England vs. South Africa – 2nd T20 thread

With England winning the first T20 at a canter, it seems like the hugely disappointing performance in the Champions Trophy is already being swept under the carpet. The first T20 was a strange affair as South Africa were truly abject with both bat and ball. The fact that they could only muster 142/3 on that pitch was truly shocking, I for one, have never seen AB de Villiers so out of nick, this coupled with another average performance from the perennially average Behardien, made the English bowling attack look like the West Indian attack of the 80’s! As for their bowling, I think the phrase pop gun would be too kind, they were far worse than that. A truly terrible day at the office for the Proteas and one they’ll need to get out of their system quickly.

This is not meant to take any credit away from England who batted and bowled both professionally and ruthlessly, something England haven’t been exactly renowned for in the near past. Whilst Woods will get most of the acclaim with the ball, it was the two inexperienced spinners that should get the most credit in my opinion as both Crane and Dawson bowled like they were seasoned internationals, not two bowlers who have less than 10 ODI caps between them. As for the batting, Roy got us off to a good start before giving his wicket away and then Bairstow carried England to an easy victory with another brilliant innings. You have to give YJB a lot of credit as whenever he’s picked for a white ball game, he nearly always sticks his hand up with a decent score. It must be incredibly frustrating being the ‘nearly’ man of England’s white ball team and many would’ve displayed a less than positive attitude, but it’s a great credit to Bairstow that he has continued to be upbeat and back his own ability. In my opinion, England simply need to find a way to fit him into the white ball setup permanently.

So we roll on to Taunton, which is hosting its first international game and for a measly £60 you could go and watch it, that is if you’re slightly insane with money to burn. It should be a high scoring game as Taunton is generally a bowlers graveyard and it will be interesting to see what changes both sides make. I still think it would be criminal if Curran, Malan and Livingstone aren’t handed any game time in what is essentially a meaningless series, so it will be interesting to see if and how they slot them in.

In other news, Ireland and Afghanistan have been made full members, which is great news until you realise that they are being funded as Associates who have just lost £40million as part of the settlement to appease the BCCI. You have to give it to the ICC, they are the masters of giving and taking away at the same moment. Then we have the ECB trying it’s best to rinse the media quickly so as to pay off the counties and to swell their own coffers – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2017/06/22/ecb-expect-1bn-bt-sport-sky-prepare-tv-rights-bidding-war/. Stuff the cricket, this is the ECB’s number one priority. We’ll try to cover these in a little more depth when we have the time.

Anyway thoughts on the match and other news below:


46 thoughts on “England vs. South Africa – 2nd T20 thread

  1. northernlight71 Jun 23, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Just thought I’d leave this gem here, from Andy Bull’s piece on the upcoming summer of Women’s Sport.

    “The ECB and the RFU have also started to stage women’s matches alongside men’s games and packaged the two products together in their broadcast rights deals. It’s working. All three tournaments taking place this summer will be shown live. The football is on Channel 4, the rugby is on ITV, and the cricket is on Sky.”

    Hands up who thinks loads of new people are going to watch women’s cricket this summer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jun 23, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      Don’t get me started on this topic. I will probably get banned from here.

      Are there no male sports presenters other than Mark Chapman left on 5 live anymore? Does every aspect of men’s sport, Football, Rugby, Cricket, really require a woman presenter? On the night of the last 20/20 match 5 live had 3 ladies on to tell us about the cricket. The presenter, (who had an irritating shrieking voice) the woman with the double barrelled name from TMS, and another woman on to talk about the woman’s World Cup.

      Notice that when they talk about woman’s sport they have an all female panel. (I have no problem with that.) So why does mens sport need to have a woman inserted into the mix? And please don’t tell me they are there because they are the best there is. They are there because some producer, or middle manager believes what is required is gender equality and so we must have them forced onto us for reason of identity politics, and some idiotic quota.

      The days of the non ex player male sports presenter is drawing to an end, as we either get an ocean of ex players, with their riddiculous suits that are worth more than most people’s cars or a woman. The non playing male presenter is to be consigned to the dustin of history..

      As for woman’s sport, most woman don’t watch it. Given a choice between a woman’s match or love Island or big brother or loose woman who wins? I’m off now to get a new disguise and a place to hide out for the next 5 years! See you all in a Monastery some where! Bye!


    • SimonH Jun 23, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      NL, what did your moderated comment on the Bull thread say?


