Lesson from the World Cup final: the team that wins absolutely every single game is a good team

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2 minute read

Well that wasn’t precisely how we expected England to lose the World Cup final to Australia.

Nat Sciver played one of the finest World Cup final innings you’re ever likely to see in England’s forlorn chase of 357, making 148 not out off 121 balls. The only issue was that Alyssa Healy had already set Australia up for the win with an even better innings (170 off 138 balls).

Actually that comparison can’t really be made because the circumstances were so different. Healy faced the first ball of the match, whereas Sciver embarked on her innings with all logic and reason already against her.

“So unshakeable was Sciver’s erroneous conviction that it even had curious eyebrows briefly raised from Stokes-scarred Australian fans,” as our erstwhile colleague Dan Liebke put it in his ratings piece on his Patreon.

We actually had a debate with Dan about which team had the momentum going into the final. Dan’s entirely logical position was that England, despite having won five one-day internationals in a row, only had 5/11ths of Australia’s momentum due to the Aussies’ incredible winning streak.

We countered that if both teams were currently winning every game and England had more recently been losing every game, surely that meant they were accelerating more quickly and would soon attain higher velocity.

With hindsight, Dan was correct – although we both agreed that the mechanics of momentum could only ever truly be understood after a match through use of that hindsight.

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  1. I had the misfortune to watch the ICC highlights (all 5 minutes), which were less about highlights and more about random clips (albeit seemingly keeping to the same timeline). I thought highlights included the main events of the match like boundaries, wickets, 50’s, centuries, and other interesting moments that gave an idea of the progress of the match.

    …but no. There were enormous gaps and they failed to include back-to-back-to-back boundaries, 2 of the 5 Australian wickets, and 2 of the 10 England wickets. Is this how the ICC operates in general?

    Nothing really to do with the contents of the post. Just felt like whinging about people who get paid to do a job and then proceed to do it very badly.

    1. Yeah there is a real formula to mini highlights. It’s quite a challenge to keep them coherent if you don’t stick to that formula. Quite often they’re 10-15 minutes these days. Maybe that’s the coherence floor beneath which you should not dig.

  2. A momentum post.

    There hasn’t been one of these for a while – a sort of post-modern loss of momentum.

    But now the momentum post corner of the KC site has some momentum again.

    I know you don’t do requests, KC, but any chance of some indifferent animals or cricket objects in unusual places just to absolutely make our week ahead of the county championship starting?

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