World Twenty20 Cup

So, a good win against the Windies secures a series win, and England have followed that up by revealing a shortlist for the forthcoming T20 world cup. This provides an opportune moment to review how The Village Cricketer’s blueprint for success in the limited overs form of the game is taking shape.

To recap: in April 2007 TVC selected a 15-man squad that has the potential to win the next one. Nine of the 15 are currently in the mix, and it is possibly only Ian Blackwell and Ricky Clarke that could be ruled out at this stage. Those in the current England plans are:

Andrew Flintoff – the most important player in the England side at present, in all forms of the game

Kevin Pietersen – his reputation has taken a battering but KP is still there, and likely to stay there and keep scoring runs

Ian Bell – had a good World Cup in 2007, but Belly has gone off the boil. Still has class and potential but he needs to score big runs to get his place back and then score big for England when he gets it

Ravi Bopara – made some good runs in the Windies and has bagged the opening spot. TVC expects he’ll score big with an extended run in the side

Paul Collingwood – OK so he will probably not be captain, but he should be there as a batter alone. Good innings in the crunch match against the Windies again showed he has the balls in the tough situations

Matt Prior – in, out, in, out. He’s now in and scoring runs. Keeping has improved too. Good stuff

Stuart Broad – still has pace and bounce, is a good fielder and can still hold a bat. Has also secured a place in the England team for the foreseeable

Jimmy Anderson – Flintoff aside, Jimmy is now the best bowler in the England team, even when it doesn’t swing

Luke Wright – almost back in the fold for the T20 World Cup, needs an extended run to show his class


So India won the Twenty20 competition. Congratulations to them, and what a surprise. Shame I missed the match. I, like many other millions of people in the world, have to work on a Monday, so missed the final of what has been a cracking tournament. Would it not have made more sense to play it yesterday? Not to mind. Thoroughly enjoyed a thrilling tournament, even though we were (as Boycs would say) “rooooooooooobish”. Looking forward to the next one.

A strange thing happened to me today. For half an hour, the County Championship became exciting, a competition worth winning. Lancashire needed less than fifty to win against Surrey and take first place, but with two wickets and less than 10 overs left. Lancashire had done valiantly to even get close to the 500-odd they needed to win the game. Lancashire scraped their way nearer to the title before, guttingly, Newby and then Cork were out, meaning that Surrey won by 24 runs and Sussex took top place. Bugger.

Oh, and who’d have predicted this? Pakistan and India to contest the Twenty20 final. Should be a humdinger.

Its a funny old game. In a little over 24 hours England’s bright young hope with the ball was being pumelled for the first set of six sixes against a major international side, by an Indian side that looked like they’d be joining England on the plane out. Just over a day later and it is the Saffas that are using the exit door and taking an early trip to Maverick’s. The perpetual chokers lived up to their tag and capitulated against the Indians. Sri Lanka also crashed out, after being boshed by the Canary Yellows. This is a great tournament.

Another game another disappointing run chase. Desperate cricket, desperate result, another desperate competition. England invented Twenty20 and is being shown how to play it by the rest of the world. Collingwood reckons England were “ten per cent off the mark… one innings and one partnership away from winning the game.” Apparently England can qualify if NZ beat the Saffas, England beat India and India beat the Saffas too… then it is on run rate.

…and as Herschelle Gibbs will tell you, dropping them can cost dear. Yesterday England should have beaten South Africa and didn’t, thanks to some butterfingeredness, good Saffa bowling and KP getting himself out in rather bizarre circumstances. England still should have won though, but again there was some strange selections. Maddy was dropped for Snape – which shortened the batting order – and Snape only bowled one over and was way out of his depth when batting. Surely Dimi would have been a better bet. Ho hum, only the Kiwis tomorrow.

For more clinical analysis, read a professional!

“Game over, thanks very much, start the car. Australia handsomely, handsomely have won,” says Bumble on Sky Sports. Far from humiliating them, England have been beaten by the Canary Yellows, but still make it through to the Super Eight Phase of the T20 comp on run rate thanks to the big win against the Zimbos. Hayden and Gilchrist were very good, as were the Aussie bowlers, however England’s batting wasn’t that smart. Australia turned up, England didn’t. Simple.

Not that it would have made that much difference, however it may have helped if we had played our best bowler. Where was James Anderson?

Where was James Anderson?

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