Slog of the Day: JJ Smit v Sri Lanka

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Given that modern media coverage of T20 cricket tends to revolve around intelligent and enlightening dissection of complex data, we figure there’s a niche for celebrating one of the format’s more straightforward features: the slog.

We get very irritated when people dismiss T20 as “just slogging” because there are strategies, tactics, stories and nuance just the same as there are in the other formats. It’s all cricket, as we so often say.

At the same time, T20 definitely does feature slogging. Quite a bit of slogging. A greater density of slogging really, if we’re honest.

And you know what? Slogging’s great. In a world increasingly shaped by cold, hard, statistical analysis, a batter getting their front foot out of the way so that they can really try and properly twat it with all their might is a beautiful thing indeed.

There’s a purity about slogging. It’s so simple and easy to identify with. Just have a ruddy great heave. Maybe you’ll miss it completely, maybe you’ll land it in on a vehicle outside the ground. Who knows? Just have a go. See what happens.

The ICC being the ICC, the T20 World Cup has secretly got underway under cover of a parallel spread of fixtures billed as T20 World Cup warm-ups.

The first actual proper match was between Namibia and Sri Lanka and rather delightfully, Namibia won. In honour of their achievement, we have decided that the inaugural Slog of the Day should be JJ Smit’s 94m effort off Pramod Madushan (whose name really does feel like it is very definitely an anagram of something, but we don’t know what).

Two things made this a very excellent slog. Firstly, it went to the home of the slog, cow corner. Secondly, it went to cow corner even though it was bowled wide of off stump. That was thanks to the kind of classic slog reasoning that can seem kind of dumb but which is actually quite often correct: ‘It’s a slower ball so I’ll muller it to cow corner’.

Top slog, JJ Smit.

Well played, Namibia.

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  1. Good to see two games already where Associates have beaten Full Members (if those are still the correct terms), as well as whatever Zimbabwe beating Ireland counts as.

    There are a couple of other high profile international sporting competitions on at the moment where the gap between the ‘top tier’ countries and others taking part is the sort of chasm normally only found between an insular group of politicians and reality. It’s not a good look for the sports involved.

  2. The problem with the utterly obvious “Mud Soap Hard Man” anagram is that the gentleman in question is really named Pramod Madushan Liyangamage which adds a wealth of possibilities but a long haul to find a full house for the full name.

  3. “The ICC being the ICC, the T20 World Cup has secretly got underway under cover of a parallel spread of fixtures billed as T20 World Cup warm-ups.”

    Cricinfo seems to give more coverage to some of the warm-up matches, even if they’re 15-a-side affairs, than the actual World Cup matches – though maybe their website prominence is location-dependent. Still, allowing warm-up features during the (relatively short!) first-round stage only diminishes the importance of their product, so no idea why the ICC thinks it’s a good thing. The teams entering at the Super 12 stage could just have finished their warm-up matches the same time the first round teams did, then had a few days of rest. Namibia beating Sri Lanka or Scotland beating West Indies deserves a bit of limelight, especially as they’re sides that don’t get much outwith the World Cups.

      1. Ta Ged. Was too good an opportunity not to slip it in.

        To be fair to the ICC, it’s good of them to let some “proper” sides (Windies, Sri Lanka) have to play their way through the first round, rather than panic at the their qualification system not delivering the expected results and trying to render the first round an all-associate affair. The main complaint I’ve had about the first-round system in the past was that it was pretty blatantly a separate qualification tournament, albeit one being held very close to the main event, rather than part of an integral whole. The ongoing warm-up matches only add to that problem, but forcing some big names – including genuine title contenders – to duke their way out of the first round does at least make it more meaningful. Can’t help thinking there’d be a late rejig of the structure if a rankings quirk meant one of the more “commercially important” sides was likely to end up in the first round though – and the upsets do undermine the case that a first-round filtering before the Super 12s was needed at all.

      2. Instead of warm-ups they could have just extended the tournament and made it a proper 20 team cup without any qualifiers

        Ofc the initial round of matches can be the big teams vs “minnows” so that will serve as some kind of warm-up !!??

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