Tag Archives: 20 twenty

FLT20 Quarter finals preview

With Finals day inclduing the two semi finals there won’t be time to blog on the semis. So i am doing it on the quarters.  This is a preview of the big players and teams prospects  for the FLT20 quarter finals. There are four Quarter final games and i will go through each one and outline the big players, the big games and what i think might happen.

The ECB confirmed the following times and dates for the 2012 Friends Life t20 quarter-finals:

Tuesday 24 July, 4:15pm: Somerset vs Essex, Taunton

Tuesday 24 July, 7:10pm: Sussex vs Gloucestershire, The PROBIZ County Ground

Wednesday 25 July, 4:15pm: Yorkshire vs Worcestershire, Headingley Carnegie

Wednesday 25 July, 7:10pm: Nottinghamshire vs Hampshire, Trent Bridge

GAME 1 – SOMERSET Vs. ESSEX

Batsmen to look out for :

Somerset – Their entire Batting lineup is seriosuly destructive even though the likes of Trescothick and Kieswetter whilst injured or on England duty have been Absent, they were still extremely strong. There are strong signs both will be available anyway but in addition to these international heavyweights at the top we have Levi (SA international T20 opener) and Compton followed by Trego,  Buttler Hildreth. To finish off the innings there is Albie Morkel and stuck at the bottom the Irish smasher O’Brien. It is an utterly relentless and unforgiving international quality lineup. There is an awsome mix of T20 knowhow through the likes of Hildreth (who hit the only ton of the competition and it had no sixes in it) and the smashers like Morkel and O’brien.

Hildreth the only T20 Centurion this year, plays for Somerse

Essex likewise have a very strong lineup but it will be at it’s strongest if they have all their big players available. Potentially it could have Bopara, Shah Franklin and Foster in addition to Napier and Pettini. Fine players all. Essex are sometimes a little inconsistent though.

Big six hitters: Levi with 10 sixes in the comp for Somerset.  For Essex their Wicketkeeper is their best batsmen by far with 15 sixes and most runs in the competition so far (244 runs). Kevin O’brien also a huge hitter

Unless Shah turns up or Napier plays another groundbreaking innings, i would say look out in the crowd when James Foster is batting.

Leading 6 hitter in the comp James Foster

Bowlers to look out for  : 

Somerset have both Alfonso Thomas and George Dockrell who are the keys for their bowling success. Thomas vastly experienced, Dockrell has youthful energy and encouraging maturity but has only taken 8 wickets so far. Their strength is most definitely with the Bat.

As for Essex, Topley with 14 wickets at an average of 15 and Smith with 10 at 14 are the big wicket takers in addition to the evergreen Dave Masters and hugely underrated Napier. Essex a force to be reckoned with, with the ball.

Prediction : Very tough call. Although Somerset are known for choking i reckon they have the edge with depth and strength with the bat. This should out do the under performing Essex even though Essex are arguably a stronger all round side with better bowling in the middle overs.

GAME 2 – SUSSEX Vs. GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

Batsmen to look out for : Sussex have a hugely powerful top 5. Nash and Wright opening up. Wright has been extremely successfull hitting 308 runs in 8 games. He has been supported by Matt Prior who will most likely be on England duty. If not then obviously they have a high class batsmen in at 3. In addition there is Goodwin, Styris Gatting and Yardy.

Gloucester i am afraid are not breathtaking. Apart from Hamish Marshall and Ed Cowan they have serious problems with the bat. They have got through winning just four games and have big issues with the depth in their batting lineup. They are light in both quality batsmen and international players. Only as i say Marshall and cowan.

Big six hitters: Sussex have a wealth of hitting with Wright, Yardy and Prior being the main hitters for them. Wright has hit 11 sixes so far and one of the leading run scorers. Look out for him. For Glouc, Marshall has hit just the 5 and can not play all the innings for Glous..

Luke Wright in scintillating form- Scored 103 off 59 balls

Bowlers to look out for  : Sussex not only have quality batsmen but have some leading bowlers. Chris Liddle who has 14 wickets at a misely average of 10 has been an unlikely standout bowler in this years competition. The likes of Yardy, Styris and Beer bring some stability with Wright and Kahn also bringing some impetus with pace.

Glouc have the eternally good Muralitharan. IF he turns up and works some magic, there could be a shock but it would mean Glous having to score some runs so there is something to bowl at. it is not just a one man Murali show though, Ian Saxelby who is had a good tournament so far with 10 wickets has been consistent.

