Tag Archives: T20

ON THIS DAY: Drop it likes it hot – Kamran Akmal is gifted to the world

On this day in 1982, Pakistan’s favourite, wicketkeeper, batsman, Akmal brother… comedian?.. was born.

Famed for his comical and ever deteriorating keeping standards, Kamran Akmal has contributed to making Pakistan one of the most entertaining teams to watch.

Perhaps most controversially, In 2009-10 he  was suspected of match fixing against Australia.

Akmal dropped four straightforward catches in the Australian innings, three of those coming from Michael Hussey, who scored 134*. Hussey was a central player in a 9th wicket partnership stand of 133, which allowed for Australia to eventually win the game after bowling Pakistan out for just 139, winning the match by 36 runs.

Although having always denied it, and since having been barred and recalled to the squad, a cloud of suspicion remains, which will be hard to remove until conclusive evidence is provided.

Other than the catches he drops in matches which are allegedly fixed, sometimes, he dropped catches because he is a generous man.

Bowlers really don’t like it.

All that said, Akmal does sometimes do stuff right.

As a wicket-keeper, he has participated in 206, 169 and 52 dismissals in Tests, ODIs and T20Is (so far). Here is a rare clip of him catching the ball.

When not flapping behind the stumps, he is pretty handy with the bat. His aggressive counter-attacking and often untechnical style has paid off, with a number of former Pakistan players arguing for his reinstating in the side in the top three, especially in limited overs cricket. 

Strong recent domestic form. This has pushed his name into the hat for a spot in the Pakistan side, more-so as a batsman than a keeper.

“I don’t want to comment on our chances in the World Cup until I am selected. But honestly speaking, I myself still don’t know why they discarded me all of a sudden after the T20 WC. I was not even considered good enough to the make the pool of 40 players, which was very disappointing,” Kamran said according to Cricbuzz.

He scored this fabulous ton against arch rivals India in a Test, which was one of four impressive centuries against them, between 2005-7.

In ODI cricket, he is an especially strong cutter, puller and driver, which can be very effective during the power play, and has delivered him success especially in the top four

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England T20 World Cup Preview

England 15 man squad: S. Broad (C), J. Bairstow, R. Bopara, T. Bresnan, D. Briggs, J. Buttler, J. Dernbach, S. Finn, A. Hales, C. Kieswetter (W/K), M. Lumb, E. Morgan, S. Patel, G. Swann & L. Wright

Tournament record : P: 17, W: 8, L:8, NR/T: 1,  W%: 47.06%  –  Best: Champions in 2010

England are in Group A, which also contains T20 giants India and somewhat passionate minnows Afghanistan. England have lost to minnows in T20 and in other formats so they will be praying for no slip up. It would be a catastrophe should they fail to make it through.

The opening combination is Hales and Kieswetter. Hales is coming off the back of 99 in his last T20I but is in foreign conditions and won’t have long to settle. Kieswetter, can be a destructive clean striker but on sub continental pitches there is a risk his aggressive style could be flawed by slower bowling and lower bounce. He has been reliable behind the stumps so far despite costly drops against S. Africa. He will need to prove his keeping is up to scratch on Sri Lankan tracks.

The positions in the order are not certain or fixed. I assume that 3, 4 and 5 will consist of Bopara, Morgan and Bairstow with a combination of Buttler Wright and Patel to follow. Bairstow seems to excel under pressure and can hit a ball mighty hard as he showed on finals day hitting an exhilarating 68. Despite relative inexperience he has played against India a fair amount in ODI cricket.   Eoin Morgan and Buttler will be the batsmen innovating with sweeps, switch hits, paddles, laps and scoops. This is needed against the slower bowlers to score runs and release pressure throughout the competition especially in tight scoring situations. Both Morgan and Buttler can crucially clear the rope with big hit too. Morgan especially is a very strong player down the ground.

The first of the all-rounders is Wright. A successful year yielded 312 runs in the T20 campaign, over 400 runs in the Cb40 for Sussex and selection for the big bash. Although a little one dimensional he is capable of hitting all over the wicket. He can bowl well at the death too. Bopara offers stylish wristy but often unreliable batting and bowls useful wobbly seam. After being included in the ODI side ahead of Bairstow without any justifiable form to speak of he certainly has to prove his worth or more doubt could seep in.  Patel is capable of batting in the middle or lower middle order and offers a spinning option. This reinforces flexibility at the disposal of Broad and Flower.

English bowlers need pitch it up. Stopping runs and taking wickets are strongly linked so bowling short on Sri Lankan pitches it will not be effective. It is likely to dissapear.  Most likely Dernbach will open and close the innings drying up runs whilst taking wickets with variations. He has the capacity to bowl upwards of 85- 90 Mph, but his strength lies in slower balls, slower ball bouncer and cutters. He disguises variations well and uses to them good effect.

