The Reuters global sports blog
We’re blogging from the final of the World Twenty-20 cricket in the West Indies, with the clash between England and Australia building towards a climax.
England are doing surprisingly well, but who would write off Australia after their semi-final comeback against Pakistan? Stay tuned … and remember, comments are extremely welcome…
Paul Collingwood’s call for change to the Duckworth-Lewis system used to determine a target in rain-hit games was understandable, coming as it did after his England team lost a match despite scoring three times as many runs as their opponent.
It is not the calculation system that needs revisiting, however, but the broader set-up of Twenty20 tournaments.
India’s crushing 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka to become the number one ranked test team for the first time has triggered huge celebrations across the cricket-crazy nation.
The hosts, ranked number three, leapfrogged leaders South Africa and the second-ranked Sri Lanka to become the first team other than Australia or the Proteas to head the list.
Pakistan bowled aggressively and batted with supreme calm to seal a convincing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20 on Sunday.
Shahid Afridi’s finely judged 54 saw them home with eight balls to spare after three wickets from Abdul Razzaq had limited Sri Lanka to 138 from their 20 overs.
Tillakartne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a total and West Indies were undone by an astonishing first over that saw them lose three wickets…. There’s no coming back from that against a team that bowls as well as Sri Lanka. What an extraordinary tournament this has been, to provide something unexpected almost every game…
England may argue that they were unlucky to exit the World Twenty20 following a five-wicket defeat by West Indies but the simple truth is that they batted poorly throughout the tournament.
With the honourable exceptions of Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen, the batsmen completely failed to get to grips with the art of scoring runs in this form of the game.
Extraordinary scenes in the first match of the World Twenty20, where England have lost the opening match by four wickets against the Dutch.
England went out of their last home one-day World Cup in the group phase … could the same thing happen here?
In an ideal world Twenty20, cricket’s newest and shortest format, should be hailed as the perfect way forward for a game still played by barely 10 teams at the highest level.
The World Twenty20 which begins in England on Friday is expected to draw huge crowds and television audiences, pointing to the galloping popularity of the three-hour game, the sporting equivalent of a Hollywood action flick rather than the Bollywood drama of a five-day test.
If the result of a cricket one-day international is forgotten by most fans within a week the shelf life of Twenty20 memories must be measured in Mayfly proportions.
However, that does not mean that there is no value in the smash and crash of cricket’s newest format. Quite the opposite.
Cricket never had much of a reputation for embracing innovation but now the stately rhythm of the five-day Test is being elbowed out of the way by the hell-for-leather scramble of Twenty20 perhaps it’s no surprise that the Mongoose bat Stuart Law used on Tuesday has generated hardly a whimper of protest.
Midway through his innings for Derbyshire on Tuesday, Law switched to using the new Mongoose T20 bat, which, we are told, has a handle that’s 33 percent longer than the standard bat, but with hardly anything in the way of shoulder.