T20 World Cup – England v Afghanistan

Note – Sean has a post below, and I’ve stuck a new one up as well. But I need to set up tomorrow’s game…
An early start for this one, as England seek to solidify their position going into the final round of games. Despite the fantastic win against South Africa, the chasing down of a mammoth total did not do a huge amount for the net run rate, and so it probably means that to qualify we will need to beat Sri Lanka and hope South Africa lose to West Indies or give them a huge beating (assuming South Africa beat Sri Lanka, of course).
There’s the danger. Afghanistan are not to be treated lightly. England can be vulnerable to non test playing nations in these competitions. We can’t assume a team that puts up a spectacular performance like they did with the bat on Friday, can just repeat it. England should win, but it doesn’t mean they will win. The unspoken words are that we don’t need to just win, but win very very well.
Comments below, as per usual. After this game we’ll see where the land lies. We have Sri Lanka to play on Saturday, and then we have to wait for three other games in the group to play out. We’re by no means certain of qualifying even if we win the last two games.
And I’m noticing that I’m still using “we” for England. It’s still there. Somehow. Lord knows the authorities that run our game don’t deserve it.

82 thoughts on “T20 World Cup – England v Afghanistan

  1. SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 9:21 am

    England won toss and bat (Afghanistan would have batted too).

    Vince in for Hales (back trouble) and Plunkett in for Topley.


  2. rpoultz Mar 23, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Looking forward to Nasser Hussain saying variations of ‘New England’, ‘Positive Cricket’ and ‘No Fear’….never seen a commentator with such a drop off in standards in recent times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Three wicket over!

    Morgan bowled for a golden blob, playing no shot. Comedy run out of Root.


  4. "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 23, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Carnage, utter carnage!!


    • Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 10:14 am

      She cannae take anymore captain! She’s gonna blow!


  5. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 10:12 am

    “as England seek to solidify their position going into the final round of games”



    • Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 10:17 am



  6. SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 10:16 am


    Pitch isn’t coming on – but it isn’t a raging bunsen.


  7. d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 10:18 am

    57/6. It would have been fun to see these batsmen against India, in say Nagpur …


  8. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Somehow, we’ve got to make sure that we last the 20 overs…


    • Andy Mar 23, 2016 / 10:20 am

      never a good thing to be thinking in a t20!!


  9. Andy Mar 23, 2016 / 10:20 am

    So…. explain to me why limiting how many of these ‘lesser’ teams get to play on this stage is a good thing?


    • d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 10:24 am

      No one is interested in one-sided games Andy. Therefore, no one should have the chance to show England up (like the Dutch did in 2009 and 2014), and thus produce one-sided games, aided by England’s hapless game plan(s).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 10:30 am

    Phew! Looks like we might survive the 20 overs after all!


  11. SteveT Mar 23, 2016 / 10:38 am

    TMS people have spotted Andrew C Strauss. Immediately saying none of this can be his fault!


  12. "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 23, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Wait for it…Wait for it…”young side, inexperienced against spin/ Indian conditions, building for the future, good dressing room” etc, it’ll be better than Boycott Bingo!!


  13. nonoxcol Mar 23, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Almost too precious to post:


    • nonoxcol Mar 23, 2016 / 10:54 am



      • oreston Mar 23, 2016 / 11:03 am

        What a wonderful sense of humour that man has…


      • Tuffers86 Mar 23, 2016 / 12:37 pm

        Jebus. Why did Selvey feel the need to mention loads of people in a meme that flew over his head?


      • nonoxcol Mar 23, 2016 / 12:02 pm

        (I don’t either, but it’s not a big stretch to imagine a similar response even if the joke were more obvious…)


  14. Andy Mar 23, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Afg need 143 to win


    • SteveT Mar 23, 2016 / 11:09 am

      Game well and truly on. Like all fellow neutrals, I will be cheering for the Afghans


    • SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Should Afghanistan just try to win this – or try to improve their NRR as well?


  15. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Afghanistan ‘doing an England’! 64-6!


  16. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Easy! Easy! Easy!


  17. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    I think Stokes is about to explode after being murdered for 6 by the Afghan number 10 lol


  18. d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    England won, but barely. 15 runs difference (England made 44 in their last 3 overs, Afghanistan just 25).

    So, looks like England’s NRR is going to be poor, which could spoil things if there are ties on points in this group.


    • nonoxcol Mar 24, 2016 / 8:48 am

      OMG. Only just saw who it was that reprieved Moeen Ali (3 reds on Hawkeye for the lbw).