Murali

Prediction : Unless Murali and Saxelby can work some serious magic and the batsmen give them something to bowl at, i expect Sussex to demolish Gloucester and steamroll over them whilst charging to their semi final spot.

GAME 3 – YORKSHIRE Vs.  WORCESTERSHIRE

Batsmen to look out for :

Yorkshire have a very strong batting lineup. Jacques with 248 runs and Miller with over 200 runs. This bulks up the lineup led by the likes of Root, Gale and Ballance. Good in first class cricket but not so successful i this T20 format. Need some performances.

Worcester have been the real underdogs but have led an extremely strong campaign. Phil Hughes has stormed the competition with the most runs (332). He has the trusty and reliable Solanki and the surprisingly aggressive Moeen Ali and Gareth Andrews.

Phil Hughes is the leading run scorer in the competition

Big six hitters: For Yorkshire Miller has 11 sixes and there are the likes of Root and Gale who can bosh it too.  Worcs have big hitters Ali and Hughes. Phil Hughes famous for his unorthodox method but very aggressive. So far he has not hit too many maximums though but definitely has the potential too.

Bowlers to look out for  : Yorks have Mitch Stark who has steamrolled the competition with 18 wickets at 10.75.  As long as he is available (which according to Jason Gillespie he is) he will be pivotal. Ashraf also has 14 wickets at 17 so he will be very important too. Worcester are heavily reliant upon Jack Shantry, Mitchell and Andrews for their wickets but the unorthodoxy of Shantry is often something that has worked in the favour of Worc..

Prediction :  Yorks should win this but Worcester have had an excellent competition and could surprise people if they can use their great top order to pressurize Yorkshire.

GAME 4 – NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Vs. HAMPSHIRE

Batsmen to look out for :

Notts’ batting lineup is star studded. Lumb, Hales, Voges, Wessels, Taylor, Read and Samit Patel are all International quality batsmen and massive hitters. They have shown with big targets in the previous stages that they can out bat the opposition. Perhaps the only flaw would be if they have to bowl first and chase a target out their grasp.

Hampshire Also have a strong  lineup with the likes of Adams, Vince, McKenzie Ervine,  Maxwell, Dawson and of course Mascarenhas*. . They unfortunately will be without the hard hitting ‘BOOM BOOM’ Afridi who was due to play for them.

Big six hitters:

Notts –  LUMB with 10 in the comp so far. Part of England’s T20 world cup winning side and has played in the IPL He has been somewhat lacklusture of late arguably. As we saw in the CB40 Taylor is perfectly capable of boshing the ball around too.

England international Michael Lumb

For Hampshire Maxwell  with 13 sixes  so far (second highest only to Foster) and skipper Dimi Mascarenhas who has proven he can hit very very big in international level

Bowlers to look out for  :

For Notts perhaps bowling is their weak point. Andrew Carter however is thier leading T20 bowler so keep a look out.. but Samit Patel if he plays will also be a good useful spinner.

Kabir Ali for Hampshire has good pace and is canny despite not taking huge numbers of wickets.  Expect big totals and limited dependency on Bowlers

Prediction :

On the basis of Notts having a stronger Batting lineup shown by astronomically high net run rate in the previous stage (1.877) which was the highest out of anyone compared to Hants’s 0.693 i would say Notts to come away with a win and book a Semi final spot. Although Nottinghamshire are lacking in Bowling, arguably Hampshire are too and and Notts are stronger with the Bat

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Most prolific T20 players – Bowlers

Part two of looking at who is the best at T20 in the world taking into account not just international but also IPL and other domestic tournaments will look specifically at bowlers.

To start off i will look at some seamers.

Malinga –  A very unorthodox T20 specialist that is a master of his art. Nicknames Slinger, he has a low trajectory, can get it up to 90 MPH, and has a reputation for crushing people’s toes. He performed strongly in the IPL with 14 matches in 2012 bringing him 22 wickets at a great economy rate of just 6.30. He took wickets and was economical. He bowls quick effective spells and bearing in mind the unorthodox nature of his action, he has considerable control over what he can do. In all T20 he  astonishingly has 155 wickets at an average of 17, and a solid economy rate of 6.58. He is the ideal T20 bowler and he is my number one.

Slinger Malinger in full throttle mode.

Dale Steyn- renowned for being able to make the ball get up to extreme pace and swing and seam, at such a young age he seems such a natural leader. His record is not the best in the world by any standard with only 109 wickets at just over 6 and a half as an economy rate. However in IPl 2012 he  picked up 18 wickets at misely 6.10 an over with an avergae of 15.83 which is slightly unbelievable. For me he is a great bowler that runs through the crease. He is natural, quick, whippy and could be one of the best bowlers ever. He is up there for me as one of the worlds best T20 quicks.

