ICC World Twenty20 June 10, 2009

Ashes for England, history for Broad

Here are the Official Confectionery Stall Conclusions From Days 1 to 5 Of the World Twenty20
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Here are the Official Confectionery Stall Conclusions From Days 1 to 5 Of the World Twenty20.

England will definitely win the Ashes


The perfect final over except those four missed chances © Associated Press
 

Australia were humiliatingly dumped out of the tournament from a group containing only Sri Lanka (a nation that failed to win a Test match between 1877 and 1985) and West Indies (who had played no discernible cricket in the previous two months).

England, by the starkest of contrasts, heroically stormed into the last eight despite being lumbered in The Group Of Death with the Netherlands (a team good enough to beat England, the founders of cricket, in their own head-quarters) and Pakistan (undisputed 1992 World Cup winners, and a team good enough to beat the team good enough to beat England).

The only possible conclusion from this is that the Ashes are all but in Andrew Strauss’s back pocket already.

Arguably, I might be reading too much into it. But for those looking for omens of an England victory (in the absence of overwhelming scientific evidence pointing that way), in 2005 the Australians suffered a Twenty20 humiliation, losing to England by 100 runs, and went on to lose the Ashes.

Therefore, an England win is surely written in the stars. Admittedly, there are innumerable stars in the sky, and, if you squint hard enough, you can convince yourself almost anything is written in them. Last week, a friend of mine told me that the words “if you ride your bicycle fast enough into a disused quarry you won’t get hurt” were written in the stars. His heavily bandaged head and knees bear painful testament to his need to invest in a higher-quality telescope.

Stuart Broad is a natural-born history-maker

Not content with being ceremoniously plonked for six sixes by Yuvraj in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, Broad became (it must be safe to assume) the first cricketer at any level of the game to miss four chances in a single over.

Three potential run-outs and a caught-and-bowled opportunity literally slipped through his fingers in a quite heroic display of near-missing in the last over of England’s defeat to the Dutch. That he managed to remain focused on his world record attempt whilst simultaneously bowling an almost perfect final over was still more impressive.

The momentousness of Broad’s achievement was somewhat lost in the frenzy of the match’s staggering climax and the hair-rending anguish / joyous celebrations / barely-suppressed sniggering that followed (delete one or more of the above according to whether you are from (a) England, (b) Netherlands, or (c) anywhere else in the cricketing world). Boys were expelled from my school for missing four chances in an entire season. To miss four in an over is the stuff of well-earned immortality.

On reflection, it was the quality of his bowling that gave him the four opportunities not to dismiss the batsmen. This was a two-tone jelly of top-level professionalism and village-green clangery, displaying international sport at its most compelling.

A lesser player would have been satisfied with his slice of history, wrapped it up in a hanky, and quietly faded into the background. Broad, however, responded with 3 for 17 against Pakistan. The lad clearly had tungsten-coated balls.

Momentum schmomentum

There is much talk of the importance of momentum in this competition (particularly in an effort to give meaning to the final three group matches, which have been rendered practically pointless due to the peculiar means of deciding who plays in which Super Eights group – if West Indies beat Sri Lanka and India beat Ireland in the final matches today, all four group winners will be in the same Super Eights section, thus rewarding teams for not showing off by winning their two group games).

However, it is the Confectionery Stall’s firm belief that the sultry temptress Momentum is one of cricket’s more deceitful goddesses.

Group B has proved this theory. England went in to their match against Netherlands surfing a wave of momentum after six consecutive wins in all forms of cricket. They fell off their surfboard. They not only lost, but also ticked more ineptitude boxes than Mike Gatting has had hot dinners, and took the kind of public battering usually reserved for an especially naughty politician or a particularly tasty-looking piece of haddock. They thus entered the game against Pakistan with no momentum. And won. Easily.

Pakistan, their already non-existent momentum shunted into reverse gear by this heavy defeat, then faced the Dutch, oozing momentum out of every pore after their landmark win against England. Pakistan duly clobbered the Dutch. On this evidence, teams should be looking to enter the Super Eights with the minimum possible momentum achievable without stalling completely. (Australia unluckily took this approach one step too far.)

Perhaps Netherlands had too much momentum, and overbalanced like an overfed rhino in a slalom skiing race. Or perhaps they had the wrong kind of momentum. Or pointed their momentum in the wrong direction.

