Review of the Stanford Super Series

November 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm 1 comment




The twenty20 event ended with England being humiliated and walking away from the event empty handed. The two representatives from England, Middlesex and England, were expected to come away from the tournament richer, but it was the west Indian teams who showed them just how to play twenty20 cricket. Coming into the tournament no one gave the Super stars a chance against an England team that recently thrashed the South Africans. However, it was Gayle’s men that went away with the $20m  and with the confidence that they can challenge any team on the world stage after recording a superb 10 wicket victory.

 

The Performance

One look at the scorecard and the first thing you see is 11 failures in the England batting line-up. The highest score was Patel with 22 off 24 balls, with only 2 others managing to make it into double figures. It was a mixture of poor batting by England and excellent bowling by the superstars that led to the lowest twenty20 score for England. The Superstars came to the field to restrict England early on and that it exactly what Sammy and Powell provided. They bowled with great variation, mixing the pace of the ball and also at one point Powell decided to bowl 2 yards short of the crease. England had no answer and lost four wickets trying to force the ball to the fine leg boundary. The openers came out with a lack of authority, struggling with the pace of the pitch, nudging the ball into gaps instead of getting on top of the bowlers. Chris Gayle showed them the way to open, straight away getting on top of Harmison and Broad, not letting them settle. The middle order came and went, done by clever bowling of the superstar team. Patel offered some resistance to save England from even more embarrassment but was run out desperately trying to set a decent total. The Stanford team came out and finished it off in style and ease, at the same time showing that the pitch was not a big problem as England made it. Overall it was a poor performance by England, all 11 individuals performed far lower than their ability and the Stanford Superstars were the worthy winners.

Selection

 

For this match no one change would likely have made much difference as it was a poor team performance. The only problem with the team selection on the night was England’s decision to stick with the Bell – Prior opening partnership. Bell’s inclusion in the twenty20 team continues to be criticised because of his inability to hit over the field and play aggressively. His opening partner Matt Prior has had a worse time in Antigua scoring just 45 runs with only 3 fours, and batting with an average strike rate of around 84. The inclusion of Bell in the twenty20 team has not been justified and I will be surprised if he is selected for the twenty20 world cup. For that event the likes of Key, Denly, Malan and Bopara will more likely come into the selectors head to replace Bell in the current team. For this event the choice to bring in Swann for Anderson was the correct one but Swann wasn’t given the chance to show this. In the twenty20 world cup, Anderson will likely play and if needed Swann should be on hand to replace Luke Wright in a long England batting line-up.

 

The state of the Stanford Super Series

 

The Super Series did provide great entertainment up until the final game. The crowd will have been disappointed not to have been treated to more big shots but still backed their team to the end. The talk throughout the tournament was on the state of the pitch, the low floodlights and also Stanford’s behaviour. Pietersen admitted that England were distracted by what had been going on through the event. For next years event the problems with the pitch and light will be sorted and Stanford is likely to take a more backstage approach after attracting criticism. There has been talk of England coming to next years series under a new name as the event had no official status; however, the organisers are keen to play the official England team in order to promote the game in the American market. The tournament will take place next year, the ECB cannot afford to cut ties with Stanford, who is bankrolling the “EPL” tournament in 2010, and has organised the twenty20 quadrangular tournament ahead of the twenty20 world cup.  

 

As for Stanford’s comments that the Superstars can beat anyone in the world, they will have a chance to prove that in the quadrangular tournament. The West Indies team to play in the twenty20 world cup is also likely to consist of mainly the same team as the superstars’.

 

The talk before the match was how a player would respond if they were responsible for the team losing the $20m, on this occasion however, the whole team will be responsible. You would hope that the team bounce back from the defeat and are not psychologically affected by the defeat when the ODI team, consisting of the same players, land in India. The momentum which Pietersen talked about will not be there but it will give the team experience and match practise before the ODI series.

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Short Backward Square  |  November 3, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    England comprehensively outplayed. Got what they deserved.

    Reply

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