ICC World Twenty20 Final: India v Pakistan

So, the final is upon us, and it is the dream one for the ICC- India vs Pakistan. The success of both teams in this tournament will do more then anything to popularise this form of the game. There’s no doubt we shall be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come- a fact that must engender mixed feelings in the players as well as more traditionally minded fans.

Both India and Pakistan have made it to the final thanks largely to the efforts of some of their less heralded players; the new format has given a new lease of life to some fringe players too. The final will add the weight of expectations to the players, which I hope will not dampen the freedom with which they play.

I saw the group game that took place in Durban between the two sides, that ended in a tie, with India winning the subsequent bowl-out. I think the final will not be quite as close but at this stage, I cannot pick a winner. Although given that it is being played at Johannesburg, traditionally favouring the chasing side, the toss might be as crucial a factor as anything else.

Keep an eye on Cricinfo’s scorecard, and leave your thoughts on the match in the comments below.

Twenty20 video highlights: Yuvraj Singh goes bonkers, again

Some highlights for those who haven’t seen them of Yuvraj going a trifle berserk against Australia in the second semi-final. 70 from 30 balls! What game is this?

Click here if you can’t see the mayhem. It’s really quite massive.

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.

Bunch of choking bottlers

South Africa really are a most monumental, unabashed, incomparable Eddie[1] of winning bottlers ever conceived. You have to laugh, really. I’m assuming they’ve lost, having only just been informed by a surprisingly demure text message which read: the boks have done it again.

Bless ‘em.

[1] My suggestion for the collective noun of losers: an Eddie (the Eagle) of losers

Video highlights of Yuvraj Singh’s filthy six sixes

Filthy, disgustingly massive sixes these. Just have a look how far they go.

Gluttons for punishment who can’t see the above video should click here. Furthermore, read Cricinfo’s comms of his innings.

Sri Lanka crumble

Sri Lanka crumble. Sounds like a tempting pudding, that. They’re 80 for 7, Australia running through them like maniacs. Are they suddenly up for this match? Seems so. I’m not watching, but might force my German friends to listen to it on TMS later. Jawohl!

Cricinfo’s steaming-hot comms is here.

Video of India’s bowl-out against Pakistan

For those who missed it, like me, here’s the video of India’s bowl-out in the World Twenty20 against Pakistan. Cricinfo’s comms is useful too.

Twenty20 Super 8s

Can you keep up with all the action? I certainly can’t. Apparently Brett Lee took a hat-trick last night and the South Africans beat the English, meanwhile the Indians lost to New Zealand, and in the long grass, Sri Lanka are having a fine tournament.

There’s more cricket then you can poke a stump at just at the moment, with these games going hither and yon- a nice change from the longer format World Cup. Discuss events as they occur.

Australia beat England, again

I can’t approve of the format, but the result seems perfectly adequate.