Twenty20 cricket… like life… comes at you fast!
Just 4 hours ago, we were reflecting on a world-record-breaking performance by New Zealand versus South Africa – a magnificent century by Suzie Bates setting up a total of 216 for the White Ferns at Taunton.
England were still back at their hotel while the Kiwis were batting – Anya Shrubsole telling us afterwards that she was watching on her laptop at the time:
“Half way through the New Zealand innings I thought: Should I shut the laptop and not watch it, because I’ve got to bowl on this later?”
“But it is good to watch and see how the teams are doing and how the pitch is playing, and it was pretty evident from the start it was an absolute belter.”
Belter or not, 216 was a clear statement of intent from New Zealand – they know they disappointed at the World Cup here in England last summer; and they are determined to go all the way at the World T20 this year.
So they laid down a marker.
And then England happened!
Heather Knight won the toss and had no hesitation:
“It was always going to be a bat first pitch,” says Shrubsole.
But pitches don’t break records, batsmen do:
“Tammy [Beaumont] and Danni [Wyatt] up front batted amazing; and then Nat [Sciver] and Katherine [Brunt] as well.”
Indeed it is easy to overlook Brunt’s and Sciver’s contributions – after all, by the time Beaumont was out England already had 185 – more than enough to win the match – they could have relaxed a bit… fired up a chilled-out playlist on Spoitfy… made cocktails…
But Sciver’s 33 off 15 balls, and even more so Brunt’s 42 off 16 balls at a Strike Rate of 263, were what turned a big total into a record-breaking one of 250.
So how do you go out and bowl on a pitch where 600 runs have already been scored that day? And not just bowl, but bowl 2 maidens in the powerplay, finishing 3 powerplay overs with figures of 3-2-2-0?
“I don’t know if I approached [bowling] differently to the others,” says Shrubsole. “I just tried to bowl a heavy length and bowl it straight and hope that it swung, and the swing helps – it gives you a bit more margin for error.”
It is typically modest, but truth be told, she was magnificent – England might be a batting team these days, but there will be days when they need to be a bowling team too – when the batting doesn’t quite click, or the pitches aren’t quite the “belter” this was – and she showed today she is absolutely integral to that.
But today was about the batters, as Shrubsole admits:
“Some of the bowlers might have had their pride hurt a little bit, but I challenge anyone who came here today to go away and say that wasn’t a thoroughly entertaining day of cricket. If you ask people who watch the games they want to see high-scoring games – they want to see 4s, they want to see 6s.”
And that’s what England gave them!
Great performance by Shrubsole. I sometimes fear she may be (not in personality, of course, but performance) England’s Stuart Broad (of the men’s team), with Brunt being the Jimmy Anderson. She comes up with performances that absolutely stand out as match-winning ones :her last few over in the World Cup – who can forget?
But at the start of that World Cup she was very off the pace, off target, and looking like a liability. Even the start of that India innings was one in which she didn’t look all there. Then came that finale.
In this game too, she was magnificent in ensuring that SA had not chance of building momentum.
But I still remember that the first wicket went to Brunt.
I think we should give a nod to DvN, one of the few, if any, captains that goes over and shakes the hand of outgoing centurians. That’s the spirit of cricket.
Destruction in detail ……………..
1: 8-0: DW:6*(3) TB:2*(3)
2: 14-0: DW:6*(3) TB:8*(9)
3: 27-0: DW:19*(8) TB:8*(10)
4: 37-0: DW:28*(13) TB:9*(11)
5: 53-0: DW:28*(13) TB:25*(17)
6: 69-0: DW:31*(15) TB:38*(21)
7: 78-0: DW:37*(19) TB:41*(23)
8: 82-0: DW:38*(20) TB:54*(28)
9: 100-0: DW:40*(23) TB:60*(31)
10: 116-0: DW:45*(26) TB:71*(34)
11: 127-0: DW:47*(28) TB:80*(38)
12: 136-0: DW:55*(33) TB:81*(39)
13: 147-0: DW:56*(35) TB:90*(43)
14: 159-1: DW:56(36) TB:101*(47) NS:1*(1)
15: 175-1: TB:106*(49) NS:12*(5)
16: 188-2: TB:116(52) NS:13*(6) KB:2*(2)
17: 199-2: NS:14*(8) KB:12*(6)
18: 224-2: NS:14*(8) KB:37*(12)
19: 240-2: NS:27*(12) KB:39*(14)
20: 250-3: NS:33(15) KB:42*(16) HK:1*(1)
LikeLiked by 1 person
That should read 92-0, not 82-0, at the end of over 8.
Incredible stuff from England. Records are usually broken by small margins, but they went almost 20% over the record that stood at sunrise yesterday. That’s phenomenal.
A lot of sympathy for the South Africans. As a spectator I like the format of this competition, but its one potential flaw was exposed yesterday with a team having taken a battering having to go out and face the firing squad again. As somebody said, they had already lost the second game midway through the first. However, they will bounce back, and both the other teams should beware of playing them second if they’ve had a tough game first time round. They are genuinely a better outfit than they showed yesterday, although their “weak links” are weaker than the weak links in England and NZ’s line-ups, and that is where they have been exposed.
Very special from England though, and I’m wondering again if MR didn’t play his cards perfectly before the start. TB commented that he told them “not to try to break the record.” Why? Either he mean what he said, which was probably sensible if taken at face value, or he meant exactly the opposite, which may have been a bit of cute psychology. Be that as it may, the laughter on his face when the camera panned across to him mid-carnage was worth a small fortune. A man enjoying his team’s work.
The batsmen will get the praise but Shrubsole, to me, bettered them. Anybody who tells you women’s cricket is rubbish because the “fast” bowlers” can’t top 70-75 mph should be sat down and force fed the video of her spell to show what genuine skill and control can achieve even on an absolute road.
Fielding a bit shoddy at times – an area that still needs work. I don’t know the answer, because when they field well England purr like a finely-tuned machine, so what causes those aberrations that come along more often than they should? Yesterday it didn’t matter (perhaps there is your answer?) but one day it might.
So disappointed I can’t get to Taunton on Saturday. I pencilled it in as soon as the summer fixtures were announced, only to find it clashes with my lad’s school prizegiving and sports day. Sky plus to the rescue then. No spoilers, please…
Superb batting from England that took off and kept flying to the end. If I had any remaining doubts about Beaumont’s international T20 game before this match then I think they’ve been blown away. I’ve never seen her play like that before in T20 and it has to rank as one of the best England T20 innings. Despite the bowling which was friendly at times, the way each player came in and went about their knock was wonderful. Amazing to beat the record so easily twice in one day, and it left me thinking “how did that used to be the record?!”
Then the bowlers backed it up very well too – we restricted SA to significantly less than NZ did. Shrubsole, Brunt and Ecclestone all excellent. Fielding a bit of a mixture but there was plenty of good as well as bad.
Saturday will be a big test for England though, with 2 games in short order they might be puffing a bit come the evening, which could affect the end of a tight match. And let’s not forget, anything can happen in T20, it’s OK to lose a game and it will happen now and again. The way things are going I’d predict an England v NZ final, and SA need to catch up quick if they’re to have any hope of changing that.
“how did that used to be the record?!” – might need to take account of fielding restriction changes to compare records from different years.
Pingback: POST-MATCH: Ecclestone Excellence Makes It Easy For England v New Zealand | CRICKETher