The first 229 runs of a T20 chase are apparently the easiest

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After two overs against the West Indies, England had scored five. They then added another 177.

After two overs against South Africa, England had made 44. They then added another 186.

The first two overs aren’t to be wasted.

It was an odd match though. We can only conclude that they used the wrong ball. Rather than a cricket ball, some sort of fast-rolling rubber bouncy ball was employed. Better bowling has certainly been seen, but no matter where this ball landed and no matter what its pace, it was clipped to the fence with ease.

South Africa made 229, which is quite clearly a ludicrous total. England matched it with an over to spare.

If they’d batted first England would almost certainly have made about 190 and patted themselves on their giant collective back for having exceeded ‘par’. Jason Roy would have played himself in. They’d have finished four wickets down.

Instead, Roy was forced to revert to tinder, while Root took on the role of the hot-burning log – the hot-burning root arguably. Everyone else was kindling and the blaze roared until just one run was needed. At that point, everyone lost both perspective and their shit and the flame briefly flickered, damn near going out.

Fortunately, Moeen Ali was around to duff the necessary single with a level of serenity appropriate to the match – which is to say none.


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


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  1. Indeed, I started listening to the match on my way home when there were about 6 overs to go and got to watch the last 3 overs.

    Daisy called just as the last over was starting and I stupidly said, “looks as though England are going to snatch victory from the jaws of def…oh no, we’ve lost a wicket”.

    As the short conversation went on, when I said, “…oh no, Willey’s just done as Allan Donald – we’ve lost two wickets in two balls…” Daisy for some reason decided that she didn’t want to talk to me on the phone any more.

    But there was a happy ending, both to the match and to our evening.

  2. Let me get this straight, are you implying that you prefer Roy scoring 43 from 15 then getting himself out as opposed to “playing himself in”, getting 15 from 15, and then getting himself out?

  3. I preferred those olden days when we would lose to the Netherlands.

    At least you knew where you stood.

    Next time England are facing a clearly impossible target with Steyn hurtling in at them, us supporters will have false hope, and that isn’t good for one’s wellbeing once it is ultimately crushed.

      1. I knew we’d won this one before it happened, because my radio-listening mate text me and apparently TMS is about 20-30 seconds ahead of the NowTV feed. Having taken an afternoon off work to watch, THAT was a spoiler…

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