Stanford Superstars v England at Coolidge, Nov 1, 2008
Stanford Superstars won by 10 wickets (with 44 balls remaining)
1 November 2008 - day/night match (20-over match)

5.25pm Minutes to go now, and the anticipation is tangible. Kevin Pietersen is tapping his feet with anticipation - not nerves, surely. Ryan Sidebottom lightens the mood by doing the bunny-ears sign behind Luke Wright's head. But it's alright for him, isn't it.

And now, out sprint the Superstars to a raucous cheer, closely followed by England's openers, Ian Bell and Matt Prior. US$20 million are at stake in the next three hours. And it is all set to get underway right now.

Simon Taufel and Rudi Koertzen are the umpires, Bell is on strike, and interestingly Darren Sammy will take the new ball. Taking the pace off already ...

5.20pm It's Antigua's Independence Day, incidentally. And financial independence day for tonight's winners. Ten minutes to go, and the teams are lined up in the middle of the pitch as Claudette Peters sings the Antiguan national anthem. And even the press corps lined up in front of me are standing. Well done them.

5.10pm The big screen says it all: "Playing XI: US$11million, Rest of Squad: US$1million, Management: US$1million, Losers: Nothing." The Superstars can't help but notice that as they go through their warm-ups on the outfield. But then, they have been gathered together for six weeks in preparation for this night. They'll be attuned for the occasion

"The suspense is killer," says Randy - a good Texan name that. "Either the batsmen or bowlers will shine, but I'm hoping my West Indies can keep cool heads and bring it home."

Right, here we go. Mike Haysman has the captains together. Heads it is, and England win the toss. And they have chosen to bat

"It's an unbelievable opportunity for the 22 players tonight," says Kevin Pietersen, who adds that there are "absolutely no dramas" in the dressing-room. Gayle admits he would have batted too, but is happy to have a go at chasing tonight. So, there we go. The preliminaries are done, and the game gets underway in half an hour. How scintillatingly exciting!

5pm We are ready for the toss, but first, here is the Superstars team:

Superstars 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Andre Fletcher (wk), 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Sylvester Joseph, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Sulieman Benn, 9 Dave Mohammad, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Daren Powell.

4.50pm It's nearly time for the toss. Various camera crews and assorted liaison types are milling around in the middle. A genuinely vibrant atmosphere is building up in the ground now, as action from yesterday's beach cricket between the Stanford and England Legends is played out on the big screen. England won both matches, incidentally, though I doubt many people will be taking that as an omen.

4.10pm ECT It's time for the big one. Welcome to the Stanford Ground in Antigua where in approximately four and a half hours time, eleven lucky cricketers will be rich beyond their wildest dreams, and eleven more will be left to contemplate their navels along with their barren bank balances. It may be glitzy, gaudy and defiantly "not cricket" but it is here, and whatever your personal thoughts on the matter, tonight's contest between England and the Stanford Superstars promises to be riveting entertainment and a spectacular human drama. The Stanford 20/20 for 20 is upon us, and up for grabs is a pool of US$20million - the biggest prize in the history of professional team sport.

I'm Andrew Miller and I'll be talking you through the action, when it gets underway at 5.30pm ECT. For the moment the teams are out in the middle, warming up and settling into the occasion. The Superstars are practising their high catches, the England squad are gathered around in a slightly contemplative huddle. They named their team yesterday morning, with James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook missing the final cut. The Superstars line up will be announced at the toss, in approximately 20 minutes time.

England 1 Ian Bell, 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Kevin Pietersen (capt), 4 Owais Shah, 5 Andrew Flintoff, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Luke Wright, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 Steve Harmison.