      Who would *ever* have believed it?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    A bit like the SA game for Afghanistan – very good in patches and gave a FM a fright but one really bad over (25 this time off Hamza, 29 last time off Rashid) and some middle order fragility cost them.

    They didn’t have the rub of the green either – Moeen Ali was more LBW on 20 than Shahzad was yet Shahzad was given out and Ali wasn’t (that’s based on subsequent ball-tracking evidence – not just my opinion).

    England’s bowling looked better with Plunkett in. Afghanistan’s late flurry hurts England’s NRR – it doesn’t matter unless SA beat WI in which case….

    Watch out for anyone saying that a good performance like this against a FM helps Afghanistan’s cause for more matches – they haven’t been paying attention for the last, oh let’s say, about twenty years.


    • d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 3:15 pm

      Well, has Pakistan not played more matches against Afghanistan and Ireland than all other Full Members (with the notable exception of Zimbabwe) combined?


  20. Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Afghanistan Who Are Ya?! Who Are Ya?! Who Are Ya?! Who Are Ya?!!


  21. d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    In the other match India are 117/6 after 16.5 overs. Tough position to cause an upset from – India could become the first Full Member this tournament to win, despite losing the toss. We’re only more than halfway through the group stages now …


    • SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 4:45 pm

      India are going to get out of jail massively here if Bangladesh don’t win this.

      Can they refer the actions of some of the Bangladesh batsmen?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick Mar 23, 2016 / 5:13 pm

        As tight as a tourniquet…


      • SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 5:19 pm

        34 needed off last four. Ashwin and Jadeja bowled out.


      • d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 5:47 pm

        It was just 2 needed from 3 balls, with 4 wickets left. Now it is 2 needed from 1 ball, with 1 wicket left.


      • SimonH Mar 23, 2016 / 5:51 pm

        Oh Bangladesh – how did you lose that?


    • d'Arthez Mar 23, 2016 / 5:50 pm

      Not 1 wicket, but two wickets left. Either way, massive choke from the Bangladeshis.


  22. Amit Mar 24, 2016 / 1:47 am

    Whatever said, both the games last evening were good.
    Afghanistan must have revived memories of previous losses to associate teams. If only they had batter as well as they bowled and fielded.
    England barely made it through and though there’s a chance they might qualify for the semis, it seems academic at the moment. WI still have to play against Afghanistan and on current form, they do look fairly certain to make the cut. That leaves SA and Eng slugging it out but since SA play Sri Lanka last, they will know exactly how many they need to win. Lanka have been a disappointment so far and i don’t see how they will win, unless the pitch turns square.

    The other game was in some ways a proof of India’s strengths coming into the tournament. So far, they’ve scratched around, with most players not having done much and yet they’ve won 2 games. India were playing well before the WC started, but the big guns like Rohit haven’t really done much yet. If Rohit and Dhawan find form in the next game, Aussies will feel the heat.
    Bangladesh ran them real close. The tension was high. The BD team deserves kudos for playing well under pressure of losing a strike bowler. Indian bowlers pulled it back, even if the fielding was off yesterday.
    But that still leaves 3 teams with a chance to go through. Pak / Aus / India can all still qualify depending on the results. That should make most games going forth a knockout of some kind. Despite all the ticketing fiasco, this is still a fantastic way to lead into the last stages of the tournament.


  23. nonoxcol Mar 24, 2016 / 6:25 am

    Just the 1 in 7 moderation rate on Selvey’s latest. It will probably increase too.


    • BoredInAustria Mar 24, 2016 / 7:14 am

      I posted:

      ” I thought to save Selvey the trouble – so: “This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by his community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.”

      Post disappeared!!!

      By the way, love this site, my first cricket site in the morning – thank you all!

      Liked by 3 people

  24. d'Arthez Mar 24, 2016 / 7:54 am

    They’re complaining the 50-over World Cup took too long.

    But that does not stop the ICC from having days without games in the group stages of the second round of a T20 WC. Now, I know logistics can be a bit tricky in India (due to the size of the country), but still. The ladies are playing three games today.

    So for 23 games in the actual tournament, we need 19 days. That is roughly 1.2 games / day. Not exactly a great pace, considering T20s only take three hours (that is if fielding sides bowl their overs in the allotted time).

    They needed 44 days for 49 games in the ODI World Cup (1.1 games / day), and they will need 49 days for 48 games (0.98 games / day) in the forthcoming ODI World Cup.


