Auckland v Hampshire, CLT20 qualifier, Centurion October 10, 2012

Mascarenhas slams Centurion pitch

19

Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas has criticised the pitch at SuperSport Park in Centurion, calling it "no good for 20-over cricket" after his team was knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers having played only one match. Hampshire posted 121 on a surface with inconsistent bounce that did not allow the ball to carry through quickly, and Auckland reached the target with 33 deliveries to spare.

"When we saw the pitch yesterday, we thought there was no way we could play on the wicket," Mascarenhas said. "We knew that whoever won the toss would win the game. I heard there was a chance the match would be moved to the Wanderers but obviously that didn't happen." There has been no confirmation that a request was put in to change the venue and the second match continued as scheduled in Centurion.

When the Hampshire team saw the pitch on Monday it was being watered, which groundsman Hilbert Smit said was "standard practice." He admitted he may have "misread the weather," when he watered the pitch during last week's heat wave in anticipation of no rain early this week. Instead, 38 millimetres fell on Monday in the summer's first storms, and the water table rose substantially.

"Because of that [the rain] we knew the pitch would be slow and a few deliveries would hold back. But one team still scored at more than eight runs to the over and there is nothing wrong with that," Smit said, referring to Auckland's chase.

Mascarenhas said the pitch had eased after the heavy roller was used in the innings break and it "definitely got better" to bat on. He thought his team had lost the match because of the batting performance. "Not many teams defend scores of around 120. When you are, you're desperate for wickets and in doing that, you will give a few away."

Rather than a low-scoring game, Mascarenhas would have preferred a strip with runs in it. "In 20-over cricket, you want a flat wicket and you want to see runs on the board. You don't want the ball to be dominating the whole time," he said. "I am a bowler and even I don't want the ball to dominate."

Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins was less scathing about the surface. "The toss did play a little part in it and it was easier to bat on second, but I don't think it was too tricky up front," he said. "It was a little bit slower than the pitch we had last night at the Wanderers and one or two balls did something funny."

Hopkins was the happier of the two captains not just because his team won but because Auckland have now qualified for the main draw. Their victories in both group matches mean they will progress irrespective of the result between Hampshire and Sialkot tomorrow.

Hampshire were gutted not only to be out of the competition in the space of a day but because, as Mascarenhas said, "The most disappointing thing is that it was all in the toss, it was decided on that."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mgr125128 on October 11, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    When is sialkot match. Our players are best

  • savageboy on October 11, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    If the toss had such a big effect, why did T&T winning the toss lose in the later game on exactly the same pitch?

  • Nerav on October 11, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    if the toss makes such a big difference i would prefer the idea that captains bid for the right to choose who bats or who fields first. That way if team A want to bat first they can bid 20runs, if team B has a lower bid of runs then team A decieds and team B gets 20runs added to the score.

  • Harlequin. on October 11, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    I think that the problem was not that the pitch was bad, it was because Hampshire turned up and thought 'there was no way we could play on the wicket'. Whenever a team turns up and thinks that, it doesn't matter how well/badly the pitch actually plays, 9 times out of 10 they get skittled for nothing!

  • guptahitesh4u on October 11, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Bad loser in all apsects!!!

  • on October 11, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Hamlshires batting was pretty poor today. Carberry played well for his 65 ish but did allow too many dot balls early in his innings which put pressure on his partners who did play daft shots to get out. Afridi does not think when he bats( as its a case of see ball miss cue ball) afridi needs to concentrate on his batting mentality if he is to secure his place in the Pakistan team. Mascharanus didn't like the pitch as it did not suit his dibly dobly bowling. Quality pitch it up line and length bowling will take wickets. Hampshire lacked a quality fast bowler but bowled too short and that's why guptill and co smashed Hampshire all over the park.

  • Meety on October 11, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    If the match was close - fair call, but a 20 over innings is not going to have as big of an impact as what the scorelines suggest.

  • Dark.Matter on October 11, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    cry baby dimitri lol................................better accept it .

  • on October 10, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Auckland lost the toss in their first game against Sialkot, but won the match.

  • Htc-Android on October 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    then how did Auckland chased in 14 overs?

  • mgr125128 on October 11, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    When is sialkot match. Our players are best

  • savageboy on October 11, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    If the toss had such a big effect, why did T&T winning the toss lose in the later game on exactly the same pitch?

  • Nerav on October 11, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    if the toss makes such a big difference i would prefer the idea that captains bid for the right to choose who bats or who fields first. That way if team A want to bat first they can bid 20runs, if team B has a lower bid of runs then team A decieds and team B gets 20runs added to the score.

  • Harlequin. on October 11, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    I think that the problem was not that the pitch was bad, it was because Hampshire turned up and thought 'there was no way we could play on the wicket'. Whenever a team turns up and thinks that, it doesn't matter how well/badly the pitch actually plays, 9 times out of 10 they get skittled for nothing!