Sammy to Bell, 1 wide, whoops, way outside off stump. That's not the ideal start


Sammy to Bell, no run, ooh, he nearly got called for that one as well. Dicey start, but that was at least a dot


Sammy to Bell, no run, bounce outside off, and Bell has a swipe but misses. Sammy did take seven wickets against England in a Test, but surely that doesn't count for anything


Sammy to Bell, no run, fuller length and a confident drive, but straight to point


Sammy to Bell, no run, good length, a touch wide of off stump, but no stroke there either. So far the gamble is paying off


Sammy to Bell, 2 runs, the first runs off the bat, and the first nerves in the field. Wide outside off again, and Mohammad in the covers completely fluffs a regulation stop. He chases to make amends, but that's a mistake


Sammy to Bell, 1 run, shovelled into the leg side, and all in all that's a tidy first over

Jerome Taylor will share the new ball - "he's bowling from the wrong end," declares the PA announcer. Off-air of course

End of over 1 (4 runs) England 4/0

    • IR Bell 3 (6b)
    • MJ Prior 0 (0b)
    • DJG Sammy 1-0-4-0

Taylor to Bell, 1 run, slower ball, and well directed. Defended with soft hands into the covers


Taylor to Prior, 1 run, Taylor delivers from way behind the popping crease - probably 24 yards in all. Prior's not fooled though, and drives hard into the covers


Taylor to Bell, 1 run, outside off, and a mistimed cut brings a single


Taylor to Prior, no run, Prior feigns a charge down the pitch, Taylor responds by dropping his length, and there's a dot at the end of it


Taylor to Prior, FOUR, slower ball again, and that's the best shot of the night so far. On the up, through the covers - slightly in the air, but that was creamed


Taylor to Prior, 1 wide, slower ball, down the leg side. "He's bowling from the wrong end," hollers PA Dave, with mounting animation


Taylor to Prior, 1 run, slower ball again, defended into the covers, and a good quick single

End of over 2 (9 runs) England 13/0

    • MJ Prior 6 (4b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 5 (8b)
    • JE Taylor 1-0-9-0

Belatedly, here's Daren Powell


Powell to Prior, no run, outside off, Prior stretches to cut, but can't connect


Powell to Prior, no run, that's a fizzer - on off and cuts back in. Prior is well beaten outside off


Powell to Prior, 1 run, good aggression - Prior premeditated a shimmy to off, so Powell followed him with a well-directed bouncer. Fended into the leg-side with a tangle of limbs


Powell to Bell, 1 run, pace and bounce, almost a Test-match delivery that one. Fenced awkwardly in the air into the gully, off the glove it seems


Powell to Prior, FOUR, short again, but this time Prior was ready. Backing away and swiping across the line. Got it up and over midwicket, and Sammy slides into the rope to give away the boundary


Powell to Prior, no run, outside off and a missed cut again

This is a confident start from England. The nerves, so far, have belonged to the Superstars. A brief delay as a security guard gets behind the bowler's arm

End of over 3 (6 runs) England 19/0

    • MJ Prior 11 (9b 2x4)
    • IR Bell 6 (9b)
    • DBL Powell 1-0-6-0

Taylor to Bell, 1 run, another easy single, a little too short that time


Taylor to Prior, 1 run, if that had been picked up cleanly, that could well have been out! A miscued swipe from Prior, but he was called through quickly and Taylor couldn't get round in time


Taylor to Bell, OUT, bowled him! And that's what the Superstars needed! Full, fast and straight, a devastating yorker right into the blockhole. Bell jams his bat down but deflects the ball onto his leg stump. And now we've got a game

IR Bell b Taylor 7 (16m 11b 0x4 0x6) SR: 63.63

No Kevin Pietersen yet. Or Samit Patel. This time, their No. 3 is Owais Shah


Taylor to Shah, 1 run, slower ball on the legs, Mohammad fumbles again. Too excited?


Taylor to Prior, OUT, bowled him! Round his legs as Prior danced across the crease to whip a boundary through fine leg! A misjudgement and an untimely one. His leg stump goes flying and now England have got all the problems!

MJ Prior b Taylor 12 (18m 11b 2x4 0x6) SR: 109.09

Here comes the big man. This is the stage that Kevin Pietersen will want to make his own. Two slips in place, which tells a story


Taylor to Pietersen, no run, full toss, but at least it was straight. Pushed up to mid-on, and that's an eventful over!