      • northernlight71 Jun 23, 2017 / 1:16 pm

        My moderated comment was similar to the one I posted here. I quoted the same bit of the article and said I thought that the ECB had ensured that many fewer people would watch the cricket than would get to see the football and the rugby. Then I said it was probably because the ECB didn’t want more people watching the women play cricket than were watching the men, as that would be embarrassing for them. Then I said the whole issue showed the ECB to be rubbish custodians of their own game.
        No unreasonable language. No personal attacks. Perhaps it was too “off topic” as it wasn’t specifically about women in sport, but it was about the exposure of women’s sport on TV so I can’t see a problem really.
        I wasn’t even having a go at Andy Bull. Even though he is a Selvey fanboy and apologist 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. REDRUM106 Jun 23, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Leaving aside the T20 game in which I have only a passing interest, this weekend sums up for me how ineptly the game is being run in this country. Here we are in the middle of flaming June and not a single ball of county cricket will be bowled over the coming weekend.
    Don’t these clowns realise that most people work during the week and rely on the weekend for their recreation?
    The last round of Championship matches ran from Monday to Thursday and what do we have starting on Monday after the weekend as the majority are back at work?? – surprise surprise another round of matches.
    If you tasked someone to make county cricket as inaccessible as possible to a live audience they would struggle to better this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. d'Arthez Jun 23, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Hands up who expects Wayne Parnell to be dropped? Hands up who expects Behardien to be dropped? Although to be fair, Behardien did at least something with the bat (even if it was not particularly good, and given the rest of the batting order, not that bad). Parnell has bowled one good spell in England when it mattered (as much as it can matter in a dead rubber), and a decent spell to Sri Lanka’s lower middle order, when the Lankans had just gifted away the game in the Champions Trophy. Of course that is reason to pick him indefinitely.

    At least the selectors have not picked Duminy (though he is better suited to T20Is and as a middle-overs bat in ODIs than as a finisher, but tell that to the SA selectors – a SR of 87 is clearly the perfect SR for a finisher …) – so that the Test bowlers don’t get to see even more of how to dismiss him cheaply when the Tests roll on.

    Also, it may sound controversial, but I’d drop AB de Villiers. And tell him that he’d need to win back his spot for each and every format. The guy can bat, of course, but picking and choosing when you want to play, when you’re on a central contract is a bit much – especially given the details of the sponsorship deal that he has for bat-advertising.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 23, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      All very well looking to drop De Villiers but wouldn’t that be more likely to push him to becoming solely a t20 gun for hire?


      • d'Arthez Jun 23, 2017 / 2:54 pm

        It might, but seriously, a former Test captain, who is still playing, and does not relish the prospect of facing off against England? You can’t have the situation where there is one set of rules for AB de Villiers, and a different set of rules for all the rest.

        If he wants to go the mercenary route, he is free to do that, once he gets rid of his central contract with CSA. Right now he is having his cake and eating it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nick Jun 23, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      The thing about Behardien is he seems to be playing as a specialist batsmen instead of his old role as a bit and pieces all rounder. This makes no sense to me, am surprised South Africa don’t have been batsmen than this even with all the players who they have lost to Counties.

      I wouldn’t drop AB de Villiers like that, it is basically the way the WI treat their players and it doesn’t seem to work for them. He has to play the rest of the series as he is the only experience player who can captain then SA don’t play white ball cricket again till October and the selectors can make a decision then


    • d'Arthez Jun 23, 2017 / 3:08 pm

      The downside is of course, that this leaves no space whatsoever for Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, who will be consigned to play each other indefinitely. At least it looks that way at first glance.

      So at best, Ireland might get two Tests whenever Australia tour England for an Ashes series.
      And I am really not sure if there is much merit in the proposed tours. They’re effectively playing 12 series out of 16 (over a four year cycle). So, all is not equal.

      England are not slated to play Bangladesh AGAIN. After giving all of two Tests in the current decade to them … Others to miss out are New Zealand (in New Zealand, and Sri Lanka (in England)

      West Indies do get the windfall for hosting India (who are not scheduled to play Pakistan in this proposal), yet Sri Lanka do not. Last time I checked, Sri Lanka helped India out when WICB had to display its utter incompetence in an aborted tour of India.

      Likewise, Australia won’t host Bangladesh, and won’t tour the Caribbean. Or even play New Zealand in that four year cycle. Uh, so, when the Trans-Tasman trophy will be handed out again, it must have accumulated half a pound of dust. Yeah, that is trying to keep rivalries alive …


      • SimonH Jun 23, 2017 / 8:32 pm

        Excellent points D’Arthez and the treatment handed out to Bangladesh and NZ makes me spit. The latter get heralded as the model for ‘new era’ England and the thanks they get in return is no tour of England in eight years (2015-23). Bangladesh will hopefully remember how they’ve been treated when they are one of the powerhouses of world cricket (as they surely will be).

        Some other things in that schedule that strike me:
        1) There’s no second back-to-back Ashes as some of us had been suspecting would be attempted in the early 2020s.
        2) India get a whole English summer to themselves so will still be getting five-Test tours presumably (oh joy). Another five Tests of Ishant Sharma while Trent Boult can Foxtrot Oscar.
        3) In the winter of 2019/20, England will be touring India and SA. WTF? One of those tours is going to have to be downgraded from what we’ve been used to – and I think we all know it isn’t going to be India. SA are also sharing a summer with NZ which suggests one or both will be shafted then as well.


  4. d'Arthez Jun 23, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Parnell dropped, but the batting top-5 retained. Morkel, Morris and Dane Paterson coming in (as far as I can tell). Not sure if that is entirely fair on the bowlers (bar Parnell, who conceded just 6 boundaries from the 13 balls he bowled (one was a wide).