Dernbach after taking 4-22 against India in 2011

The tall quick bowler in the side is Finn. He uses pace and height push the batsmen into their crease and attacks the stumps once batsmen are pinned back. He has a good bouncer and yorker and bowls tight to the stumps. He’s occasionally wayward but can bowl upwards of 90 Mph.

The captain has the most control. Broad In T20 ups his pace for bursts of full fast attacking bowling and will take middle overs most likely.  If he bowls well it will certainly lift the side. Broad can also clear the rope with the bat. In T20 Bresnan can bowl a heavy ball at a useful pace. His strength is Zeroing in on the stumps along with Broad and Dernbach to fire in yorkers. Bresnan’s main flaw is his occasional indiscipline dropping short or too wide. He is a capable lower order batsmen also.

England will need Swann to reclaim his flight and loop which was absent in the last 6 months in patches. Variations in both pace and flight will be needed to prize out batsmen by bowling economically.  Swann is a big spinner of the ball and he will hopefully be able to take wickets regularly which is the best way of being miserly with runs. His understudy is Briggs, the second spinner in the squad. If he plays, he will not be turning the ball a significant amount but is a holding spinner.  It would be his  job to maintain pressure. 

One gets the feeling the batting is not as settled as the bowling unit. Morgan, Bopara and Bairstow must step up as the senior batsmen and lay a platform so Broad Dernbach Finn and Swann in the main, will have something to bowl at. Without runs on board England can expect to struggle to bowl out sides as there will be less room for maneuver.

Ireland Team Preview – T20 World Cup

Ireland 15 man squad: W. Porterfield (captain), A. Cusack , G. Dockrell, T. Johnston,  N. Jones, E Joyce, T. Murtagh, K. O’Brien, N. O’Brien, B. Rankin, P. Stirling, M. Sorensen S. Thompson, A. White ,  G. Wilson

Ireland are a side of decent county pro’s and domestic players. They are not a phenomenal side but definitely have spirit and some big hitting batsmen. They have upset sides in the 50 over format, but have two heavyweights in their group. An upset would be seismic, but if any side can do it It is them and if it can happen in any format it is T20. Ireland will not be looking to win the tournament, but perhaps to take their games as close as possible and ride the wave of being minnows.

T20 World cup record :  P:7  W:1  WIn %:14.28%  L:5   NR/T:1

Best performance: Super Eights 2009

With the bat:

Porterfield in international T20 has a SR of 116.13 SR, one fifty. He crucially has English county experience for Warwickshire regularly playing with players like Bell, Trott, Woakes and his compatriot Rankin. As the International captain, he has to show his maturity and class at the top and keep a steady ship to maintain Irish dignity so they do not crash out embarrassingly.

Opening with Porterfield will be either  the newly Irish Irishman Ed Joyce or Sterling. Fresh from a minor stint with England which he scored a ODI ton against Australia, Joyce has become Irish once more. He and Porterfield are solid county players. Can they step up?

Paul Sterling has a SR of 122 and has 3 T20 Fifties to his name. As a professional cricketer for Middlesex in domestic T20  cricket his Strike rate 133.37 and he has 8 fifties. He will provide a powerful start at the top of the order, but like the others, can he give Ireland a glimmer of hope at the end of the rainbow ? (couldn’t resist)

The Surrey Keeper Gary Wilson and the Northants Keeper Niall O’Brien are also both in the squad giving yet more county experience. In county cricket they are consistent performers that will be invaluable to Ireland having faced other International cricketers in the county circuit before.

Kevin O’Brien has a SR of 97 SR and 1 fifty. He is famed for scoring the fasted ever world cup  century against England (50 overs).  He is a seriously big hitting batsmen and could be the engine behind an Irish upset. He has played for Somerset in their T20 campaign so clearly is thought of highly and can bowl as well.

O’Brien after his exhilaration match winning hundred. One of the great upsets

With the ball- Seamers:

Boyd Rankin is very tall, pretty fast and gets awkward bounce. He has played for the England Lions and has aspirations of test cricket for England. This tournament will be his last appearance in fact as he will be retiring from playing for Ireland to pursue test cricket for England. He could be the strike bowler but what else do Ireland have beyond that.. That will be crucial.

Tim Murtagh is a county pro for Middlesex. He is used to opening the bowling with Steven Finn and is the accurate and canny experienced partner of the tall fast Rankin. He is not so threatening but could give control.

Trent Johnston will provide experience and wicket taking guile. He is the leading Irish T20 International wicket taker but not fast or overly threatening.