End of over 4 (3 runs) England 22/2

    • KP Pietersen 0 (1b)
    • OA Shah 1 (1b)
    • JE Taylor 2-0-12-2

Powell to Shah, no run, pushed back down the wicket to the bowler


Powell to Shah, no run, full and straight again, and stopped in the followthrough


Powell to Shah, 1 run, slightly shorter, and a measured pull around the corner for a single


Powell to Pietersen, 1 run, on the toes and flicked confidently through square leg to get off the mark


Powell to Shah, 1 run, excellent yorker, the Superstars are right on the money now. Dug out well, but that length and pace is going to be a problem if they can keep it up


Powell to Pietersen, 2 runs, that's releases the pressure somewhat - short and wide and flogged through the covers. Not quite timed, but good bat on ball for the skipper

End of over 5 (5 runs) England 27/2

    • KP Pietersen 3 (3b)
    • OA Shah 3 (5b)
    • DBL Powell 2-0-11-0

More faffing from the security guard causes a hold-up


Sammy to Shah, no run, outside off and nudged to backward point. It's all about the Superstars right now


Sammy to Shah, 1 run, too short, perhaps a muffed slower ball, and scooped into the leg side


Sammy to Pietersen, no run, lovely bowling again, pitches on a good length and ghosts past the edge


Sammy to Pietersen, 1 run, worked into the leg side and an easy single


Sammy to Shah, OUT, incredible! After all the drops there have been this week, that was an astounding take from Dave Mohammed, although he nearly caused a calamity by not calling! A wild swish into the leg-side, a spiralling top-edge, and two men converged at square leg, and almost touched shoulders as the catch went in

OA Shah c Mohammed b Sammy 4 (10m 8b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

Andrew Flintoff is the man now. In every sense


Sammy to Pietersen, 1 run, on the legs, and a chancy single to mid-on

End of over 6 (3 runs) England 30/3

    • KP Pietersen 5 (6b)
    • A Flintoff 0 (0b)
    • DJG Sammy 2-0-7-1

Powell to Pietersen, no run, on off stump and pushed back down the pitch


Powell to Pietersen, no run, attempted swipe past point, but under-edged into the crease

Pietersen and Flintoff are, at a rough guess, the two wealthiest men playing in this match. I wonder if that might take some of the edge off the riches? Probably not


Powell to Pietersen, no run, scuffed to point


Powell to Pietersen, no run, down on one knee for an ambitious drive, but the ball rolls gently to mid-off


Powell to Pietersen, 1 run, pushed into the covers


Powell to Flintoff, no run, short, and Flintoff hops back into his crease to defend. Roughly a third of the way through, and England have it all to do ...

End of over 7 (1 run) England 31/3

    • A Flintoff 0 (1b)
    • KP Pietersen 6 (11b)
    • DBL Powell 3-0-12-0

Sammy to Pietersen, 1 run, driven with an open face into the covers


Sammy to Flintoff, no run, cunning bowling, held back a touch, and Flintoff jams his bat down too late on a ball that might have slipped down leg


Sammy to Flintoff, 1 run, pushed down the ground to long-on


Sammy to Pietersen, no run, good bounce and carry outside off. That one took over, and Fletcher takes well behind the stumps


Sammy to Pietersen, OUT, now there's real trouble for England! Pietersen walks across his stumps, Sammy responded by pitching it right up to leg stump, and there's no hope of getting back on ball as the leg stump goes flying for the third time in the innings!

KP Pietersen b Sammy 7 (17m 14b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

Sammy celebrates with a wild mid-pitch splits, and Collingwood has to save his side's bacon now


Sammy to Collingwood, 1 run, outside off and nudged into the covers

It's fair to say the atmosphere in the ground now is electric. England don't know what's hit them

End of over 8 (3 runs) England 34/4

    • PD Collingwood 1 (1b)
    • A Flintoff 1 (3b)
    • DJG Sammy 3-0-10-2

Powell to Collingwood, FOUR, a dangled bat and an inside-edge! That's not convincing but very welcome for England


Powell to Collingwood, no run, a stride forward and a loud "no!"