Morne Morkel is perhaps one of the most lethal however towering down from just below 7 foot. He is closing in on 100 wickets and goes for around 7 and over. He is pretty fast but occasionally cannot get the yorkers in which perhaps could stop him from getting on my list.  Morne Morkel did however end up as the leading wicket taker in 2012’s IPL with 25 at 18

Dirk Nannes – would have been my number one BUT he has dramatically fallen away. Overall he has a brilliant record with the most wickets (178) .. a good average of just over 20 and 5 four wicket hauls. He however is an expencive bowler going at 7.18 and in the latest champions league was going at over 10 runs an over. Perhaps if i was writing this a year ago he would be at the top of the tree but he is nowhere to be seen in the IPL stats table and has really let himself down.

Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Morne Morkel are three super quick bowlers that can really blast away the batsmen. Brett Lee used to be nearer the 100MPH mark but has slowed down to just the low nineties and high eighties. Still a serious force using his experience and mixing it with his pace to become a truly effective T20 bowler. His bouncer yorker mode is still the hardest to detect. Lee does not have an impressive record with not a huge amount of Wickets, an average over 30 and a very moderate economy. He is however renowned for his quality from other forms. I have put him ahead of both Nannes and tait. He has better records but has experience and class which is invaluable. And lets face it.. he can whack a ball a long way too !

Shaun Tait is seriously fast. Broken the 100MPH barrier a few times and isn’t slowing down. He has over 100 wickets at an average of 21 which is impressive for such a fast bowler.   In this year’s IPL he was awful. Almost Nannes’ esc, with only 6 wickets in 6 games. Arguably he could have played more if his team went through, but surely that’s because he wasn’t bowling well enough to help his side. He is very injury prone and very inconsistent. He should make it onto the list but i simply don’t think he has done well enough

Wildcard picks:

Rana Naved – He is a bowler that also uses his experience and class to outwit a side with the ability to crank it up to the mid 80’s but also to expertly slow it down. He is without doubt a masterful bowler that has over 100 T20 wickets and a great average of just over 20.

Dernbach – Another master of the variation. Not a good record but climbing up the ranks now known for his t20 specialty. I personally have seen him get it over 90MPH before so he can definitely quicken it up, but he honestly has one of the most lethal yorkers i have ever seen. He has some serious raw ability and i think should be in the IPL and getting some action.

Other Bowlers i have considered are Pathan, Kumar, Albie Morkel, Langvelt, Phillander, Broad, Arafat

Now onto the spinners !!

In 33 games (15 of them IPL) Narine has taken 46 wickets with 24 in 2012’s IPL. His overall average is incredibly just 14 with and IPL average of 13.5. His economy rate is 5.20 with an IPL rate of 5.47. He seems to be an effective and consistent spinner with a great record and he is my best spinner i can pick. He is challenged however by by Saeed Ajmal and Swann.

Sunil Narine, the Player of the Tournament, is carried by his team-mates

Ajmal has 125 wickets at 15 with an economy of 6.34. He is an astonishingly simple but good bowler bringing both edges into playas he spins it in and out. I argue he isn’t an off spinner as roughly half his balls spin the other way usually. He is a masterful bowler and is clearly one that flourishes in all forms despite the inconsistencies of his lackluster Pakistani colleagues who are often daubed by corruption and drug allegations.  Swann dosn’t have as many wickets but has a fantastic average of 18 and a brilliant economy rate of 6.6. He And Ajmal are both in my top 10.

Super Ajmal performs in all formats. Leading light for Pakistan

Muralitharan, the man with the most test wickets is also a prolific T20 bowler with 139 wickets at 20.75 and an economy under 6.5. He has really excelled but i wouldn’t i’m afraid place him on my list of most prolific purely becuase he is now getting a bit older and is close to retirement. He had a good IPL in 2012 but didn’t get into the top 5 bowlers so he will be overlooked. A bowler i feel deserves to replace the master spinner is Aswin. He has broken into the test side but there is no doubt of his quality in the T20 format. He has a solid low average of 22 and under six and a half for an economy rate. Perhaps this isn’t the best in the world, but i think he is a prolific bowler and should be considered for the list.