Or perhaps it doesn’t necessarily matter that much in sport − and especially in an unpredictable sport like Twenty20, in which surprises are more likely and results more changeable than in longer forms of cricket, as they would be, for example, in one-set as opposed to five-set tennis matches, or one-egg egg-cooking competitions rather than a week-long best breakfast tournament.

This is, in my opinion, both a strength and a weakness of Twenty20, just as the shortness of the tournament is both an advantage and a drawback. Anyone could win it. But, by the same token, anyone could win it.

(As a footnote to this, it has been brought to my attention that in my previous blog I may not have analysed England’s alleged defeat to Netherlands with quite the rigour some would have expected. However, so excellent was the hosts’ performance in their second game that I have concluded that the opening match was a hoax. England, a well-funded professional side, did so many things wrong – silly selection, complacent underestimation of their opposition, batting like a bowl of porridge in the latter part of their innings, the list goes on and on and on and on – that the entire match must have been a media fabrication.)

I still quite like Twenty20

Before this tournament began, I quite liked Twenty20. I have watched much of this tournament. I still quite like Twenty20.

I’ve enjoyed some of the cricket, but have found some of it repetitive and formulaic. Watching Yuvraj and Gayle majestically demolish roofs of buildings is magnificent in any form of the game. Watching player after player haul his front leg out of the way and mow the ball over midwicket becomes decreasingly interesting. It has been good to see the stumping reclaim prominence in the scorebook, but I have started to hanker after slip fielders, textbook forward defensives, and lulls in the game.

If Twenty20 fever is sweeping the world, I think I might have developed immunity to it. I would love to contract a dose, as it seems inevitable that T20 will increasingly dominate global cricket. However, for all its several unarguable virtues, and the fervour and crowds it brings, it lacks too much of what I love most about cricket.

I am, however, more convinced than ever that, if the powers-that-claim-to-be in world cricket are genuinely serious about the primacy and importance of Test cricket, they must take action to preserve and nurture it, alongside its shorter, brasher, more accessible grandchild. Cricket is now competing against itself, and too much recent Test cricket has been featureless and predictable. If this is allowed to continue, the Twenty20 grandchild will pack its five-day granddad off to a nursing home, and probably forget to send him a birthday card.

Issue 2 of The Zaltzman Report World Twenty20 audio show will be available late on Thursday or early on Friday. Tune in (if tuning in is possible on a downloadable/streamable bit of audio) to hear me attempt to laugh off having lost my 10 pence bet on England to beat Netherlands at odds of 1-25.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alan on July 12, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    We could cancel future West Indies test matches in England to reduce fixture congestion. The lack of effort put in by the Windies in this years matches was nothing short of a disgrace and if I had paid money to watch and been served up that nonsense I would have been after my money back. If they don't want to be here thay should do the decent thing and not book a series.

  • OreN NerO on July 10, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    well well,can a 10year old write an article? im abit baffled. zaltzman you should grow up man. tbh im an sl fan,but i kinda liked england for their metropolitan style of approach to cricket so tantalizingly tranquilizing. But sir,they havent even reached quarter finals even in a convincing tournament. When was england termed as 'hot contendors' last time? i have bin following cricket for a while now,quite a while actually,and i have seen srilanka win tournaments a plenty of times,the ratio will be somin like 200:1 srilanka. and believe me,in the last four world cups,srilanka reached the finals twice,semifinals thrice(50over format). they won icc champions trophy the mini world cup twice. so england my friend, go shove it up yours. even an extremely violent diehard and optimistic indian fan,has a heart that wouldnt sound so imbecile and outrageous. time to bed boy,get some sleep,thats wots best for you. p.s- read your satires,found em very gross and dry. try no stalking next time. readers aren your shoulder to be wiping your tears and hearing your pastures after your late night high dose of ethane.

  • Lou on June 30, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    This guy's columns are very hit and miss as regards amusement value. No wonder some posters didn't realise it was meant to be funny.

  • waterbuffalo on June 25, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Obviously Mr. Saltzman's fame as a satirist has not reached the shores of Sri Lanka as yet, but give it time, the British Empire wasn't built in a day.

  • Duncan on June 21, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Nisal and Lionsblood96...are you guys serious? Umm, don't you think the author KNOWS about Sri Lanka's relatively recent test status? Don't you get it? HE KNOWS!! AARRRGHHH!!!!(slaps self in the face). Thanks Andy for some great writing(if too subtle perhaps)

  • Priyanka Perera on June 21, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    Sri Lanka earned their Test status in 1982 and recorded the first test victory (and also first series win) against India in 1985. It was only their 14th match. By the time they recorded their first win they had only conceeded 8 losses. That I would say not quite bad.

