England versus Pakistan First T20 Match at Dubai
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Swann made a mess of the match
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Inept England Fails To Cash In the Advantage
England Squanders Advantage
England looked well set to win the first T20 match against Pakistan till it fumbled on its advantage and surrendered the victory to Pakistan. It was an inept display of batting by the England players against an average bowling stuff of Pakistan. When Pietersen and Kieswetter were batting with command, it looked that England would coast victory in a casual manner. Kevin Pietersen simply continued from where he left in the last one day match against Pakistan and looked unstoppable. Pietersen had scored two centuries continuously in the third and fourth one day matches. It looked as though he was set for a third consecutive century, though scoring a century in a T20 match is by no means easy even for the best of the batsmen.
Swann Damaged the Cause of England
Pietersen departed, holing out a catch. Even at this stage, England’s win never looked suspicious as Ravi Bopara was making things easy for his side. The target of 145 set by Pakistan was also not very difficult to attain, particularly on easy batting pitch. None of the Pakistani batsmen could score even a half century and the top scorer was Malik with 39. In England’s reply also no half centuries came. Swann performed well with the ball for England and bagged three wickets at economical run rate. But it was the same Swann who damaged the cause for England with his bat.
Swann Had Learned From Southee, It Seems
In the last two overs, England needed to score at more than ten runs per over for a win. Swann swished his bat at three or four deliveries without connecting. This proved costly for England and increased the asking rate to an impossible figure. At this stage, missing even a single ball proves costly, let alone missing three or four balls. One may say that Swann was only a bowler and could not be blamed. In T20 brand of cricket, there is no distinction between bowlers and batsmen and everybody has to aim at a pot shot whether it fetches runs or gets him out. Missing to connect balls shows only your inefficiency. This was what Southee did for New Zealand and made it to lose its last T20 match against South Africa. Southee missed to connect the ball in the final important over. Only a boundary was needed in the last ball of the match for a match as well as a series victory for New Zealand. But Southee’s clumsy way of handling spoiled everything for New Zealand. It seems Swann had taken a cue from Southee by watching that match in TV.
Could Geoff Boycott Have Handled A T20 Match?
England had begun the T20 series with a bad start by losing the first match to Pakistan. This will undermine the confidence of England. Pakistan team is not something to boast about. They have a mediocre bunch of bowlers and batsmen. On the other hand, England is a well-knit side with strength in all departments of the game. The uncertainties of T20 brand of cricket makes it difficult to guess the outcome of the match and the series. Even if a strong side is pitted against a weak side, one cannot assume victory for the former under all circumstances. Very unorthodox and unconventional risky strokes are needed to be resorted to by the batsmen in both sides in order to push the score further to the maximum extent. Cricket techniques are given a go by and only spectator entertainment comes to the fore. I wonder what Geoff Boycott would have done had he played a T20 match.
Lucky That Ayatollah Khameini Was Not Watching The Dubai Match!
It was really a wonder that a T20 match held in Dubai also attracted the cheer girls who dressed in latest fashion, danced and cheered the audience. This show would have been taken as a normal practice in countries like India, Australia or England. But in an Islamic conservative place like Dubai, this looked at odds to the cultural practice that exists there. Iranians do not play or watch cricket matches. In a way it was good as otherwise, the show of cheer girls in Dubai would have incited Ayatollah Khameini to issue a fatwa against the United Arab Emirates President.
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