Category Archives: Twenty20 preview

Preview of the West-Indies Tour

The West Indians have recently been in South Africa, participating in the inaugural World Twenty20 Championships. In the warm up games they beat Kenya and New Zealand and looked set for their third straight win in the 20 over format in the opening match asainst South Africa as Gayle smashed 10 sixes in his 117 off 57 balls to help them reach 205. The South African side managed to reach the score fairly easily and it got worse for the Windies as Bangladesh knocked them out of the tournament.

The return to Africa could not have started off any worse, as Zimbabwe beat them by 30 runs in the first ODI. Ray Mali must have been smiling after the first match – for the uninformed Ray Mali declared Zimbabwe will be cricketing champions of the world in three years !!(see more here)  Natural order in the hierarchy of cricket was restored for the remainder of the series, as the Windies won the following three matches whilst the last game was rained out.

On the 14th of December, the West Indies face the Makhaya Ntini Invitational XI which includes: Makhaya Ntini (capt), Paul Adams, Mark Boucher, Herschelle Gibbs, Tyron Henderson, Jacques Kallis, Mfuneko Ngam, Yanda Pangabantu, Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes, Pieter Strydom

On Sunday the 16th the Twenty20 match takes place at St Georges for the first time. The SA squad is: Morne van Wyk, Herschelle Gibbs, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers, Gulam Bodi, Shaun Pollock (captain), Vernon Philander, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.

Greame Smith has been ruled out with a mysterious illness and thus Morne van Wyk is in the squad.

On the 19th of December the warm up game against SA A gets underway with Neil McKenzie captaining the side. The rest of the side is: Morne van Wyk (wk), Justin Ontong, JP Duminy, Gulam Bodi, Vernon Philander, Monde Zondeki, Johan Botha, Freidel de Wet, Charl Langeveldt, Robin Peterson (12th man)

Boeta Dippenaar was unavailable as he is writing exams

The West-Indies tour squad: Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Daren Ganga, Rawl Lewis, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.
 

Previews of Australia vs Sri-Lanka, Pakistan vs Bangladesh and South Africa vs India

The last day of the group stages features two key matches out of the three on offer. The first match of the day at 10 am (8:00am GMT) is the decider between Australia and Sri-Lanka, the winner will join Pakistan in the semi-finals. It is hard to call a winner in this game, as Australia are without a doubt the best side in the world in the longer versions of the game, however they have struggled to adjust to the shortest version, twenty20.

There is no doubt they have the players that can impact on this game, however they haven’t seemed to adjust to this format quickly enough. I think Sri-Lanka will win it in a tightly contested game. The key man for Australia will be Symonds, a brutal innings from him could change the game.

Pakistan vs Bangladesh: There is nothing to lose for Bangladesh who started off by thrashing the West Indians, and struggling from there. They have some classy players, but are no match for the powerful Pakistanis.

South Africa vs India: The final match could cause some calculator work to be used if India beat SA. South Africa will qualify as the number one side even if they lose to India provided it is nail bitingly close. However if South Africa get trounced by India, they could find the net run rate counting against them and fail to qualify. It is an unlikely situation, especially as India just need a win to qualify regardless of by how much it is.

I have worked out that if India score 210 and SA fail to make 195 they will be knocked out. At the moment they have the best NRR however the matches are so close it is easy for them to relinquish this position.

I predict South Africa to win this game but it will be their toughest game of the tournament so far as there is added pressure on them. The conditions will be very interesting and more than likely favouring the side batting first. This toss is a vital one to win.

Day 5 Preview

Today brings the last day of pool games. There is a lot of interest in how Bangladesh will fare against South Africa whilst Sri Lanka, rated by many as a side to win this competition face the unpredictable New Zealand!!! Both games should be highly entertaining and should provide an indication how the sides will fare in the Super 8 format.

World Twenty20

Later on today the first World Twenty20 gets underway. Australia are the favourites, however if there was ever a game where the favourites are not guaranteed of making the semi finals this is it. The unpredictable nature of this form of cricket allows for a hero on either side to march to his own tune without being halted by the rest of the band. In this game all it takes is a player to have one good over with the bat or ball and the game can be won when it seemed impossible.

 There are critics of this format and this is justified, it really is not cricket. While this may be true this is where the beauty lies in Twenty20. It is not cricket in the traditional sense and this is the secret. I could easily plant myself in front of a TV to watch 5 uninterrupted days of a decent test match and there are people who think these are reasonable grounds for committing me to the loony bin for an indefinite amount of time, for such strange and irrational behaviour. It is these people – unfortunately it is the majority who think of cricket as an old person’s game, a boring event that’s dragged out over 5 days that will be entertained by the shortest international version of the game.

This type of cricket will have worldwide appeal which will never be lost as it will be exciting the whole way through the game. This form will impact on the 50 over game and as soon as the psychological barrier is broken by the players who will click that they can score 170/2 after 20 overs there is no reason why they cant score 434 – ahh wait that has been done before by a side chasing none the less and strangely enough it was against the greatest side in the world!!!

The best thing about this tournament is that it will be over before most people realize it began. Its set to finish in under 2 weeks and is a huge plus after the World cup debacle.