  • Lionsblood96 on June 20, 2009, 20:55 GMT

    excuse me?? sri lanka didnt win a single test between 1877 to 1985? maybe its got some thing to do with the fact that sri lanka were only given test status in 1982!! And if you ask me, they have done pretty well to win a world cup within 14 years after achieving test status. How about New Zealand, South Africa and England?? They have played cricket a lot longer than sri lanka and they still havent a world cup.

  • Lionsblood96 on June 20, 2009, 20:54 GMT

    excuse me?? sri lanka didnt win a single test between 1877 to 1985? maybe its got some thing to do with the fact that sri lanka were only given test status in 1982!! And if you ask me, they have done pretty well to win a world cup within 14 years after achieving test status. How about New Zealand, South Africa and England?? They have played cricket a lot longer than sri lanka and they still havent a world cup.

  • Nisal on June 19, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    Andy, get your facts right man....Aussies were dumped by Sri Lanka...correct. But Sri Lanka started playing tests only in 1982 not 1877..now wonder what else you get mixed up!!!

  • The Bugle Blog on June 19, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    Andy, why do you neglect me so? :(

  • Alan on July 12, 2009, 14:45 GMT

    We could cancel future West Indies test matches in England to reduce fixture congestion. The lack of effort put in by the Windies in this years matches was nothing short of a disgrace and if I had paid money to watch and been served up that nonsense I would have been after my money back. If they don't want to be here thay should do the decent thing and not book a series.

  • OreN NerO on July 10, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    well well,can a 10year old write an article? im abit baffled. zaltzman you should grow up man. tbh im an sl fan,but i kinda liked england for their metropolitan style of approach to cricket so tantalizingly tranquilizing. But sir,they havent even reached quarter finals even in a convincing tournament. When was england termed as 'hot contendors' last time? i have bin following cricket for a while now,quite a while actually,and i have seen srilanka win tournaments a plenty of times,the ratio will be somin like 200:1 srilanka. and believe me,in the last four world cups,srilanka reached the finals twice,semifinals thrice(50over format). they won icc champions trophy the mini world cup twice. so england my friend, go shove it up yours. even an extremely violent diehard and optimistic indian fan,has a heart that wouldnt sound so imbecile and outrageous. time to bed boy,get some sleep,thats wots best for you. p.s- read your satires,found em very gross and dry. try no stalking next time. readers aren your shoulder to be wiping your tears and hearing your pastures after your late night high dose of ethane.

  • Lou on June 30, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    This guy's columns are very hit and miss as regards amusement value. No wonder some posters didn't realise it was meant to be funny.

  • waterbuffalo on June 25, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Obviously Mr. Saltzman's fame as a satirist has not reached the shores of Sri Lanka as yet, but give it time, the British Empire wasn't built in a day.

  • Duncan on June 21, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    Nisal and Lionsblood96...are you guys serious? Umm, don't you think the author KNOWS about Sri Lanka's relatively recent test status? Don't you get it? HE KNOWS!! AARRRGHHH!!!!(slaps self in the face). Thanks Andy for some great writing(if too subtle perhaps)

  • Priyanka Perera on June 21, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    Sri Lanka earned their Test status in 1982 and recorded the first test victory (and also first series win) against India in 1985. It was only their 14th match. By the time they recorded their first win they had only conceeded 8 losses. That I would say not quite bad.

  • Lionsblood96 on June 20, 2009, 20:55 GMT

    excuse me?? sri lanka didnt win a single test between 1877 to 1985? maybe its got some thing to do with the fact that sri lanka were only given test status in 1982!! And if you ask me, they have done pretty well to win a world cup within 14 years after achieving test status. How about New Zealand, South Africa and England?? They have played cricket a lot longer than sri lanka and they still havent a world cup.

  • Lionsblood96 on June 20, 2009, 20:54 GMT

    excuse me?? sri lanka didnt win a single test between 1877 to 1985? maybe its got some thing to do with the fact that sri lanka were only given test status in 1982!! And if you ask me, they have done pretty well to win a world cup within 14 years after achieving test status. How about New Zealand, South Africa and England?? They have played cricket a lot longer than sri lanka and they still havent a world cup.

  • Nisal on June 19, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    Andy, get your facts right man....Aussies were dumped by Sri Lanka...correct. But Sri Lanka started playing tests only in 1982 not 1877..now wonder what else you get mixed up!!!