  • guptahitesh4u on October 11, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Bad loser in all apsects!!!

  • on October 11, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Hamlshires batting was pretty poor today. Carberry played well for his 65 ish but did allow too many dot balls early in his innings which put pressure on his partners who did play daft shots to get out. Afridi does not think when he bats( as its a case of see ball miss cue ball) afridi needs to concentrate on his batting mentality if he is to secure his place in the Pakistan team. Mascharanus didn't like the pitch as it did not suit his dibly dobly bowling. Quality pitch it up line and length bowling will take wickets. Hampshire lacked a quality fast bowler but bowled too short and that's why guptill and co smashed Hampshire all over the park.

  • Meety on October 11, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    If the match was close - fair call, but a 20 over innings is not going to have as big of an impact as what the scorelines suggest.

  • Dark.Matter on October 11, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    cry baby dimitri lol................................better accept it .

  • on October 10, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Auckland lost the toss in their first game against Sialkot, but won the match.

  • Htc-Android on October 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    then how did Auckland chased in 14 overs?

  • Fareen on October 10, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Toss is deciding many a matches, just see the recent T-20 WC matches. Yes Mascarenhas is not helping himself by blaming the pitch, but he has a point.

  • on October 10, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    Hahaha, Dimi...just face it, you got smashed! The Aces made it look easy.

  • on October 10, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Nobody likes a bad loser. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Pitches at the Rose Bowl are regularly dreadful/awful/sub-standard (delete as necessary, or leave all three). See http://www.espncricinfo.com/countycricket2010/content/story/463280.html or google Hampshire docked points for a whole list of poor surfaces they have prepared over the years. What goes around comes around, although I think they were just outplayed.

  • ashliii on October 10, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    The fact that winning the toss, decides the outcome of the game has been happening in T20 games lately. It leaves a bad taste in most of us, the cricket players and fans. Look at the just concluded T20 world cup. The team that won the toss batted first and won most of the time. This should be minimized by changing the match schedule and/or pitch. All cricket fans should voice their opinion to ICC.

  • kirankerai on October 10, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    i agree the toss decides and it is the way it should be

  • on October 10, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Hmmmnn....the captain who wins the toss gets to decide whether they take advantage of the pitch through bowling or batting first, depending on what the pitch looks like, and how he thinks it will play.

    That's almost like real cricket Dimi.

  • m0se on October 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Half of the T20/ODI matches are win the toss/win the match types. Cricinfo should do an analysis on this : tosses are won 50:50 between teams but how many matches are won by teams winning the toss? Also, by country and by day or night matches (dew factor).

  • on October 10, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    That would mean the team scoring 140 would beat the team scoring 164 based on the toss bid. I think the toss played a part, as it does many times, however, it was quite a thrashing.

  • Dirk_L on October 10, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    The captains should submit sealed bids to the reserve umpire: "We'll concede a handicap of 25 runs if we can bat first" etc. Highest bid wins, toss only when both bids are the same.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Dirk_L on October 10, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    The captains should submit sealed bids to the reserve umpire: "We'll concede a handicap of 25 runs if we can bat first" etc. Highest bid wins, toss only when both bids are the same.

  • on October 10, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    That would mean the team scoring 140 would beat the team scoring 164 based on the toss bid. I think the toss played a part, as it does many times, however, it was quite a thrashing.

  • m0se on October 10, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Half of the T20/ODI matches are win the toss/win the match types. Cricinfo should do an analysis on this : tosses are won 50:50 between teams but how many matches are won by teams winning the toss? Also, by country and by day or night matches (dew factor).

  • on October 10, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    Hmmmnn....the captain who wins the toss gets to decide whether they take advantage of the pitch through bowling or batting first, depending on what the pitch looks like, and how he thinks it will play.

    That's almost like real cricket Dimi.

  • kirankerai on October 10, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    i agree the toss decides and it is the way it should be

  • ashliii on October 10, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    The fact that winning the toss, decides the outcome of the game has been happening in T20 games lately. It leaves a bad taste in most of us, the cricket players and fans. Look at the just concluded T20 world cup. The team that won the toss batted first and won most of the time. This should be minimized by changing the match schedule and/or pitch. All cricket fans should voice their opinion to ICC.

  • on October 10, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Nobody likes a bad loser. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Pitches at the Rose Bowl are regularly dreadful/awful/sub-standard (delete as necessary, or leave all three). See http://www.espncricinfo.com/countycricket2010/content/story/463280.html or google Hampshire docked points for a whole list of poor surfaces they have prepared over the years. What goes around comes around, although I think they were just outplayed.

  • on October 10, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    Hahaha, Dimi...just face it, you got smashed! The Aces made it look easy.

  • Fareen on October 10, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Toss is deciding many a matches, just see the recent T-20 WC matches. Yes Mascarenhas is not helping himself by blaming the pitch, but he has a point.

  • Htc-Android on October 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    then how did Auckland chased in 14 overs?