What a superb final! Whilst England return having nearly tasted glory, the West Indies have taken the title home to match the womens team. But what can we take from this quite staggering tournament? Sport-Matters considers the winning factor and England’s change in Part 1…
1) Batting was the key to T20 Victory!
The reason we saw such a phenomenal final in Kolkata was because of poor batting from England. The bowling of both teams added to the excitement but the falls of wicket came from batting errors and this was a pattern through the tournament.
A 155-9 score was begging to be chased down by the West Indies who have been the best batsmen. Throughout the tournament, star-man Chris Gayle achieved 113 runs from 58 balls faced, leading to a strike rate of 194.82, the best strike rate of the tournament. Gayle clearly highlighted his reputation as a hard-hitting batsmen, especially when you consider he is one of only two players who hit a century this tournament.
But the key word is ‘batsmen’ here, not ‘batsman’. Looking back at the statistics, Lendl Simmons hit 82 runs from 52 balls faced, leading to a strike rate of 157.69, which is the fifth best of the tournament. The West Indies had three players in the top 20 for best tournament strike rate- no other team could match this. The batting form was the winning factor in this limited overs tournament and the West Indies had the hardest hitters!
2) England: Light at the End of the Tunnel
Across the country, people will be wiping the tears away for what could have been, perhaps with a sense of deja-vu to last year’s ODI World Cup. However, there’s a change- we’re not crying out of embarrassment for not qualifying from the group stages but weeping at how close we were to winning!
Let’s look back to England’s performance last year. The top English run scorer was Ian Bell with 262 runs from 6 innings (27th best of the tournament), the best English strike rate came from Jos Buttler with 135. 57 (7th) and the top English wicket taker was Steve Finn with 8 wickets from 4 innings. Sounds good but bear in mind that this is One Day International cricket with 50 overs instead of 20…
Joe Root symbolised a new and improved England for this tournament.
Onto this year’s T20 statistics. The top English run scorer was the superb Joe Root with 249 runs from 6 innings (3rd best of the tournament), the best English strike rate again came from Jos Buttler with 159.16 (4th) and the top English wicket taker was David Willis with 10 wickets in 6 innings.
Let’s break this tirade of numbers down. Joe Root was only 13 runs off Bell despite playing approximately 150 overs less, meaning Root was more accurate than Bell as the best English run maker. Buttler’s strike rate this year was better by 23.59 than last year, indicating a self-improvement. When considering wickets taken, the best Englishman this year took 4 more wickets than last year’s wicket taker in 80 less overs, indicating a higher bowling accuracy.
It’s simple really: England improved all aspects of their game and deserved to be in the Final. The tears will be shed but the pride has been restored.