to call up the ironing lady already and the Ashes hasn’t started yet.

    But I can’t resist it. I spent about 10 minutes being sad that Ricky and the Rollers had clunked it, but the momentum of the fabulousness of it all grabbed me even harder. Such a mesmerising tournament.

  4. Nesta.. wasn’t it SIMPLY AWFUL that CHannel 9 DID NOT GO BACK to the game when it began again? Awful, awful.. luckily, I get a great free broadcast (TV) on the internet, thankgod for it. I would have loathed to have missed out on that WI innings early this morning.

    • Are Channel 9 still showing the games? Well at least half of them. I never knew. The internet has been very reliable and I’ll be online again this evening to watch Mendis bowl to Taylor along with the rest of them.

  5. England have been shown up to be a little lightweight in this format. A lack of Big Hitters down meant that too much relied upon KP, who ended up effectively opening as the tournament progressed. It was largely run-a-ball stuff from four downwards.

    Having not seen much of him before though I liked the look of Rashid, and the work of foster was a joy to watch at times. A game-changing stumping against India and another great one last night. Wicket-keeping seems to be viewed as more valuable in T20 than in the five-day game.

  6. Nesta,
    I agree, shame England didn’t remain wrapped up in to 2020 stuff a bit longer. Endless distraction available for them there:)
    Interesting comments from Merv. It’s possible this could be a real contest, but its also quite possible they will go through them like a hot knife through butter. It’s pretty good when you have Lee and Clarke fighting for the fourth spot.
    Bopara seems to be coming along, so that would make two batsmen they have.
    Interesting comments from Langer, that he just didn’t know how to set a field to Hughes playing against him in County.

  7. Late to this with a lot of work on (especially after an afternoon spent sitting just to the left of whoever took that photograph above).

    I posted my reasons on the defeat at the Guardian, but here they are –

    1. Having won the toss, Colly should have bowled. Notwithstanding Lawrence’s criticism above, 161 was a decent score (more than Pak made against Ireland in the sun of the afternoon) but that converted to 80 off 9 overs after the rain. So D and L essentially catapulted the Windies to 82-0 off 11 overs chasing 162 – a tight game became a game very much in the Windies’ favour.

    2. Crystal got it dead right in sending in sloggers (step forward Lendl Simmons) but holding back his old pros whose 15000 or so Test runs really showed. That gave two routes to success – slogging or proper shots and lightening running. The second of the two worked. Shiv and Ronnie used straight bats (why doesn’t everyone?) to take no risks in scoring 9 an over. Superb batting.

    3. England had to bowl two lengths – feet and head. There was a bit of yorker bowling, but not enough, and a mystifying lack of bouncers.

    4. West Indies got the luck.

    I’d like Pakistan to win. I’ve seen them twice at The Oval now and both times they were misfiring, but they get great support and are a fantastic sight with bat, ball or fielding. Their blameless players and fans deserve the chance to hold a cricket celebration.

    • I think any cricket match where one team bats less than half the overs of the other, regardless of the contrived total, is acutely unfair to the team batting first. That said, Collingwood must have known about the likelihood of rain, gambled against it and lost.

      Lastly, I thought Pietersen threw his wicket away needlessly considering there had already been two boundaries in the over and about half the innings left. I understand that is the way that he plays but when you are the key batsman with little support responsibility and accountability are necessary for team success.

      • regardless of the contrived total, is acutely unfair to the team batting first.
        You don’t believe this. What if the contrived target was a thousand?

        I also felt that the DL target was low, and I would not be surprised if the DL method needs updating for T20 matches – the data that went into the current DL numbers comes from 50-over cricket, and it is quite rare for a team to be no wickets down after 30 or 40 overs.

        But somewhere between 82 and 1000 is the ideal fair target.

        • A thousand would be more than unfair it would be a gross injustice! Obviously, D & L need some funding and a commission to rejig their numbers and write a new paper for T20. It’s astonishing that it had yet to cross the minds of administrators anywhere. Perhaps it is still to penetrate the wood panelled walls of the Board Rooms.

          I always feel it is unfair that even with the winning target altered the team batting second still has ten wickets to play with. I understand that there is a calculation attempting to redress this imbalance but in very short innings of less than ten overs it is a huge advantage.

          In world tournaments I’d rather they put credibility and integrity above TV scheduling and just came back in the morning and finished the match.

  8. The moment the toss was announced, I sent a text to a friend in the Pavilion saying, “Should have bowled. D/L danger”.

    Hideous error from Colly.

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