Another day of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and another rain affected day. England were perhaps robbed of victory against the West Indies on Monday but they perhaps robbed Ireland of a famous win last night. Having limped to 120 from their 20 overs having been put into bat by the Irish, the heavens opened upon the commencement of the Irish innings and five overs were not completed. The no result sees England progress to the Super Eight series.
It was all change from the terrifically timed charge that saw England plunder 191 runs on Monday. The wicket here in Guyana was an altogether different surface from the one that enabled Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright to cut lose so magnificently barely 24 hours previously. The seam movement and carry through to the wicket keeper must have had Lalit Modi turning in his recently dug Twenty20 grave. This didn’t fit in with the blazing vision of sixes, sixes and more sixes.
The new ball nipped around and the spinners were nigh on impossible to get away. There was never any danger of a big score being amassed here. The only man who looked at ease on this surface was an Irishman. Unfortunately for the men in green he was scoring his runs for the Three Lions. But for the efforts of Eoin Morgan England’s total could well have been an altogether more miserable affair. Should England somehow claw their way into the semi-finals the Middlesex man will be crucial to their efforts.
Paul Collingwood’s men will now face up against South Africa (assuming they see off Afghanistan), New Zealand and defending champions Pakistan in the Super Eights Group E. They will need more batting performances like that produced on Monday if they are to carry on in this tournament, although this side of the draw is arguably more favourable than Group F which will include India, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Australia (assuming they beat Bangladesh).
The English bowlers have yet to get a proper run out so far in this tournament due to the weather and confusion appears to be reigning in this department. A less than happy James Anderson was omitted from the starting XI here against Ireland in favour of Ryan Sidebottom and it will be interesting to see how England settle on their bowling attack. Indications so far are that spin and medium pace will be the order of the day on these Caribbean tracks, although the tournament will not be returning to Guyana again.
At this stage the tournament is still anybody’s. We’ve yet to see a major upset so perhaps today could be the day with South Africa and Australia taking on Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively. The Super Eights commence on tomorrow with England and Pakistan kicking things off.
By Miles Reucroft