It’s been 5 years since Ian Bishop uttered the immortal words “Remember the name!” as Ben Stokes suffered an onslaught of sixes from Carlos Braithwaite, creating T20I World Cup History.
It’s time for the next instalment of T20 World Cup Cricket and with the world slowly recovering from Covid, a dose of glitz, swagger big sixes and stumps flying everywhere is possibly the boost of energy it needs!
Originally booked for 2020 in Australia and then pushed to 2022 to be hosted in India against all odds not only to we have the tournament in 2021 but in a very unlikely location of Oman, given that a decade ago, there wasn’t a grass cricket pitch in sight!
What To Expect
The 2021 T20 World Cup will have a slightly different format. Round 1 will be battled out by the teams who have qualified back in 2019 and automatic qualifiers based on T20 World Rankings. The 2019 World cup qualifiers saw Scotland, Ireland, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Namibia and Netherlands fight their way to book their place in the first round of the 2021 T20 WorldCup. Joining them will be 2014 Champions Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The top 2 teams from Round 1 will qualify for the super 12’s and play off against the automatic Super 12 qualifiers which feature reigning champions and the only team to win the trophy twice West Indes, 2010 champions England, 2009 champions Pakistan and the inaugural 2007 trophy winners India. If there is one thing that we can take from this line up its that this trophy is anyone’s!
There will be 30 games as part of the super 12’s before the remaining teams battle through the Semi-finals before finally getting one hand on the trophy in the final.
The Story of Round one
The opening game of the 2021 T20 World Cup was a battle of the debutants, which resulted in an utter 10 wicket thumping inflicted on PNG by Oman. A valiant 56 from Vala, with support from Amini scoring 37 the skill of Maqsood was just too much. Chasing down 129, an average score to say the least, the Oman openers hammered home the victory with an impressive 6 overs to spare, with Jatinder Singh scoring 73 from 42!
The second game was contested between automatic qualifiers Bangladesh and Scotland, who fought hard for their qualification in 2019. Scotland had a horrific start crawling to 6 – 53 with many thinking game over, but an amazing recovery thanks to Greaves 45 from 28 Scotland had a score to bowl at setting 140. Scotland openers Brad wheal and Josh Davey got into their work early taking two quick wickets Bangladesh just could not get going slumping to 134 for 7. Brad Wheal returning impressive figures of 3-24 Able support by Davey 1 – 24 and Greaves chipping in again with 2 – 19
With the conclusion of Group B we have our first upset of the tournament with Scotland, 3 from 3 and top of group B! With wins batting and bowling first, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Bangladesh. The Scots look a really strong team unit, with the ability & quality to create upsets in the Super 12’s. Bangladesh are also safely through but with the blemish of one loss already on their score sheet they will feel they have something to prove, and cornered tiger can be very dangerous… Just ask England!
Todays saw an exciting conclusion to Group A with Ireland suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Namibia leaving them less than 0.3 runs short of a super 12 spot. Batting first Ireland could only muster up a very par score of 125 in 20 with Jan Frylinck picking up 3. You never know how good a score is until both sides have batted, and the Namibian top order put the game to bed led by Erasmus 53* & Wiese a brutal 28* chasing it 2 down in the 19th over
In the final Group A game at Sharjah the Netherlands tackled Sri Lanka who did not waste any time in despatching the Dutch team, who lasted 10 overs, posting a meagre 44 runs with 3 apiece for Kumara & Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan batters wasted no time, putting the game to bed in the 8th over 2 down with Kusal Perera 33*.
With the Round 1 done and dusted, the super 12’s takes their final form with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Group 1, with Scotland & Namibia slotting into Group 2.
The Super Twelve’s week 1
M13: Kicking off the S12’s where South Africa & Australia & with both teams in a transitional period it was hard to pick who would come out on top. Batting first South Africa failed to impress crawling to 118 off their 20 overs with only Aiden Markram’s 40 being the only saving grace for the Protea’s, as the Aussie bowlers shared the carcass of the South African batting line up. Not a romping victory by any means for Australia crossing the line in 18 overs with Smith, Stoinis and Wade marshalling the team gingerly over the line as Nortje lead the Protea’s attack with 2 wickets.