  • The Bugle Blog on June 19, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    Andy, why do you neglect me so? :(

  • waterbuffalo on June 17, 2009, 13:10 GMT

    After this article I have no choice but to revise my earlier prediction of 2-2 in the ashes. Obviously it will be 4-0 to the aussies with one spectacular draw in the fifth test. I like England's bowlers but the batting oh dear, I take it Collingwood will keep his place for all 5 tests. Of course there is still time for me to change my mind. Who knows, the entire middle order might contract the flu.

  • dan on June 15, 2009, 12:54 GMT

    Great blog as always Andy. However, still can't find your second audio report. Please could you stick a link to it somewhere that's easy to find!

  • Dave on June 15, 2009, 10:53 GMT

    "Watching player after player haul his front leg out of the way and mow the ball over midwicket becomes decreasingly interesting."

    It's nice to know I'm not the only person who doesn't like Graham Napier, the slogger chav.

  • Gnarley on June 14, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    Everyone, outside of Oz, is convinced that we are a shadow of our former selves on the cricket field. So let me see, we just reclaimed the No1 test ranking in South Africa, & have unearthed a new opening batsmen, & bowling attack. Unfortuneately for the pommies, test go for longer than 40 overs.

    P.S Will we be playing England; England & Wales; Great Britain; United Kingdom; Europe or the British & Irish Lions. PMSL

  • Travis on June 12, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    As an Aussie I am prepared to admit that if England recover and win the T20, then they will inevitably regain the Ashes 6-0. Or possibly 7-0.

    The serious final section was absolutely spot on, too. It's good to see that your satire is firmly based in a genuine love of the game.

  • Gareth Logan on June 12, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    Such a shame some people don't get sarcasm, great blog as always!!!

  • Mehul on June 12, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    "If all else fails, immortality can be assured by spectacular failure." - Anon (Actually I don't remember who...and I think I've paraphrased)

  • Busby on June 12, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    Wow, the last 4 posters have no concept of sarcasm!

  • Permy on June 11, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    You talk about what Sri Lanka did before 1985. That's irrelavant, Sri Lanka are a good team and they deserve to be where they are today. They can beat any team in thw world on their day.

  • sundar on June 11, 2009, 9:48 GMT

    Wake up Mr.Zaltzman. England winning ashes!!!!!. may be in your dreams

  • Bruce on June 11, 2009, 8:28 GMT

    Andy, T20 has no comparison to test cricket and little comparison to ODIs. Why you compare sides on their test form of years gone by in this form of the game I do not know? Plus how can you say Strauss has the ashes 'all but in his back pocket?' T20 form has precious little to do with test form, as well as the fact that few players in the T20 squad will be in the test squad!

  • Davewat on June 11, 2009, 2:43 GMT

    The point system and the seeding system to decide who plays in what group in the super 8's is the most dumbest idea they could have come up with

  • Antony on June 10, 2009, 23:32 GMT

    I thought it was funny

  • Trick on June 10, 2009, 16:30 GMT

    Round of applause for the 'breakfast tournament' line. I may organise, participate in and judge one, if such a hands-on approach does not contravene the spirit of the game.

  • ChooForTwentyChoo on June 10, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    Your usual excellent analysis, Mr. Z. However, you did miss something: you omitted to attribute Engalnd's momentum reversal precisely to the reason that, in your last piece, you "may not have analysed England’s alleged defeat to Netherlands with quite the rigour some would have expected". Your sparing the England side from punishment at the hands of the Zaltman Whipping Rod gave them blush respite from The Only Critique That Matters. This act alone gave impetus to the fine performance against Pakistan. Take your critical thrashing of young Broad's performance - you showed true journalistic grace in allowing him room to recover his convictions after his inspired final over against Netherlands; comedy that even Charlie Chaplin couldn't compete with.

  • Rukmal on June 10, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    Yes even pigs will fly, Paki selectors will never resign and Modi will become president of India soon - so dream on and do not let the 6am alarm wake you up.................

  • Blakmagic on June 10, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    Lol. All right article Andy but the last 2 articles havent been that funny. Anyways 1st Comment. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew on June 10, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    Nice one Andy, I think your right. The ashes are already Englands. Imagine what the score would have been if us aussies played such an all conquering Dutch side. We would be lucky to score a hundred runs me thinks. Luckily we only need ot worry about the less superior side being England. Perhaps we will be able to match it with them in the longer form of the game although they did beat the minnows from the West Indies in the longer format as well.

