The T20 World Cup is over and Australia won it. Before the Semi-finals began I was totally convinced that Pakistan were the right choice. I was wrong Australia beat Pakistan and England were blitzed by New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchel.
Both Semi-Finals confirmed a creeping thought that many have uttered. In 20 over cricket, its easier to chase than to set. While the conditions in Dubai and Oman certainly aided chasing, the thought that chasing is easier is getting harder to avoid.
England in their loss to New Zealand set a substantial total of 166. It was not until the seventeenth over which went for 23 runs that New Zealand had any hope of winning. Without this dramatic increase the pressure to score boundaries would have been much greater.
After the wicket of James Neesham in the eighteenth over England had to be the better choice. New Zealand still had 20 runs to win at the start of the nineteenth over. Which they got, in that over. The surprise of New Zealand winning was sudden. It appeared to be a complete change in fortune.
In the other Semi-Final between Australia and Pakistan it looked from afar like Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis stole the game away. However there were differences between the two teams. Differences that are not always so clear. Especially at this level of cricket.
It’s All About Execution
The differences in the top eight countries are often found in execution. We are talking about the best cricket players in the world. A difference of micro-seconds and millimetres can bring victory or defeat.
The difference was clearly seen when India demolished Namibia. But when India blinked against New Zealand the difference was not have talent. It had to be somewhere else. Which is when the over used word “momentum” gets played.
Momentum is a quasi-transcendent force that the winner holds over the loser. In the Semi-final between England and New Zealand there was plenty of momentum for England. That is until the twenty runs needed were scored in the penultimate over.
Cricketers regularly play to a target in 20 over competitions all year round. The equation is easy. Especially when you know the run rate required and have the players who can and regularly score more than 15 runs an over.
Sure modern bat technology has come to the batters aid, but the potential of 360 degree scoring has also become a true reality. With switch hitting and ramp shots aplenty. What is required is defensive capabilities of the bowlers and well executed fielding plans. All of which end as the ball sails over the boundary.
Pakistan had chances. Four run out chances and catches that did not stick. What in hindsight comes to the fore in Australia’s win against both Pakistan and New Zealand were the defensive bowling of Adam Zampa, Glen Maxwell, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
The percentages between win and loss are miniscule.
Phillip Hall has been too long in Melbourne to see AFL in the same light as those back in Fremantle. East Fremantle born and bred, he would love to see the Dockers back in the eight. But would settle for just beating West Coast twice a year.