M14: Next up was a show down between reigning T20 WC champs West Indes 7 the ODI WC champs England in an exciting match up and showcasing some T20 All stars. What should have been a spectacular opener turned out to be a “Calypso Collapso” as the West Indes scraped 55 runs together as they were baffled by Adil Rashid who bagged 4 West Indian wickets. England didn’t cruise home as many would have expected however, a win is a win & Jos Butler watchfully seeing England home with 24*in under 10 overs giving them a seriously healthy run rate advantage in the tables.
M15: Bangladesh and Sri Lanka took to the field in game 15 with both sides in consistent form going into what would turn out to be the first run fest! Batting first Bangladesh posted 171 led by Naim with 62 & all star Mushfiqur Rahim 57* with only 1 a piece for the Sri Lankan wicket takers. It has to be said money would have been on Bangladesh to take the win, but Asalanka played out of his screen soring 80* from 49 balls and ably supported by Rajapaska’s 53 the win was secured with an over to spare!
M16: Next up was possibly the biggest grudge match in sport – India Vs Pakistan over 1 billion spectators tuned in to watch this battle of the ages. For the Indian team sadly, it turned out to be a 10-wicket hiding! Batting first India made an underachieving 151 for 7 with King Kholi leading the way with 57 and backed up by Pant who yet again threw away responsibility at a key moment. Afridi was the pick of the bowlers sending 3 to the sheds. What followed was pure class and dominance from the Pakistan openers. Azam 68* from 52 & 79* off 55 from Rizwan, the Indian bowling attack were left beaten, battered and very much in need of a drawing board after 18 long overs in the field!
M17: Group B leaders Scotland are up against automatic qualifiers Afghanistan in another one-sided affair. Batting first Afghanistan blew away the Scottish bowling attack plundering 190 from their 20 with 40’s for Zazai & Gurbaz, & 59 from 34 for Zadran with Sharif taking 2. In reply Scotland showed a total ineptitude against spin as Rahman took 5/20 backed up by Rashid Khan’s 4/9 as they stumbled to 60 all out in 11 overs.
M18: Windes against Protea’s! With both suffering defeats in the opening games the pressure was on to get their campaigns a win. Posting 143 in 20 the West Indes would have been happy with the improvement & a defendable total led by a flamboyant 56 from 35 for Evin Lewis with Pretorius picking up 3 wickets. In reply, South Africa barely gave Windes a sniff with the inform Markram helping himself to 51 from 26 ably support by Van der Dussen 43 and Hendricks 39 cruising home in the 19th over.
M19: After a domination win Pakistan faced New Zealand who always have a trick up their sleeves in limited overs cricket. Batting first New Zealand would have felt 134 was barely par with none getting in to the 30’s as Rauf return 4/22 from his 4 overs. In reply Pakistan made it across the line in a utilitarian fashion & without the dominance which toppled India as they won with 5 in the shed from 8 balls to spare.
M20: A defeat at the hands of Bangladesh is always on the cards for England however this was not the case! Batting first the Tigers clawed their way to 124 with Rahim’s 29 the only innings of substance as the pace of Mill’s ripped through the batting line up, supported by Livingstone and Ali. In reply England left nothing to chance as Roy blasted 61 from 38 with Malan chipping in with a sturdy 28 as England romped home in 15 overs 2 down.
M21: Qualifiers Scotland and Namibia face of the first time in the tournament with Scotland yet again failing to impress with the bat as Trumpelman led the way with 3 scalps & Leask the only notable effort with 44 from 27. In reply the Namibian top order lacked the clinical shot selection which saw them home against Ireland, Smit rescued their hopes with a solid 32 from 23 as Namibia snuck home in the last over with wickets shared amongst Scotland’s bowlers.
M22: Australia took on the unpredictable Sri Lankan’s who batted first making a defendable 154 led by Perera & Asalanka both with 35 & Rajapaska with 33. In reply the Aussies started strong with Warner pumping 65 from 42 with Finch playing an uncharacteristic 37 from 23 as they strolled home with 3 overs to spare.
Standings in Group 1 see England well placed at the top with a healthy run rate of rivals Australia being the only separator, with reigning champs West Indes languishing at the bottom.
In group 2 Pakistan lead the way with 2 from 2 but Afghanistan have a game in hand and a monster net run rate so we could have a new leader in the near future. Scotland having topped Group B are now bringing up the rear in Group 2 with much to prove!
That’s the Story so far in the 2021 T20 World Cup.