Afridi, the leg spinner in my view is now a bowler that can bat a little bit, whereas he broke onto the scene as a hitter that bowled. His T20 record is very good with 159 wickets and a 5 for. He averages 18 which is very good and i think his skiddy Kumble like bowling action makes him a perfect T20 bowler

I do agree with some of the above rankings, but i have compiled my own with a few tweaks.  I have added a few Pakistani players such as Umar Gul , Ajmal and Afridi who didn’t play IPL cricket but i think are prolific T20 bowlers. Gul has 121 T20 wickets at an average of 17 which i think makes him one of the best opening bowlers in  the world.  I also was considering placing Daniel Vettori in the list but i didn’t feel he was better than Ajmal, Swann, Afridi Narine or the likes of Murali and Ashwin. Yadav makes it onto the list due to his 19 wickets in IPL 2012 whcih is even more than Dale Steyn but he simply dosn’t have enough experience and a strong enough to record he just about makes it at 10.

1. Narine – (WI)

2. Malinga – (SL)

3. Morkel – (SA)

4. Ajmal – (Pak)

5. Gul – (Pak)

6. Steyn – (SA)

7. Swann – (Eng)

8. Afridi – (Pak)

9.  Lee (Aus)

10. Yadav (Ind)

——————————————————————-

Some players that were close

– Zaheer(Ind), Kemar Roach (WI), Munaf Patel, Yadav (Ind), Broad (Eng) , Thomas (SA), Vettori (NZ), mendis (SL) Perrera (SL) , Nannes (AUS), Tait (AUS)

Most prolific T20 players – Batsmen

The  current World rankings are very preliminary  for T20 and i don’t think are reliable. They only take into account the international fixtures and not enough T20 Internationals are played to accurately reflect who the best in the world really is for T20. For the batting i have looked at a few sources including statistics and records, The IPL, Domestic tornaments and of course international T20 competitions. The current top 10 for international batting is as follows: Guptill, Morgan, Mccullum, Raina, Jayawardene, Dilshan, Sangakarra, Warner, Duminy.  ( http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=2020+batting+rankings)

I want to quickly look at why they are there and if they deserve it before saying what i think it should really be.

1. MJ Guptill – Does not get picked for the IPL due to existing contracting commitments with Derbyshire.  I do not doubt Martin Guptill’sability in the format and he deserves his place in the rankings for sure, but he is just not the most prolific batsmen in the world. I would argue he isn’t the most prolific even in New Zealand with Ross Taylor and Brendan McCullum both ahead of him. That just shows how strong NZ are with 3 in the top 10 in my books.
2. E. Morgan -Plays limited amounts in the IPL. Not as effective as when he first burst onto the side. His unorthodox technique means crouching at the crease he has been consistently found out against the short ball. Morgan only averages 27 in T20, Only has seven fifties and no tons. Totally out of his depth in a statistical sense.
3. B McCullum – Fair enough but if he is there so too should Ross Taylor
4. SK Raina – Fair. Both Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli have been brilliant in the T20 format. What about Dhoni though ? Surely Dhoni is a renowned hitter ?
5. DPMD Jayawardene –  Arguably more a longer format specialist. Averages under 30 with only 70 odd sixes. A bit out of his depth one thinks. Then again he brings the innings some stability amongst all the chaos.
6. TM Dilshan – A little overrated averaging 27 with only 50 odd sixes. He did however invent the ‘Dilscoop..’ and help to transform inovation in the game.
7. SR Watson – Under achiever. Doesn’t get enough runs or tons. Good average and SR but no tons.
8. KC Sangakkara – fair enough but averages under 30 with no tons. He brings experience of Test and ODI cricket and for that reason is ever reliable. He does have the ability to hit out, but like Jayawardene he is more a settled steady middle order player that the likes of Pollard or Gayle would anchor around.
9. DA Warner – Should be higher one feels. More to follow..
10. JP Duminy – Not always a permanent fixture of the side. Good average, stady strike rate, no tons.
When compiling what i think are the most prolific, the records and stats show a few names that keep popping up and it is largely not the names above. Guptill is certainly no where to be seen, having not put himself up for auction in the IPL. He has a decent record but one feels he dosn’t play enough t20 to have had an impact oon T20 as a whole and not just the International format.
The name that appears a lot is D.Hussey . Hussey has an astonishing record with 187 matches but 4666 runs. He has only ever got 1 hundred but is a solid middle order batsmen. He has 27 fifties and just under 200 sixes. He has been playing from the start and outscores even the mighty Chris Gayle.  Not just statistically but Hussey is a prolific batsmen technically. Not able to play tests, he regularly plays international too in the T20 format and is one of the best in the world. He hasn’t been as prolific as Gayle and co in the IPL so perhaps he isn’t as dominant as he once was.
Chris Gayle has  the most unbelievable records. He was the top scorer for the last two IPL’s and the first scorer of an international T20 hundred.  Having only played 107 games he has taken T20 by storm and bulldozed records down to size: Gayle has accumilated 3970 T20 runs, including 8 hundreds which is the most. He has-281 Sixes, also the most. This year in the IPL he averaged around 60 which is incomparable to the next best run scorer, Gambir with 39  . He is utterly prolific. Utterly dominant and utterly incomparable and done it all at an astonishing rate. He is my Number 1 batsmen

