There he goes! A trademark slap over long-on, and almost before the ball reaches the stands, Chris Gayle turns coolly on his heel, plucks out the middle stump, and raises it coolly above his head
Superstars won by 10 wickets (with 44 balls remaining)
Now then, presentation time. "Our cricket in the Caribbean is back!" declares Allen Stanford. "We can beat anyone in the world with this team!" On tonight's evidence, he might have a point.
Now it's over to Sir Viv to announce the Man of the Match. He offers commiserations to England for a "hard-fought game" which is possibly over-egging it. Hard-fought compared to the 1980s perhaps ...
Mentions in dispatches for Taylor and Sulieman Benn, and of course the two batsmen, but Darren Sammy - who set the tone with his new ball spell, and the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen - is the Man of the Match.
Now, the instant millionaires are called up onto the podium, one by one, with Chris Gayle bringing up the rear. A big hug from Sir Allen Stanford, an explosion of glitter, and the cheque is presented! The remainder of the squad join the stage, the trophy is lifted, and the stage is in danger of collapsing as they bounce with glee for the cameras.
So, that's the end of the presentations. The flags of Grenada and Trinidad join the stage, and now the players are dousing each other in champagne - the first of the night, but unquestionably not the last. There ought to be fireworks as well, but there's a delayed flight about to land next door, so they have been postponed. It's the only mistimed stroke of the night.
Well done the Stanford Superstars. They have lived up to their lofty billing, and given England a rout to remember. I've been Andrew Miller, I hope you've enjoyed the commentary, and the tournament. It's had it's ups and downs, but it's all been alright on the night. Goodnight.
Andre Fletcher runs halfway down the pitch and sinks to his knees, as the Superstars hurtle over the boundary boards. He thanks God for his good fortune, and promises to invest the loot - with advice from Sir Allen, of course.
Gayle meanwhile is the coolest man in the park, easily ambling to the edge of the pitch to greet his family and friends. It's a joyous atmosphere out there, and as for England, they are deep in their dressing-room, and are unlikely to come out in a hurry. "Imagine a system where winning team is awarded money based on the margin of victory," says Sudipta. "For a game like this the English team might have to pay out of their own savings."
Here's Pietersen, fronting up. "There's been a lot of nonsense this week, and we haven't concentrated on the cricket. We've got to focus on that, and we're going to have to buy into this sort of tournament a lot more next time." That's only a precis of what he said, but his manner was gracious and his tone mild, and he added he was happy to see the happiness in his opponents. Well done him.
"You're simply the best!" blares out of the speakers of Chicky's Disco, as the podium is assembled for the presentation. Sir Viv is out in the middle, adding his congratulations to the players whose lives have just changed beyond recognition. Meanwhile in the England dressing-room, something looking suspiciously like runners-up medals are being handed out of a plastic bag!
in the slot for a drive, but straight to short cover
One hit ... one hit ...
full and pushed to long-off
The Superstars are linking arms on the boundary's edge, ready to stampede into the middle ...
open face and dabbed to point
short and annihilated through the leg side! Fetch that. England almost can't be bothered
there's a girl in tears in the crowd. What's the betting she's a Superstars Wag?
"Is there a new American market? That's news to us here in America," says Konstantine Simakis. "In all seriousness: As a cricket virgin, I'm greatly enjoying the commentary, even if I still have no idea what the sport entails. (Aside from the part about England getting their butts kicked -- that part is entirely clear.) Anyway, thanks. Go Superstars."
driven into the covers
into the blockhole and defended again as the Superstars camp start to daydream
"Chris Gayle needs total respect for what he does. I've always believed in him no matter how good or bad the West Indies perform in Test or ODI matches," says Mike. "This is the one man that can wreck an opposition team - I'd even pick him over retired Brian Lara any day!"
steered into the covers
back down the pitch. No rush at all
width outside off stump, but not enough to make capital from
full toss, pumped to long-on
defended to point and there's Gayle's fifty from 33 balls. Mr Cool has done the business
stabbed back down the pitch
Seventeen to win, and I wouldn't bet against it coming in this single over. Even though it's Flintoff
slower ball, and an airshot to complete the over
off the hips and another single
swished in the air down the ground, but two men converge and neither can make it in time! Pietersen came the closest, but it still landed safe
short again, and pulled uncomfortably to wide long-on
|Stanford Cricket Ground, Coolidge, Antigua|
|Toss||England, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Hours of play (local time)||17.30 start, First Session 17.30-18.50, Interval 18.50-19.10, Second Session 19.10-20.30|
|Match days||1 November 2008 - daynight (20-over match)|