  • Ravikant on June 10, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Dear Andy,I like reading your blog.You had me in splits particularly while reading "balls of tungsten","overbalanced like an overfed rhino in a slalom skiing race".You ended your blog on a more serious note-pertaining to test cricket.I cannot but agree more with you on this matter.As the cliche goes-test matches are a test of character.We still remember the test matches of yore featuring the greats of the game who came from various countries.We continue to idolize and remember them.I cannot say the same for this T20 type of cricket.The most important over of the match might be bowled at the beginning before you have eased into your seat;on the same token you might have to answer a phone call and miss the crucial last over of the innings!Not to mention the doorbell suddenly ringing or your daughter asking a physics school question in the middle of an over!!My feeling is that test matches will be played and enjoyed by the discerning.Keep up the good work from the Confectionery Stall.

  • has9 on June 10, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Hahaa, momentum is a bit of a hype really. I almost had a feeling right before the world T20 that this tournament is not going to be as fascinating as (God forbid) the IPL. There is a certain premeditaion before each match to who is going to win (obviously the first round has seen its share of upsets), in IPL it wasn't the case. Even the one run win of South Africa did not seem to grab the tense nature of IPL, i mean seriously McCullum has definitely some sort of jinx, even the players of the loosing team were all smiles as Oram was run out in the last ball. Lets actually hope there is some good quality cricket to come. And finally, cricket is fighting with it self, absolutely true.

  • giri on June 10, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    Finally, the andy zaltzman (you are the first guy i know who has two z(i didnt know the plural of z okay) in his name) we know and enjoy is back. heck, that was more confusing than your in-depth analysis on the group of death. eng were good enough to lose to the team who were good enough to lose to pak. and still eng and pak are thru to the super 8s. and after u proved jimmy anderson was a better bat than the don ( in ur column 3 weeks ago), the fact that u proved stuart broad is a world record holder doesnt surprise me.

  • Simon on June 10, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    a great blog as usual :)

    less lol, rofl and other silly abbreviations than usual, but still genuinely amusing and especially perspicacious and astute.

    The last section is particularly on-the-money. Sentiment-wise (if not prose-wise) I could have written it myself. I think the 'if' at the beginning of the last paragraph is a very big 'if', though.

    I wonder if I should be concerned that, across the entire cricketing media, the voice which more often than not most represents my own position comes from a humorous alternative blog...

  • Anonymous on June 10, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    I'm confused! I dunno if i'm stupid or everyone else is. I love watching Tests. Its got beauty, the slow build-up, and sometimes the great finish. I love T20s : the sheer atrociousness of shot-making, innovation, nerve rending finishes, unpredictability and the added drama. So why can't both of them be there. The way this Zaltzman guy and the English media put it, its either T20 or Tests. Going by history i can confidently say the English media is the stupid one! Because you see, being an Indian the sheer mental strength it took Gambhir to bat 11 1/2 hrs in NZ for just 137 or so runs was treat to watch. But also the semi finals of the IPL in which Gilchrist battered Delhi into submission or the Mumbai-Jaipur Match. Maybe its just that the English just don't have the stomach to contest all 3 formats.

  • Anabayan Kris on June 10, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    I'm confused! I dunno if i'm stupid or everyone else is. I love watching Tests. Its got beauty, the slow build-up, and sometimes the great finish. I love T20s : the sheer atrociousness of shot-making, innovation, nerve rending finishes, unpredictability and the added drama. So why can't both of them be there. The way this Zaltzman guy and the English media put it, its either T20 or Tests. Going by history i can confidently say the English media is the stupid one! Because you see, being an Indian the sheer mental strength it took Gambhir to bat 11 1/2 hrs in NZ for just 137 or so runs was treat to watch. But also the semi finals of the IPL in which Gilchrist battered Delhi into submission or the Mumbai-Jaipur Match.

  • Siddhartha Gupta on June 10, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Haha....I surely had some suppressed laughter on seeing Broad's last over antics .

  • leo on June 10, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    Mr Andy...its too long and the past 2 articles, i am sorry to say aren't funny either, even if it's loaded with sarcasm.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • leo on June 10, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    Mr Andy...its too long and the past 2 articles, i am sorry to say aren't funny either, even if it's loaded with sarcasm.

