Adil Rashid’s T20 World Cup final wicket maiden

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Everyone remembers the big over when a T20 batter lays into a bowler and the boundaries flow like overpriced beer in a cricket ground. What’s less obvious, but arguably more influential, is when an innings goes clanking off the rails with a trickle of downbeat gropes at thin air. Adil Rashid should be forever remembered for the mad, mad wicket maiden he bowled today.

It was a bit like when the Millennium Falcon’s hyperdrive malfunctions. As a viewer, you were primed for one particular type of excitement, only to be served up a very different flavour of dramatic moment.

“Watch this,” said Pakistan.

And then almost immediately: “I think we’re in trouble.”

After England beat India in the semi final, we restated our position that Adil Rashid is still England’s best limited overs player. We’re not exactly impartial on this, having been overenthusiastically talking him up since 2006 – but we do think we have a case. The opening batters, Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, are of course hugely influential, but they’re not irreplaceable in the same way that Rashid is. You can tell this because it wasn’t so long ago that England’s openers were equally hugely influential… but called Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

Rashid was already having a good day when he came on to bowl his third over against Pakistan. He’d taken a wicket with his first ball of the day, after all – which is always handy. But this was a bit different.

Pakistan were 84-2, there were nine overs to go and they’d just taken things up a notch with 16 runs off a Liam Livingstone over.

Rashid promptly dismissed Babar Azam caught and bowled with his first delivery and then spent the next five balls watching Iftikhar Ahmed play uncertain prods, most of which absolutely middled patches of complete thin air several inches to the side of the ball.

One wicket, zero runs, at a point in the game when Pakistan really needed to accelerate and had very much looked like doing so.

We felt pretty sick with nerves for much of England’s run chase and we can see why Ben Stokes’ name will again be in all the headlines. At the same time, we’ll never forget Adil Rashid’s wicket maiden. It was truly one of the great, spoilsport, stick-in-the-spokes interventions.

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  1. I am beginning to think even Adil Rashid’s mum won’t talk him up like you do. He’s alright, KC, that’s about it.

    1. The greatest sports person who ever lived? We’re not saying definitely yes, but it’s certainly worth having the conversation.

      1. I agree that Rashid’s spell was one of the key parts of the match.

        I missed his wicket maiden because my children were standing in front of the telly.

      2. Daisy missed the dot balls element of the wicket maiden by dint of nipping into the shower when the wicket fell.

        Advil Rashid’s bowling was exceptionally good throughout the tournament, as was Sam Curran’s.

        A three test series between England and Pakistan, in Pakistan, becomes even more of a mouth-watering prospect now that the two teams have done battle so engagingly in a shorter form World Cup Final. It is a shame that the Pakistan bowling attack might now be weakened through injury – Shaheen Shah Afridi looked badly crocked in the knee yesterday – let’s hope it is minor not major.

  2. I actually paused then rewound the whole over for my seven year old to watch – and to realise this was more important than hitting sixes, and more important than anything (“in the world, not just the cricket?” he asked, “yes,” i had to reply.)

    It was handy that he’d just asked about “that bowler who’d died” – and then Rashid starting spinning it every direction.

  3. All rather excellent, this win, following two days of miserable Worldcuppery from England. First losing in the rugby league semi-final, thereby giving Samoa the opportunity to be hammered by Australia. Then losing in the women’s rugby union final. I had thought that an England loss in the cricket was therefore an inevitability, owing to connectedness and universal Zen or something.

    You’re dead right about the wicket maiden though. The currency of brilliance in sport is rarity. How many twenty-run overs have there been, compared to zero-run overs? I have no idea, so I’m going to check.

    Meanwhile, I’m going to the Wheelchair Rugby Final on Friday, which should be AWESOME.

    1. It turns out that up to 2014 there was one maiden for every five innings in international T20 cricket, which is more than I thought. Apparently Kyle Mills once bowled six dots to Chris Gayle, who still scored 53 from 39. Also apparently, Zimbabwe were once 0/3 after 20 balls in a match against the West Indies THAT ZIMBABWE WON!

      T20 maidens? Ten a penny.

      1. There have been over 30 double wicket maidens in international T20, which is a lot. Frankly, I’m getting a bit frustrated with this analysis, because it isn’t proving what I wanted it to prove. I’m going to have to wait a few months, hope that everyone forgets what I put, and then come back with a comment about how scoring twenty in an over is far rarer than maidens. Or just change the facts until they suit, there’s always that option.

        Quintuple wicket maidens are quite rare though.

        19.1 Amir to Haddin, OUT
        Gone! No mistake from Sami at short third man, it was full and outside off, Haddin throws his hands at it, gets an edge and neatly taken. Dot ball is what matters at this stage, but the total is already imposing
        Brad Haddin c Mohammad Sami b Mohammad Amir 1 (2b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 50

        19.2 Amir to Johnson, OUT
        Aamer strikes! Lovely yorker and Johnson can’t get his bat down in time, it crashes into middle stump, lovely bowling
        Mitchell Johnson b Mohammad Amir 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0

        19.3 Amir to Smith, OUT
        Well it’s three wickets in three balls, but not a hat-trick! Another good yorker, Smith swished and misses, they attempt to run a bye to get Hussey on strike, Kamran is quick with the throw and Hussey is run out
        Michael Hussey run out (†Kamran Akmal) 17 (8b 1×4 1×6 19m) SR: 212.5

        19.4 Amir to Nannes, OUT
        Well, what have we here!? Is it four in four!? Another yorker, another swish, another attempted bye, and yes, another run out. Good stuff from Pakistan in this final over, a touch farcical out there, it must be said.
        Steven Smith run out (†Kamran Akmal) 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0

        19.5 Amir to Tait, no run
        Ooh, this time they reject the bye, Tait plays and misses haplessly at a good ball outside off, but stands his ground imperiously

        19.6 Amir to Tait, OUT
        Gone this time! Bowled him! How utterly extraordinary and bizarre. Decent length and line, Tait gives himself room and it cannons off his pads on to off stump. So we have a five-wicket maiden, yet Australia are completely on top.
        Shaun Tait b Mohammad Amir 0 (2b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0

      2. Needing three runs off the final over with 5 wickets in hand, Canada women still lost to Brazil after going .WWWWW but the last W was a run-out when attempting to complete a second run so not quite a quintuple-wicket maiden.

        I’m glad to see that England’s Samoa loss is still a live topic of conversation in the comments as it allows me to repeat my SHAUN WANE IS A LEAGUE SPANNER joke. Enjoy the wheelchair final – looks brutal, high-octane stuff and nice to see France in a Rugby League world final again!

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