Powell to Collingwood, no run, another corker. Outside off, climbing past the edge, and Collingwood is well beaten

The carry will please England's bowlers, it has to be said. If only they can have a total to defend ...


Powell to Collingwood, no run, forward and defended with bat and pad tight together


Powell to Collingwood, no run, a loose drive into the covers with one hand, but all along the ground


Powell to Collingwood, 1 wide, down the leg side, and more light relief for England


Powell to Collingwood, 1 run, short and a touch of width for Collingwood, who keeps the strike with a dab to point

"Did Stanford have special Black bats ordered for the England team? Or are they their usual bats painted black?" asks Karthik, rhetorically, as I'm not entirely sure. "I thought even school cricketers are very particular about the bats they use, never mind international ones.But I guess the school ones don't play even for $20, never mind...dare I say it..." Not right now, you can't, no!

End of over 9 (6 runs) England 40/4

    • PD Collingwood 6 (7b 1x4)
    • A Flintoff 1 (3b)
    • DBL Powell 4-0-18-0

Sammy to Collingwood, no run


Sammy to Collingwood, 1 run, snorting lift off a good length! Sammy isn't quick but that woke Collingwood up as the ball was fended into the vacant gully


Sammy to Flintoff, 1 run, fuller and a touch wider, and dinked to third man


Sammy to Collingwood, 1 run, tip-and-run. A push into the covers, and an instant call


Sammy to Flintoff, no run, lovely slower ball. Defended back down the pitch


Sammy to Flintoff, no run, immaculate finish, and that's a superb spell from Sammy. He took the new ball and has risen to the occasion wonderfully. Now for his secondary role, patrolling the deep for those towering catches

Halfway then, and now here's some spin. It's Sulieman Benn

End of over 10 (3 runs) England 43/4

    • A Flintoff 2 (6b)
    • PD Collingwood 8 (10b 1x4)
    • DJG Sammy 4-0-13-2

Benn to Collingwood, no run, wonderful start, height and bounce, and beaten outside off by sharp turn


Benn to Collingwood, 1 run, dabbed for a single to rotate the strike


Benn to Flintoff, no run, on the pads, and Flintoff can't work it away


Benn to Flintoff, no run, speared in again, and no contact on the line of leg stump


Benn to Flintoff, no run, quicker and fuller, half an appeal as that strikes the pad, but always going down


Benn to Flintoff, 2 runs, a flailed drive into the covers, but no power on the shot. The big hits are still in the locker

Keiron Pollard takes over from the economical Sammy. A not-dissimilar bowler, a touch slower perhaps

End of over 11 (3 runs) England 46/4

    • A Flintoff 4 (10b)
    • PD Collingwood 9 (12b 1x4)
    • SJ Benn 1-0-3-0

Pollard to Collingwood, 1 run, good length to start, and pushed into the covers


Pollard to Flintoff, FOUR, Flintoff goes for it and connects! A slower ball in the blockhole, and that's deposited back over the bowler's head


Pollard to Flintoff, OUT, he's gone now! Another slower ball, held back a touch, Flintoff swings, misses and his off bail has been pinged off!

A Flintoff b Pollard 8 (24m 12b 1x4 0x6) SR: 66.66

Oh dear oh dear. It's a bit of a disaster for the boys in red. And the ground is going stark raving bonkers


Pollard to Patel, 3 wides, that's an appalling wide. It pitches at approximately short fine leg!


Pollard to Patel, no run, that's better, back on the length


Pollard to Patel, no run, pushed down the ground and Patel thinks and thinks and thinks about a single. But eventually thinks better of it


Pollard to Patel, no run, up to the bat again, and that's an eventful introduction from Pollard ...

