Auckland v Hampshire, CLT20 qualifier, Centurion

Mascarenhas slams Centurion pitch

Firdose Moonda in Centurion

October 10, 2012

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Michael Carberry struggled at times during a run-a-ball 65, Auckland Aces v Hampshire, Champions League T20, Centurion, October 10, 2012
Michael Carberry scored 65 but he too struggled for timing on a difficult surface © Getty Images
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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

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Posted by mgr125128 on (October 11, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

When is sialkot match. Our players are best

Posted by 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?

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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!

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (October 11, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

Bad loser in all apsects!!!

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by Dark.Matter on (October 11, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

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

Posted by   on (October 10, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

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

Posted by Htc-Android on (October 10, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

then how did Auckland chased in 14 overs?

Posted by 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.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2012, 21:15 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by kirankerai on (October 10, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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).

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

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