Notes from the pavilion for November 4th

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

Notes from the pavilion for October 22nd

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

World Twenty20 semi-finals

So, the semis are upon us. I’m hoping to at least catch some of today’s games, either on radio or a pub TV, and I’m gunning for the Pakistanis. As my colleague Osman says, this game really is suited to them. Why? Well, partly due to their experience in the format: tape-ball cricket.

The number of overs isn’t important; matches last from five to 25 overs. There are few rules but the basic ethos of these games, the hustle and the bustle of it, the short, sharp intensity of putting one over the boys from the next lane or mohalla because, well, that’s just what men do, is something Twenty20 comes close to capturing.

Runs are not scored but nicked. A little tap, run; fielder about to throw, steal the second; often the only boundaries are straight because of the narrowness of the field, so running becomes an art in itself. Pakistan’s batting successes against Sri Lanka and Australia were built on cheeky running first and boundary-hitting second.

They face New Zealand in the first match (scorecard), followed by Australia and India (scorecard) later in the day. So keep an eye on the scorecards and offer your thoughts as the matches unfold.

The secret of Australian success

Robert “Crash” Craddock writes about Shane Warne’s list, and about Warne’s animosity towards Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist.

But underneath it all there is a fascinating, essentially untold story about how two superstars of the modern game somehow managed to survive and thrive year after year in the same side despite a fallout which left each man cold.

Waugh will never expand on the details because he could not be bothered starting a bushfire from which no one could win.

Warne’s definition of Gilchrist as “still a batsman-keeper rather than the other way around” is not flattering (even given Gilchrist’s freakish batting skills) and one which Gilchrist would not enjoy.

You can call Gilchrist a madhouse slogger and he will laugh along with you but dismissiveness of his keeping skills hurts him because he sees himself as a keeper first.

…..In a perverse sort of way, Warne’s modest rating of Steve Waugh and Gilchrist gives us a hint of why Australian teams have been so successful over the past decade – they simply put the personal stuff to one side and go out and play for the team.

It sounds easy to do but it has been beyond many fragmented England, West Indian, Indian and Pakistan teams of the same era.

Warne and Waugh might not have been each other’s cup of tea but you would never have known it on the field.

The ability of Australia’s players to put their personal stuff to one side and play for the team is undoubtedly a big part of Australia’s success. I don’t know, but I suspect that New Zealand are also good at doing this, which is why they are able to punch above their weight in international cricket.

Black guys running all over the pitch…

God bless Bill Lawry

Click here if you can’t hear the gaffe.

Live chat: New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 1st Semi-Final, Jamaica

So, after weeks of play, we’ve finally made it to the first semi-final back where Pakistan exited the competition in such spectacular fashion. We can only hope, after such a long wait, that both this match and that at the Beausejour Stadium tomorrow, offer good, tight contests.

But whatever happens, you can watch the scorecard and commentary at Cricinfo, and chat about it here.

The Matthew Hayden show

Prior to the penultimate game of the Super Eight’s, Matthew Hayden was just three runs behind the tournament’s highest run scorer in Jacques Kallis. He was favoured to move into pole position but has surged to it with yet another century of muscle and class. Is he playing better than his golden year of 2001? While most teams are struggling in the first ten overs (the average being 36 runs for 1.4 wickets) Hayden hasn’t set a foot wrong. Gilchrist seems to be rather quiet but is himself averaging 37 with the bat in the World Cup.

The pre-match news is Shane Bond is out crook and Jacob Oram having earlier been ruled out. Mark Gillespie and Michael Mason play in their place. Shane Watson makes a welcome return for Australia forcing Brad Hodge out. Shane Bond was the real danger man for Australia, a bowler who seems to have the wood over the Aussies. New Zealand will surely miss him.

Australia have moved into a more than healthy 215-2 after 32 overs and look to post a really big one. In light of recent adventures New Zealand might fancy their chances in getting them.

Check out the scorecard here and leave your comments below.

It all comes down to Tuesday

So New Zealand are through to the semi-finals. Rajesh has written a really useful piece on who might take the final semi-final spot, and how England’s win (or loss) impacts on the other contenders.

Scenario 1: England beat South Africa

England will then be level with South Africa on six points, and will have an excellent opportunity to seal their semi-final spot with a win against West Indies. South Africa will finish their Super Eight campaign on six points, and will sweat on the results of the other games to keep them in the hunt: for them to go through, West Indies will have to beat England, which will then leave three teams – South Africa, England, and West Indies or Bangladesh – on six points. Net run rates will then come into play, which is again bad news for South Africa – they are currently languishing at -0.21, and a defeat against England won’t help their cause much. Graeme Smith might just regret the fact that he bowled five overs for 56 against West Indies, allowing them to come within 67 runs of their 356.

England going past South Africa will also suit West Indies and Bangladesh perfectly. Brian Lara and Habibul Bashar have been talking about their World Cups being over already, but they just might have rushed it a bit. If England’s victory margin against South Africa is a narrow one, and if West Indies thrash Bangladesh and England (it might look unlikely at the moment, but nothing’s beyond a team which has Chris Gayle and Lara in their batting line-up), their NRR might just sneak up beyond that of England and South Africa. Ditto for Bangladesh, if they beat Ireland and West Indies.

Scenario 2: South Africa beat England

Realistically, that’s South Africa’s only chance of making it to the last four. A South African win will also shut out England, West Indies and Bangladesh, making two of the last four matches – West Indies versus Bangladesh and West Indies versus England – completely redundant. Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa will then be the four semi-finalists, with the rest of the matches only deciding the positions within the top four.

Tuesday, as Rajesh puts it, really will be a cracker.

New Zealand v South Africa, Super Eights, Grenada

Something’s wrong in the universe when Craig McMillan can take three South African wickets. I’m not watching it, and have only just switched on the radio – ensconced in Devon and magnetised to the beach and the outdoors. But it’s clouded over with a sea fog here and it’s high time for a drink and to keep my eye on this match. South Africa are wobbling, to say the least. Incidentally my hosters were switching things today and apparently the site was buggered earlier. Apologies for that. All seems fine again now – if painfully slow.

Anyhoo, here’s a photo

Minehead

And here’s the scorecard.