End of over 12 (8 runs) England 54/5

    • SR Patel 0 (3b)
    • PD Collingwood 10 (13b 1x4)
    • KA Pollard 1-0-8-1

Benn to Collingwood, no run, round the wicket and some good turn and bounce


Benn to Collingwood, OUT, slog-sweep, and Sarwan stoops to pluck a sitter at deep midwicket! England have given up all pretence now. They don't even want the money any more

PD Collingwood c Sarwan b Benn 10 (18m 15b 1x4 0x6) SR: 66.66

Now then, the man at the crease hasn't batted, hasn't bowled, but if ever Luke Wright was needed, it is now


Benn to Wright, no run, defended down the track to start


Benn to Wright, 1 leg bye, down the leg-side and turned off the pads


Benn to Patel, no run, defended into the covers


Benn to Patel, 1 run, a jogged single to mid-off and England have seven overs to salvage a total

End of over 13 (2 runs) England 56/6

    • SR Patel 1 (5b)
    • LJ Wright 0 (2b)
    • SJ Benn 2-0-4-1

Pollard to Patel, 1 run, turned into the leg side. Singles are all they dare go for at the moment


Pollard to Wright, no run, full and straight, and not properly dug out


Pollard to Wright, 1 run, too short, and cut airily past point


Pollard to Patel, 1 run, on the legs and worked for a single


Pollard to Wright, OUT, swiped in the air to long-on, and there's Sammy! He doesn't drop those! Coolly taken a yard inside the rope, and pandemonium is ensuing. This is turning into an utter rout!

LJ Wright c Sammy b Pollard 1 (4m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 20.00


Pollard to Swann, 1 wide, leg-side and another wide. They are nearly top-scoring now!


Pollard to Swann, no run, straighter and defended

End of over 14 (4 runs) England 60/7

    • GP Swann 0 (1b)
    • SR Patel 3 (7b)
    • KA Pollard 2-0-12-2

Benn to Patel, 1 run, driven in the air, that popped up but there was no-one close enough to intercept


Benn to Swann, 1 run, defended down the track and a jogged single


Benn to Patel, 1 run, width, and worked off a deliberate edge to third man


Benn to Swann, OUT, it's a total procession! Quicker, straighter, yorker. Swann gave himself room but had no response!

GP Swann b Benn 3 (3m 3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

Well, if this is the match to take cricket to new markets, then those new markets are going to be a bit misled about what the game is all about ...


Benn to Broad, 1 wide, ghosts past the edge


Benn to Broad, no run, tapped to deep backward point. Five overs to salvage a score. Can England possibly make 100?


Benn to Broad, 1 run

End of over 15 (5 runs) England 65/8

    • SCJ Broad 1 (2b)
    • SR Patel 5 (9b)
    • SJ Benn 3-0-9-2

Pollard to Broad, 1 run, driven in the air to mid-on


Pollard to Patel, 2 runs, dropped! The first one that's gone wrong for the Superstars. Mohammad at deep midwicket muffs the chance ...


Pollard to Patel, FOUR, short and an emphatic pull through midwicket. That's a better strike


Pollard to Patel, no run, in the slot for a drive, but flogged straight to short cover


Pollard to Patel, no run, low full toss, very nearly a yorker, and pushed back to the bowler


Pollard to Patel, no run, short, and swiped through midwicket without any timing

End of over 16 (7 runs) England 72/8

    • SR Patel 11 (14b 1x4)
    • SCJ Broad 2 (3b)
    • KA Pollard 3-0-19-2

Taylor to Broad, no run


Taylor to Broad, 1 wide, down the leg side, and another valuable extra


Taylor to Broad, 1 leg bye, short and tucked up in an attempted flick to midwicket. But a scampered single to the gully instead


Taylor to Patel, 2 runs, full and a fraction misdirected. Clipped to deep midwicket


Taylor to Patel, 1 run, bounce outside off stump and ridden well. A single to third man


Taylor to Broad, 1 run, on the pads, and an easy single into the leg stump. Not willing to risk the second just yet


Taylor to Patel, 1 run, short and slow - lashed down to long-on off the back foot. It's a partnership of sorts ...

