The ICC World T20 is approaching its business end with almost all places for the Super Eights being decided. India have been the most impressive so far and look the team in form and the one to watch out for.
West Indies showed that being the home team has its advantages. It is not just the knowledge of what the pitches will do and the crowd support, but the information about the weather. The West Indian boys utilised that to win a game that looked hard for them.
Most islands in the Caribbean are lashed by sudden rain, and it is here that local knowledge comes handy. In Guyana, where the rain can last far longer than just a quick shower, it was Ramnaresh Sarwan’s knowledge of weather pattern helped.
Chris Gayle opted to field after winning the toss because he realised that the game could be decided by the D/L method. England put up an impressive 191, which would have been a real challenge.
The rain that came down within a few deliveries of the West Indians’ innings meant that they had to get 60 runs in six overs to win.
A team that has 10 wickets in hand knows that it cannot be dismissed in six overs and can go flat out. That’s exactly what Gayle and his boys did and went on to win comfortably. They had beaten England in the ICC World T20 last year and the D/L method had come in for comment from the English media. It would have been interesting to see the quantum of runs required under the VJD method, which is used in Indian domestic cricket. The method seems a lot more balanced for teams in situations like this.
Even if England felt hard done by the weather, they would have thanked the rain for saving them against Ireland.
The Irish, who had bowled with spirit to restrict England for only 120, had to score only 30-odd in six overs to win the game by the D/L method. Unfortunately, rain did not allow the overs to be bowled and the resultant sharing of points saw England qualify for the knockout on a better run rate.
It is here that the Irish were slow off the tracks unlike the West Indians, who in a similar situation the previous day went hammer and tongs. Ireland thus lost out on a golden chance to put one across England and get to the knockout stage.
Hopefully, the rain will stay away and the remaining matches will be decided by bat and ball and not a mathematical method.