  25. AB Mar 24, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Bangladesh…. what on earth were they thinking? 2 off 3 balls with a whole load of gaps in the infield. Just fucking nudge it and run for gods sake. You could do ANYTHING except slog the ball straight up in the air.


  26. SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 10:05 am

    Look who turned up yesterday –

    (If you wish to read Atherton’s latest, you can do so through Peter Miller’s Twitter page. I don’t agree with it but it’s an interesting piece about whether bowling can improve like batting and fielding).


    • nonoxcol Mar 24, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Clearly their appetite for taking the piss is insatiable.


    • SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 11:58 am

      “He opened up with 88, a highly satisfactory return in his first innings since the end of England’s Test series against South Africa in January,…. Cook will relish the opportunity to make a contribution to Essex’s bid to end their long stint in the second tier”.

      Not meaningless second division runs against poor quality bowling, then?



    • SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      “To satisfy the associate advocates, who occasionally impede a good argument with a hint of zealotry”.

      Whimsical understatement will stop the steamroller of rampant greed and self-interest? Of course it will!

      Jeez, this makes Selvey look like C.L.R. James.


      • nonoxcol Mar 24, 2016 / 12:29 pm

        It’s absolutely bloody terrible, isn’t it? Probably the worst article he’s ever put his name to. He wrote something similar at the start of the 2015 World Cup and appears to have learned or taken account of absolutely bog all since.


      • SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 4:05 pm

        It’s almost as if an editorial line has been decided at the Guardian that goes something like “the ECB are betting the house on T20 so hype it up lads, your readers aren’t sufficiently in love with it”.

        One of the more amusing aspects of that Selvey piece on the Melbourne Renegades is that Selvey is now a collusion course with his core constituency, the County Championship brigade. I don’t think they quite realise it yet. The merde is really going to hit the fan in 2019 and it’s going to take more than another nostalgia piece on Ken Barrington to smooth things over then.


    • Tregaskis Mar 24, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      I was struck by Selvey’s question, which did not seem to be the least bit rhetorical:

      “Do they produce such surfaces for the Indian Premier League? It is hard to believe they would encourage low-scoring, tight contests when sixes are sponsored.”

      Nothing here to suggest he has ever watched an IPL game. He’s collecting his cheque every month but does not have the least clue.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Today’s women’s match between England and West Indies isn’t being televised and, because they’ve packed all the TV equipment away, there aren’t any TV replays for a third umpire. They’re the top two teams in the Group.

    Another triumph for this “brilliant”, “compelling”, “spellbinding” (TM Vic Marks) tournament.


    • RufusSG Mar 24, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      The organisers have lucked out a bit in that, despite the terrible job they’ve done and the other farcial aspects of the format (the “first round” etc.), the actual cricket has (well, in my opinion anyway) been extremely interesting and compelling for the most part, with very few snoozefests: they’ll be hoping that it pulls the wool over everyone’s eyes about how useless they’ve been.


  28. d'Arthez Mar 24, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    And don’t forget excellently organised. The organisation is so great, that you wonder if the organisers could organise the proverbial in a brewery.

    But yeah, it was great that we only had to wait for 25 games in a tournament for the toss to be finally overcome against a Full Member, albeit it was “only” Bangladesh, and then just barely – Bangladesh threw away the win.

    I’d be surprised if that number was higher than 6 for any 50 over World Cup ever played before.


  29. SimonH Mar 24, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    A crowd stat!


    • d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 8:57 am

      Yeah, was the organisation in the West Indies 2007 not derided for low attendance rates, that it was hard to get to the stadiums for supporters, poor scheduling and planning?

      I suppose that the ICC has learned a lot from that fiasco from an organisational perspective, right?


  30. paulewart Mar 24, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Is Giles Clarke very impressed by Eddie Jones or has this winning lark put him off rugby for good?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherwick Mar 25, 2016 / 6:18 am

      No dickheads in the England rugby team now, other than the new captain and…


  31. SimonH Mar 25, 2016 / 11:55 am

    Highlight from Australia’s innings this morning:


    • SimonH Mar 25, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Comfortable 21 run win for Australia – despite both teams having identical scores (136/4) after 16 overs of their innings. Assuming NZ beat Bangladesh tomorrow, it sets up a straight knockout for second place in the group between India and Australia on Sunday.

      Quiz question: Today’s match featured a player born in Swansea bowling to the ICC T20 94th ranked batsman in the world – name those players…..


