The Quality-Assessment-Pending 8s: Bairstow’s bat, a Salt assault, South Africa finally top a run-a-ball + more in our latest T20 World Cup round-up

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What if the Super 8s aren’t actually that super? Can they get downgraded? The So-So 8s? The Subpar 8s? The Shit 8s? They’re the Solid 8s so far, but it can probably still go either way. Does anyone know why they’re plural, by the way? As far as we can tell, there’s only one set of eight teams still involved in the tournament, unless there’s a parallel quarter-finals phase going on in The Upside Down.

Not-so-leaky Lockie

Before we got into the Quality-Assessment-Pending 8s, we got to see one of the great meaningless consolation feats when Lockie Ferguson bowled four maiden overs against Papua New Guinea to secure third place for New Zealand. (He also took three wickets.)

As far as we can make out, the Kiwis would most likely still have finished above PNG and Uganda and below West Indies and Afghanistan had they lost that game. Quite glorious pointlessness to round-out the group stages.

South Africa re-enter the modern world

Hello, South Africa – it’s 1990s White Ball Cricket on the phone. It says it wants its run-rates back.

Poor South Africa were obliged to suffer three matches at The Nassau County Dot Bowl in New York in the group stages. In these games they mustered the following scores…

  • 80-4 (16.2 overs)
  • 106-6 (18.5 overs)
  • 113-6 (20 overs)

It must have been a huge relief to finally get a game somewhere else. Alas, their 115-7 off all 20 overs against Nepal in St Vincent meant they still hadn’t exceeded a run-a-ball across an entire innings.

They don’t call them Super 8s for nothing though*. Facing the USA in Antigua, the Saffers clogged a whopping 194-4. Given they’d also won all those other games, this was easily enough runs for victory – even if the US did have a game old stab at the target.

*Or do they?

A Salt and Bairstowery

Look if horrible titles for things are fine with the ICC, we figure we’ve got carte blanche with our subheadings for the next few weeks.

England beat the West Indies in their first game against one of the other Super 7. Phil Salt made the most runs – hitting one Romario Shepherd over for 4, 6, 4, 6, 6, 4 – but it was striking that Jonny Bairstow also recommenced, um, striking.

Bairstow has apparently been feeling a bit irritated that people had been saying his utterly rubbish, borderline match-losing 7 off 13 balls against Australia in pursuit of 202 was utterly rubbish and borderline match-losing.

Here he remembered that he is the proud owner of a cricket bat with an unusually percussive and springy middle and repeatedly sent the ball far further than you expected it would travel given the minimalistic punch or flick which had propelled it.

A word too for all-time England great, Adil Rashid, who conceded a six, a two and a wide, but other than that dealt in nothing but 0s and 1s, like some kind of wrist-spinning Acorn Electron. (He also took a wicket.)

What’s next?

Afghanistan v India may well be underway (or already over) by the time you read this. Signing up for our email can happen any time you like. Australia play Bangladesh and England play South Africa tomorrow (Friday).

DON'T BE LIKE GATT!

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

Coincidence?

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

11 comments

  1. The World T20 round currently in play might better be described as “Super Four By Twos” than “Super Eights”.

    That at least makes the plural sound more in keeping, although I suppose there is only a single “four by two” round. It doesn’t solve the qualitative adjective problem, though.

    Personally I am happy to accept that the term “super” merely refers to the fact that the eight teams still involved proved superior to the 12 that have gone home at the end of the first round. Perhaps I am becoming easily pleased in my dotage.

    Talking of which, what is going on in the crowd with swathes of spectators wearing sailing caps that remind me of the monstrosity my parents made me wear on holidays 50 years ago. Trigger warning – photographic evidence of that style of hat’s antiquity (and mine) contained in link – lick only if you dare: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianlharris/11806699324/ .

  2. I just spent quite a while on the World Wide Web trying to work out the format of the T20 Blast, given that my team are doing quite well in it.

    The quarter-finals are not until September.

    Cricket is silly.

  3. Oh and Ged – it would be an honour to lick your Flickr. I thought you’d never ask.

  4. AFGHANISTAN!!

    Sorry for the capitals, but suffice to say that I’m less sad and deflated after a long night up.

      1. That really has put the metaphorical cat amongst the metaphorical pigeons, with lots of permutations and slide rule possibilities still in play tomorrow for the group that, until AFGHANISTAN! intervened, most people had written off as a clutch of inevitable matches and dead rubbers.

        @jeffy – the place to be tomorrow (Monday) afternoon – assuming you are still up for it – will be the Bowler’s Bar, where it should be possible to keep an eye on both the CC match and the T20 WC match. My plans have slightly changed, as I have moved my real tennis slot to 17:00-18:00. But I plan to get to Lord’s in good time for the 15:30 WC match, hopefully an hour or so before that start time.

        Meanwhile, if my arithmetic stills serves me well, England don’t need much of a boost to the nrr to guarantee a semi slot, as long as England win today. Even a narrow England win render elimination an unlikely arithmetic possibility.

        What excitement.

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