Eight things to bear in mind ahead of the World T20 final between England and the West Indies

Posted by
2 minute read
Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

You can call it a preview if you want, but it’s more of a disorderly fact-dump.

1. Windies’ spinners don’t go for owt

Samuel Badree conceded 5.68 runs an over in this tournament. Sulieman Benn’s conceded 5.78. Hell, even Chris Gayle’s banged out three overs for 17 and we thought he’d retired from bowling a year or so ago.

2. David Willey usually gets a wicket

Usually early on and while it’s usually a catch, he hits the pads of right-handers a lot. Johnson Charles should watch out. He probably will be doing though because (a) that’s his job and (b) Willey got him for a duck last time they played.

3. Darren Sammy has actually been playing

You may have missed him. He’s bowled two overs and faced 11 balls.

4. Liam Plunkett has been England’s most economical bowler

True story. He replaced Reece Topley in the team and Topley has been their least economical. Does that mean Plunkett’s way better or that the Windies’ batsmen Topley had to bowl to are way better? Well that’s why they’re playing this match – to deduce whether Liam Plunkett or Reece Topley is the better T20 bowler for England. Also for silverware.

5. Chris Gayle hasn’t made runs in a while

He made 100 not out last time these two teams met, but since then for one reason or another he’s only actually added another nine.

6. India weren’t actually all that good

The West Indies may seem terrifying to England fans after brushing India aside, but it’s worth pointing out that India weren’t actually all that good in this tournament, so of course the West Indies won. India got by with one-and-a-half batsmen and a bit of solid bowling. They got bowled out for 79 chasing 127 against New Zealand and they should have been knocked out by Bangladesh if Bangladesh hadn’t been even more hellbent on losing the game than India were.

7. England have basically never been to India before

This cannot help their cause. Hardly any of them had played an international match in India before this tournament. They don’t know how to survive there. They don’t know that on a cheap hotel menu ‘scrumble toast’ almost certainly means ‘scrambled egg on toast’. They don’t know that ‘smelinge on toast’ is… actually, we’re not sure what that was and we didn’t dare order it. We suppose there’s also a chance that England are staying in plush air-conditioned hotels rather than smelinge-on-toast kinds of establishment.

8. The final’s being played at Eden Gardens

Should probably pore through the stats to work out the implications of this. Can’t be arsed.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Largest cricket stadium in India, apparently. This doesn’t mean anything because they’ll just bring the boundaries in. Gotta have lots of those lovely DLF Maxima.

  2. Many many congratulations, KC; smelinge on toast is a googlewhack.

    And before some smart arse chimes in to say that a googlewhack needs to be just two words, smelinge toast is also a googlewhack.

    Googlewhacks are as rare as rocking horse shit these days…

    …now there’s a thought; smelinge might very well be rocking horse shit.

    1. Do the words not have to be listed in a dictionary or has that requirement, if it ever were one, been withdrawn?

      1. That is excellent. You really do learn more every day. But makes me worry even more about the toast.

    2. But since this page has been published and now found by google it is no longer a googlewhack unfortunately.

      Begs the question, how do you publicise a googlewhack and keep it that way?

  3. Let’s play Guess the Team. Who is this official report to the board describing:

    Much to our chagrin, was a captain in his farewell event after a career spanning nearly 20 years, yet absolutely clueless in terms of on-field tactics and off-field leadership

    1. I think I’ve already seen this on Cricinfo, so I’ll refrain from answering. But, contrary to everything Buzzfeed’s ever taught us, the answer will not shock you.

  4. For those who want to contemplate Eden Gardens in all its glory, here is a link to a shot of yours truly when Daisy and I toured in 2005.

    See if you can spot me in the crowd.

    And/or if you can be arsed to look at some of the other pictures on that reel, I particularly commend picture 34 (two to clicks to the left of the linked picture). I’m just guessing that the scoreboard featured in that picture might have been replaced by now. In any case, it will doubtless not be on show tomorrow evening.

    One more click to the left, picture 33 gives you a Ged and Daisy eye view on what it looks and feels like to walk through that tunnel at Eden Gardens.

    1. Not sure it’s dueness if he goes, “Hey, I remember you, I scored a century off you last time,” and that drives him to do the same again. I’d say “confidence”, but Gayle’s never really lacked for confidence (more’s the pity).

  5. The only thing of importance to me is how I keep a 3-year-old and almost-2-year-old sufficiently distracted in order for me to actually have the match on tv instead of WALL-E for the millionth time. I can just turn them out into the garden, right??
    On a cricketing note (I know, not in the spirit really) … Actually I have nothing to add on a cricketing note.

    1. Is it possible to pretend T20 is a form of Disney film?

      Ben Stokes is fairy godmother, Chris Gayle is big bad wolf, something like that?

      Young people seem to be in to this “augmented reality” thing, where faces get morphed into cartoon animal faces. If you could overlay that on the telly stream you’d be in business.

      You can’t of course but maybe Sky can. You should ask them very kindly if there is enough commercial demand to get their SFX chaps on it.

      1. Well right now everything is hinging on nap time happening at 2.30. Lunch and other activities are being timed accordingly.

      2. I think my 2 are too far gone for that. I get a lot of “I DON’T LIKE CRICKET ANY MORE” from the older one.

      3. Oh well – turns out cricket is a stupid “sport” anyway. Who knew? Ah, the wisdom of babes…

    2. Miriam, I have a similar problem. My 13-month-old is about to go for a nap. No doubt he will be wide awake and ready to take the batteries out of the remote in time for the national anthems.

  6. Anisa Mohammed might be becoming my new favourite cricketer. At least fave current spinner.

  7. I am v pleased for the WI women but does that now mean that the WI men have “momentum”?

    1. West Indies women won the cup by winning every match other than one game against England.

      If England men win the cup, they will have done so by winning every match other than one game against the West Indies.

      So the momentum is with England, not the West Indies.

      Meanwhile I’m sure Dr Bonar could provide those of you who have small children issues with appropriate meds to ensure that the children are docile “as a unit” for three hours or so.

  8. When one team has a guy who can hit four sixes in a row in the final over, there’s no point anyone predicting anything anymore.

    Fantastic, mad tournament.

Comments are closed.