With the ball – Spinner:

George Dockrell is only 20 but captained Ireland’s U19 side and is a regular first team player for Somerset. He is picked out as a potential star of the future, perhaps with England. His left arm orthodox is economical and takes wickets. Could he occasionally open the bowling as their best bowler ?

Dockrell already a county regular at 20 years old

Cool head:  Kevin O’ Brien showed his ability to play astonishing cricket under serious pressure in the world cup when he smashed his hundred against England.

Possible flaw: Lack of penetration. Ireland are a side filled with good county players like Rankin, Porterfield, Nail O’brien and Dockrell but lots of lesser known and unproven players. The Big players need to pull their weight if there is to be an upset.

Prospects –  A side capable of an upset for sure, They have good fast bowling and spin bowling stocks, solid top and lower order batting depth. Any further than the super eights will be a major upset but they are in the correct format to upset. They will provide exciting and passionate cricket but i don’t think they will make it to the super eights with the mighty West Indies and Australia to face up to. I hope they do though.

West Indies Team Preview – T20 World Cup

West Indies 15 man squad:  D. Sammy (c), Dwayne. Bravo (v/c), S. Badree, Darren. Bravo, J. Charles, F. Edwards, C. Gayle, K. Pollard, S. Narine, D. Ramdin (wkt), R. Rampaul, A. Russell, M. Samuels, L. Simmons, D. Smith

The West Indies have a genuine front line chance of winning this. They are not really underdogs at all. They have powerhouse batting lineup with IPL stars and the best bowler in the IPL who recieved the player of the tournament. The likes of Pollard, Samuels, and the Bravos back up the powerful Gayle and his probable partner Simmons or Smith.

T20 World cup record :  P:13  W:6   WIn % : 46.15%  L:7   NR/T:0

Best performance: Semi finals 2009

With the bat:

Chris Gayle is the obvious star man. He has a SR of 143.91 with 7 fifties, 1 ton and 67 sixes. He holds the most runs for the WI in T20 Internationals and also the most T20 International 50’S for them. Gayle’s 2012 IPL stats are also daunting with 733 runs (the most),  59 sixes  (the most). and plenty of hundreds.

Brutal Chris Gayle bashes the opposition away

Dwayne Bravo  provides big hitting and a SR of 130.19. He has  3 fifties and  22 sixes. He is a swashbuckling right handed all rounder  who will be invaluable both with bat and ball. In a potentially very unstable unit capable of special things  he could be the glue. His Brother may not play all the games with spaces in the side hard to get, but his brother has the Brian Lara flair about him. Not to the same extent or ability, but he is also a special player in tests and ODI at least.

Marlon Samuels has had an incredible breakthrough year batting his career back on the road to success. He has been successful in Tests and T20 but not so successful in the IPL or in International T20. If his good form continues he could be devastating. However, if he fails the middle order could quickly collapse.

Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard are two allrounders that will also offer some huge six hitting power and useful medium pace. Pollard is definitely a hot and cold batsmen. Either he goes crazy or he gets a duck, but he can make some of Chris Gayle’s hits look like lobs sometimes. He hits it seriously hard and long. Smith also a big hitter with English county experience.

Kieron Pollard can hit a very long ball

With the ball – Seamers:

Darren Sammy will use accuracy and variation such as slower balls, cutters and swing ( 31 wickets at 17.48 average.) He isn’t fast but is useful in T20 because of his control and variations.

Ravi Rampaull (18 International T20 wickets) bowls disciplined lines and lengths and can swing the ball. Good to both left and right handers he is steady but not too threatening.

Fidel Edwards will provide the pace and bounce but can be inconsistent, regularly leaking runs and bowling extra’s. On Sri Lankan pitches it might be very unforgiving.

With the ball – Spinner:

Sunil Narine – Domestic T20 average of 13.58 which is exceptional. He was player of the tournament in the IPL 2012 with 24 wickets at an average of 13.50. He maintains a very low economy of 5.47 and a low average indicating simply that he takes wickets and gives control to the captain. He is surely the man to watch. He can however only bowl 4 overs a match so someone else needs to stand up and help.

Sunil Narine – Player of the tournament in the IPL for the KKR

Cool head:

Darren Sammy – Captain, steady bowler and useful lower order striker. Under his captaincy in 2012 the West Indies beat NZ in a test series in addition to  5 ODI wins out of a possible 7 and  2 T20Is wins out of 3 . He has handled the side well and makes useful contributions. The only possible issue is that the side carry him a little bit. His place is not there on merit entirely, there are certainly better bowlers than him around.

Possible flaw: 

West Indies are a very Batting heavy side. Gayle, Smith Pollard Dwayne and Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels pack the batting line-up but apart from Sunil Narine there is limited bowling stocks. Sammy is not so much threatening but steady. Rampaull accurate but not dangerous and Edwards offers pace but is often wayward.