Another huge Gayle hit

Warner is too low down on the International rankings in my view. Despite being a little on the side he is a big hitter. He has adopted the sweep and reverse sweep as trademark shots and boy does he know how to hit it.  In 127 games he has produced 3682 runs with 5 tons. He is a prolific batsmen from down under where the grounds are absolutely enormous.  Like Gayle he has a high strike rate, Gayle’s being over 150, Warner being 143. This is not to shabby. Having only played 8 games in this IPL in 2012 one could see why he wasn’t the top run scorer, but even in that time he hit a scintillating ton.
Ross Taylor records are up there with the best arguably . He has 3200 runs at an average of 31 and  has a 145 strike rate. Very solid.  He is 4th on the list of 6’s behind Gayle, Pollard and D. Hussey with 186. He is ahead of Brendan Mccullum, his fellow countryman who has a few less with 177. He is even ahead of Warner.  Taylor however had a shockingly bad IPL scoring 1 fifty in 12 matches.  A record could be ruined if he carries on like that
Kieron Pollard is a player on my list in spite of his slighlty shaky stats. He can literally destroy a bowling side. He is an even more prolific hitter than Gayle arguably as he is a right hander so can really smash the off spinners with the Spin. He has 199 sixes which is unbelievable baring in mind he only has 2817 runs (near;y 1200 in sixes alone ). He has an extremely high strike rate of 160 however. He is obviously a player that to an extent under achieves with few tons and not enough runs, but his raw ability to hit gets him on the list.
AB De villiers and  Kevin Pietersen most notably are arguably up there with Gayle and Warner. Pietersen made a name for himself early on in his career as a hitter, smashing Warne all across England, Reverse sweeping Murali with distain and most brilliantly hitting McGrath over his head on to the Pavillion. KP and De villiers of course should be on the list but not only due to hitting. They are both seen as class players not just smashers.

De villiers launches it

 Pietersen has some what toned himself down and now uses his brilliant technical ability and fast hands to score big runs. De Villiers arguably the most improved player on the planet also one that can use deft touches and paddles whilst also possesing an ability to smash the ball out the ground. I personally think as good as Morgan is, for Pietersen to not be in the top ten yet be Englands player of the tornament in the world cup for T20 is a crime. He is awsome.

Pietersen hits out in whites

 There are a few others that are simply raw talent and are consistent performers. Sehwag has a decent record. Not incredible but steady, yet we all know from other forms how utterly unrelentingly destructive he can be. Then there is Dhoni, Yuvraj, Afridi and Tamim Iqbal. These four players deserve a mention due to reputation not records and stats. We all know that Dhoni can really hurt a bowling side with his trademark unorthodox yet effective style. Yuvraj famously hitting 6 sixes, Afridi nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’ yet a professional under achiever in an under achieving side, and surprisingly both Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Ul-Hasan have really good techniques and reputations. Tamim in particular was really ruthless and powerful against England a number of years ago.  One last name that simply must have a mention is Dwayne bravo. regularly picked in the IPL and a big big hitter. Not sure he is the best but he is up there.
It is unfortunate Pakistani players are not allowed in the IPL because he likes of Umar Akmal and Afridi would be on the list if they had better records i think. Its too unsubstantial to include them and they are also often very inconsisten despite being champions of the last world cup.
To finish this, i will pick my top 10.  I cannot include every big hitter or international batsmen, so just bare with it 🙂
1. Chris Gayle WI
2. Dave Warner AUS
3. Kevin Pietersen ENG
4. AB De villiers SA
5. Ross Taylor NZ
6. David Hussey AUS
7. Martin Guptill NZ
8.  Brendan Mccullum NZ
9. Suresh Raina IND
10. Kieron Pollard WI
(few that missed out are DuminySA , Yuvraj IND , Dhoni IN)