End of over 17 (7 runs) England 79/8

    • SR Patel 15 (17b 1x4)
    • SCJ Broad 3 (6b)
    • JE Taylor 3-0-18-2

Pollard to Patel, no run, a swish and a miss. Tidy line


Pollard to Patel, no run, outside off and the keeper whips off the bails for good measure


Pollard to Patel, 1 run, dabbed to third man

"Just to cheer you up Andrew, I love you," says Andrew-lover. How nice. I'm cheery. The England boys alas are not


Pollard to Broad, 1 wide, whoops. These might make a difference


Pollard to Broad, no run, straighter, and fuller


Pollard to Broad, 1 run, it's only a single, a push to long-off


Pollard to Patel, FOUR, a timely edge, and a well played one. Lift outside off, and dinked fine. Two overs to go

End of over 18 (7 runs) England 86/8

    • SR Patel 20 (21b 2x4)
    • SCJ Broad 4 (8b)
    • KA Pollard 4-0-26-2

Taylor returns


Taylor to Broad, 1 run, another single. They all help


Taylor to Patel, 1 run, down on one knee for an ambitious drive through the covers, but not much in the way of timing

"Funny feeling this one is over already, unless Freddie can produce a miracle with the ball and KP has a massive ace up his sleeve," says Joe Simkins. "I hope so, but I haven't done bad with predictions today. At about 1 I predicted Chelsea to beat Sunderland by 5 with a hat-trick involved, and a lot of people know what happened there. I hope they can pull it back, but it isn't looking too good, sadly."


Taylor to Broad, 1 run, another single, and the atmosphere is a fraction muted for the moment.


Taylor to Patel, 1 run, right up to the blockhole again, thrashed into the leg side, but no width to work with


Taylor to Broad, 1 run, opens the shoulders to drive again down the ground. Very disciplined over so far


Taylor to Patel, 1 run, OUT, that's ever so slightly average. Never run on a misfield. Chris Gayle dived in the covers and seemed to have knocked the ball away. But his return was bullet-like, and Patel had no chance

SR Patel run out 22 (29m 24b 2x4 0x6) SR: 91.66

"The commentary cannot show how awful a display of batting this is," says Nigel, who is pulling no punches as he sits in front of his telly. "It's what 20/20 is becoming - an ungainly, largely ineffective slogfest, with little precision, grace, or poise. Hit and hope..Hit and miss... " Well, there you have it

End of over 19 (6 runs) England 92/8

    • SCJ Broad 7 (11b)
    • JE Taylor 4-0-24-2

Benn to Broad, 1 run, clunked down the ground. What can Harmy do? He has a vicious slog when the ball is in the slot


Benn to Harmison, FOUR, and he sweeps well too! Cheekily done, a scoop over the keeper and those are vital runs


Benn to Harmison, no run, outside off and climbs off the pitch. A fend and missed


Benn to Harmison, 2 runs, tucked into the leg side and that second run could be close ...! The referral goes upstairs. And though the ball hits the stump, Benn has already knocked the bails off.


Benn to Harmison, OUT, bowled him! Full and straight, and Harmison has an optimistic swipe but misses with everything

SJ Harmison b Benn 6 (4m 4b 1x4 0x6) SR: 150.00

So that's the end of a very sorry showing from England. Perfect execution from the Superstars, for whom every trick came off. Darren Sammy was the star, he took the new ball in an unexpected gamble, and bagged two vital wickets including Kevin Pietersen. So. What on earth can England salvage from this? Join us in 15 to find out.

"I think we may be doing the England players an injustice," muses M Lawrenson. "Clearly, they have been ordered by the ECB to throttle the Stanford Series at birth to keep Test Cricket as The Primary Format Of The Game. That must be what's happened. Surely."

Alas, if that were true, they wouldn't be playing this contest right in the middle of a blue-riband Test series between India and Australia ...

Meanwhile Karthik has done a bit of mental arithmetic and has worked out that "each run is going to be worth exactly US$200,000 ..." Good grief. [edit - ok, so US$6million goes to the boards, but still. It's a nice round number ...]

So, we're nearly ready to resume. Ironically, the first man out in the middle warming up is James Anderson - what England would give to have him back in the reckoning now. A good night from him might have put the game right back in the balance. He's a handy outfielder too...

In the meantime, it's going to be down to the big two. Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff. Because England need wickets, and fast.






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