Prospects:

The West Indies need big scores from their powerhouse batting lineup. Batting is their strength. If they can do this with the likes of Narine, Rampaull and Edwards in the bowling stocks, there is no reason why they cannot win the tournament. They should cruise past Ireland to join the Aussies in the semi’s. I wouldn’t put it past them to defeat the Aussies. The issue for them is an over reliance on their enigmatic opener Gayle and their slightly light bowling stocks.

Australia Team preview – T20 World Cup

Australia 15 man squad: G. Bailey (capt), S. Watson (vc), D. Christian, P. Cummins, X. Doherty, B. Hilfenhaus, B. Hogg, D. Hussey, M. Hussey, G. Maxwell, C. McKay, M. Starc, M. Wade, D. Warner, C. White.

Australia are traditionally a side that refuse to give up. Until the umpire calls the game to an end they fight to win it. They dig in, they are gritty and hard working, tight knit and high class. They may not have the players of the past but they are still playing high quality cricket. They need their inexperienced seamers to fire if they are to win.

T20 World cup record :  P15 : W:9   Win %: 60% , L: 6   NR/T:0

Best performance: Runners up in 2010

With the bat :

Watson  has a SR of 152, with 7 fifties and 43 sixes which is 3rd on overall list. He offers a reliable start and has shown ability to play very well especially straight. His runs are invaluable before the experienced Husseys anchor the innings later.

Watson in the IPL

David Warner has a SR of 140.35 with 6 fifties, and 38 sixes which is 5th on overall list. He will be Watson’s opening partner and is capable of big hitting all around the ground. He does occasionally give it away so could be an early wicket and teams will target this. He is a seriously explosive player though and can take any side apart on his day. Look out in the crowd !

David Hussey: Has a SR of 112 , 3 Fifties, and 33 Sixes. He is experienced. Perhaps not what he used to be, but still a very solid middle overs batsmen. His Brother Michael Hussey is obviously also a very high class batsmen especially in pressure situations. David Hussey has struggled in the sub C against spin occasionally.

With the ball  – Seamers:

Starc is a Left arm fast bowler that has taken 13 wickets in the Big Bash and 22 wickets in the English T20 league (the most). He is the ‘next big thing’ of Australian cricket for many. If he turns up for Australia in the same way he has domestically then he could be really special.

Clint Mckay could be the control that Bailey needs. He has limited T20 experience but is a fine line and length bowler. He is disciplined and able to vary his pace. He could be the control that Bailey has.. If he plays. Hilfenhaus is also a good experienced line and length bowler

Pat Cummins is a 19 year old injury prone, quick right arm fast bowler. He can move the ball at pace. If he stays fit he could be an exciting prospect. He is relatively unknown as he is so young and has not played a huge amount of cricket. He is in somewhat of a battle with James Pattinson for the fast bowling spot in the test side.

Pat Cummins at Lords, impressed

With the ball – Spin:

Hogg, Left arm Chinaman – Now past forty years old has come out of retirement and collected 13 wickets in the big bash. He averaged 18. He is unorthodox to many as left arm Chinaman is not a common trade. He could collect some wickets with his flight and variations, especially his lethal flipper and googly. In Sri Lanka a good spinner is vital so Australia need him to fire as Doherty is not a big spinner of the ball if he also plays. I expect Hogg to be the front line spinner.

Cool head:  Michael Hussey – Experienced in all forms of the game. He has performed in test matches, County cricket in Australia and England, One day cricket, T20, IPL, Big bash spin and seam bounce and no bounce. He has done it everywhere from opening to finishing an innings, he is calm  under pressure. He can take his side from a nervy chase put them in strong position from difficulty. If he is solid Australia are fine.

Possible flaw:

Lack of experience in T20: The absence of Michael Clarke will be a hit. George Bailey’s captaincy and batting is also relatively unknown and  arguably weak so it could be a challenge holding his side together to win it. Australia’s leading experienced T20 bowlers i.e. Tait, Lee and Nannes are all absent so the new crop of Hilfenhaus, Starc, Cummins McKay, Maxwell Christian and Doherty have to step up. Despite limited amounts of T20I cricket, they have showed promise in the One day format.

Overall prospect:

Never underestimate the Aussies. The West Indies are their main threat but I expect Australia to beat Ireland to the super eights. They are a strong, gritty and hard working side. Often a tight bowling unit with capable big hitters. They could be the surprise package in the tournament with a relatively unknown side. The likes of Maxwell, Starc, and Christian have all done well domestically and will need to transfer this form over.

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

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)

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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)