      • d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 1:07 pm

        Without looking it up, the 94th ranked must be Steven Smith. He really has not shone much in T20Is (much like AB de Villiers for instance). And by process of elimination, Imad Wasim for the bowler – of all the others I know they were not born in Swansea.

        Even if New Zealand lose, there is only one team that can get on three wins as well – either Australia or India.

        The only way to get a three way tie on 6 points between teams would have been for New Zealand to beat Bangladesh, but having lost one game against Australia or India – and that winner to lose the game against the other team (so, either Aus beat NZ, but lose to India or India beat NZ, but lost to Australia).

        It would be fun if Australia – India was a washout. India would be eliminated on rain. If it was good enough for the Associates, it is good enough for Full Members. Then, because of the massive amounts of “lost” money, due to the early elimination of India, they might reintroduce reserve days again. It would be yet another accidental improvement hoisted on such tournaments, since the ICC cannot be bothered to organise anything properly.


      • SimonH Mar 25, 2016 / 1:18 pm

        Correct on both counts!

        If NZ lost, and Australia won, it is just about possible Australia could top the group on NRR. It would need both results to be quite thumping though. India are so far behind on NRR that couldn’t happen.

        On-line weather forecasts for the weekend games that I can find don’t indicate much chance of rain.


      • d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 5:05 pm

        First the points count, then NRR. India will be knocked out in case of a N/R (on NRR), or loss (on points).

        If India win, they’ll finish second, unless New Zealand lose by a massive margin.


  32. d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    Why South Africa keep picking Rossouw is beyond me. Deer in headlights. Again. And again.

    Anyway, India accidentally broke the trend of Full Member winning toss = win game, but I can’t see that trend being broken in the SA game.

    That means it is quite likely that England make it to the semi-finals


  33. d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Is there any chance that Quinton de Kock could become the first batsman to carry his bat in an all-out innings in a T20I? Pathetic by the batsmen thus far.


  34. LordCanisLupus Mar 25, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Honestly, I’m quite sad about this. I might rail against him a little, but he’s a passionate cricket fellow who never showed an irksome side…

    We need people to report on cricket, not freelancers paid a pittance. The game is disappearing from public view. This is a sign.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Mar 25, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Well, Rabada just silenced several thousand fanboys. He really is one of my favourite things about world cricket right now.

    Which leaves four forenames and four surnames at the wicket for the West indies.


  36. d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    So, toss wins the game again. Exciting.


    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Mar 25, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      It’s a quite extraordinary stat and one that, given my peripheral interest in the format, I wasn’t aware of until I saw it on here. Is this a pattern seen in T20s outside this tournament I wonder?


      • d'Arthez Mar 25, 2016 / 9:34 pm

        The clear answer to that Keeper99, is no. Sure, the toss is important but normally not that important.

        For instance in the ODI World Cup of 2015, both Sri Lanka (to New Zealand) and England lost to Australia after winning the toss. Those were the first two games of the tournament.

        The T20 World Cup of 2014 had 11 instances in which the Full Member losing the toss won the game, in the main stages of the tournament (2 groups of 5, semis and final; 23 games in total). Which is about 50% of the games (games featuring the Netherlands do not count for this statistic; though to be fair, even the Dutch overcame losing the toss against England to win by a substantial margin).

        At this rate we’d be lucky to see 2 games in which a Full Member overcomes losing the toss to another Full Member.


    • SimonH Mar 25, 2016 / 8:07 pm

      There was a heavy dew this time – ropes were being dragged around the outfield.

      The ball was also changed twice in just sixteen overs (the first occasion seemed because of damage from a six into the stands – the second was not at all clear why).


  37. SimonH Mar 25, 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Laboured win by the West Indies.

    So, if England beat SL they’re through. If SL win, then they’ll go though if they beat SA or SA will go through on NRR if they don’t (unless SL absolutely thrash England and only just lose to SA).

    I think.


  38. thebogfather Mar 25, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Just posted this btl on SA v WI thread… it may not last… lol


    Hmm… there’s a lot of confusion among us lowly bilious inadequate outside cricket plebs here… I’m sure Mr Mike, with his in-depth knowledge of Indian pitches, the IPL, NRR and the whole world of his T20 experience, straight from pitch-side, with added Saker sense, will put us all right… at least until Giles says otherwise… and wasn’t it cute to see Director comma cnut, the silent yorkie, that other smarmy bloke and Mr Clarke keeping a space for Selfry in that oh so crowded stand… (hey…Mikey doesn’t have a TV, otherwise he’d have given us his personal insight on some tittle-tattle called DOAG by now…)


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