  • Siddhartha Gupta on June 10, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Haha....I surely had some suppressed laughter on seeing Broad's last over antics .

  • Anabayan Kris on June 10, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    I'm confused! I dunno if i'm stupid or everyone else is. I love watching Tests. Its got beauty, the slow build-up, and sometimes the great finish. I love T20s : the sheer atrociousness of shot-making, innovation, nerve rending finishes, unpredictability and the added drama. So why can't both of them be there. The way this Zaltzman guy and the English media put it, its either T20 or Tests. Going by history i can confidently say the English media is the stupid one! Because you see, being an Indian the sheer mental strength it took Gambhir to bat 11 1/2 hrs in NZ for just 137 or so runs was treat to watch. But also the semi finals of the IPL in which Gilchrist battered Delhi into submission or the Mumbai-Jaipur Match.

  • Anonymous on June 10, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    I'm confused! I dunno if i'm stupid or everyone else is. I love watching Tests. Its got beauty, the slow build-up, and sometimes the great finish. I love T20s : the sheer atrociousness of shot-making, innovation, nerve rending finishes, unpredictability and the added drama. So why can't both of them be there. The way this Zaltzman guy and the English media put it, its either T20 or Tests. Going by history i can confidently say the English media is the stupid one! Because you see, being an Indian the sheer mental strength it took Gambhir to bat 11 1/2 hrs in NZ for just 137 or so runs was treat to watch. But also the semi finals of the IPL in which Gilchrist battered Delhi into submission or the Mumbai-Jaipur Match. Maybe its just that the English just don't have the stomach to contest all 3 formats.

  • Simon on June 10, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    a great blog as usual :)

    less lol, rofl and other silly abbreviations than usual, but still genuinely amusing and especially perspicacious and astute.

    The last section is particularly on-the-money. Sentiment-wise (if not prose-wise) I could have written it myself. I think the 'if' at the beginning of the last paragraph is a very big 'if', though.

    I wonder if I should be concerned that, across the entire cricketing media, the voice which more often than not most represents my own position comes from a humorous alternative blog...

  • giri on June 10, 2009, 6:06 GMT

    Finally, the andy zaltzman (you are the first guy i know who has two z(i didnt know the plural of z okay) in his name) we know and enjoy is back. heck, that was more confusing than your in-depth analysis on the group of death. eng were good enough to lose to the team who were good enough to lose to pak. and still eng and pak are thru to the super 8s. and after u proved jimmy anderson was a better bat than the don ( in ur column 3 weeks ago), the fact that u proved stuart broad is a world record holder doesnt surprise me.

  • has9 on June 10, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Hahaa, momentum is a bit of a hype really. I almost had a feeling right before the world T20 that this tournament is not going to be as fascinating as (God forbid) the IPL. There is a certain premeditaion before each match to who is going to win (obviously the first round has seen its share of upsets), in IPL it wasn't the case. Even the one run win of South Africa did not seem to grab the tense nature of IPL, i mean seriously McCullum has definitely some sort of jinx, even the players of the loosing team were all smiles as Oram was run out in the last ball. Lets actually hope there is some good quality cricket to come. And finally, cricket is fighting with it self, absolutely true.

  • Ravikant on June 10, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Dear Andy,I like reading your blog.You had me in splits particularly while reading "balls of tungsten","overbalanced like an overfed rhino in a slalom skiing race".You ended your blog on a more serious note-pertaining to test cricket.I cannot but agree more with you on this matter.As the cliche goes-test matches are a test of character.We still remember the test matches of yore featuring the greats of the game who came from various countries.We continue to idolize and remember them.I cannot say the same for this T20 type of cricket.The most important over of the match might be bowled at the beginning before you have eased into your seat;on the same token you might have to answer a phone call and miss the crucial last over of the innings!Not to mention the doorbell suddenly ringing or your daughter asking a physics school question in the middle of an over!!My feeling is that test matches will be played and enjoyed by the discerning.Keep up the good work from the Confectionery Stall.

  • Andrew on June 10, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    Nice one Andy, I think your right. The ashes are already Englands. Imagine what the score would have been if us aussies played such an all conquering Dutch side. We would be lucky to score a hundred runs me thinks. Luckily we only need ot worry about the less superior side being England. Perhaps we will be able to match it with them in the longer form of the game although they did beat the minnows from the West Indies in the longer format as well.

  • Blakmagic on June 10, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    Lol. All right article Andy but the last 2 articles havent been that funny. Anyways 1st Comment. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!