    Curran, Livingstone and Plunkett coming in for England, for Crane, Hales and Wood.

    England won the toss, will field first. I expect them to win this game comfortably as well.


  5. SimonH Jun 23, 2017 / 8:45 pm


    • d'Arthez Jun 23, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      So, if I read it correctly, the ECB expects a free 100 million upfront to whatever broadcaster wins the rights, and expects them to chip in to spread the game? Yet, the governing body charged with doing just that, can’t be arsed to do that themselves? That is like BT asking for funds to develop internet infrastructure, and then demanding that the railways (or what is left of them), do their job for them.

      Madness. Organized and wilful incompetence should be a treasonable offence …

      Liked by 1 person

  6. d'Arthez Jun 24, 2017 / 11:09 am

    Halfway through the India innings, England’s women have not taken a single wicket. And at 135/0, India seem to be well-placed to get a substantial score here.


  7. Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 11:39 am


    I see another of the great over rated sporting brands (probably the biggest) has once again crashed and burned this morning. Namely The British and Irish Lions. The over hyped clap trap that has been on the media this week takes hyper ball to knew levels of absurdity.

    Endless lectures about “the shirt”, and “the passion” and replaying the big speeches of the past all was undone by basic skills. Is the concept of merging 4 nations for a few weeks even relevent today against the best side in the Wolrd?

    An over Hyped, Money extraction model just met cold hard reality. I actually used to quite like the Lions tours. But they have turned into an enormous blimp like corporate jolly of the worst kind. Still time to turn it round I suppose. But will the Lions win the next two test matches? If they do, then the hype will go inter Galactic!


    • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      The post-match “analysis” on Sky was a desperate spectacle of talking up the brand.

      It was also noticeable that certain players who had mediocre games were exempted from criticism (because they play for a club that’s one of the NH’s main brands, I’d suggest).


      • Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 12:37 pm

        And “Brand” is the right term. Was it you Simon who put up a piece about 2 months ago about the Lions brand and the ludicrous prices of hotels and tickets?

        I have to say in all fairness to Brian Moore, not someone I am partial to after his constant idiotic defence of all things Cook he has been one of the few who has been quite sane, and measured in the build up. Pointing out some hard truths about trying to put together a scratch team in couple of weeks vs the best team in the world.

        He has tended to be out shouted by the “it’s all about the passion” brigade. Still, they might turn it around. Right now I would have more faith in an England team under Jones or even Ireland.


    • d'Arthez Jun 24, 2017 / 12:24 pm

      It is increasingly about bread and games these days. With most people being priced out first of the games, then the bread. If people have to spend just 120 pounds a month to get their cricket on television (which is a distinct possibility in England), then most people of course will have been priced out of the games.

      Anyone with half a working brain can see what the commentators do not want to see. Sadly, due to the moronic way things are, that will always be a minority. We saw plenty of evidence in the aftermath of the Ashes in Australia. And anyone who has dared to go below the line on the Guardian since then on the cricketing stories, cannot help but be impressed by the wilful stupidity of many people who post there.

      Of course, as sports followers we all have our favourites and disliked players. That is only natural. But as a pundit one is expected to rise above those biases and prejudices, not to be even worse culprits.
      Obviously it does not help that these so called pundits do many businesses on the side – Shiny Toy for one should be barred from commentating because of the obvious conflicts of interests for one. But there are countless more, across sporting codes.


      • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        One of the other favourite idiocies of the British punditocracy has been much in evidence…..

        reading far too much into warm-up matches.

        Us cricket fans recognise that one. I think my favourite was the puffery about “Ian Bell makes England’s highest-ever score in white-ball cricket” in some up-country game in 2015.


  8. SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    Giles Clarke picks his ‘International XI’:

    Warner, Hales, Pietersen, Morgan….


    • Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      And what if the players decide not to go? Is Selvey going to be a security expert now?

      I will be interested to see how many Indian players are picked in Giles Clarkes X1, and if the Indian govt will let them go.

      Also notice how they immediately give the event “full international status.” How long did they go without giving Packer matches official status? Or have they even done so now?


    • thebogfather Jun 24, 2017 / 2:50 pm

      So, no Eng or WI players for the ‘World XI’ as they will still be competing for crucial points in a #StraussSuperSeries’ until the end of September…unless of course it’s deemed better for our player ‘development’ to experience such games in Pakistan (or Sir Giles insists…)

      On another note, how wonderful to watch Mandhana’s batting today, as opposed to cow-corner Roy and cow-pat Livingstone yesterday…


      • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 3:00 pm

        They also haven’t given international status to Netherlands/Zimbabwe or the Scotland/SL CT warm-up match that Scotland won either – but do for this Clarke brainstorm?

        It’ll be interesting to see if the lure of a PSL gig gets enough big name players to go – or if it takes some characteristic Clarke money-throwing and arm-twisting.


        • Sean B Jun 24, 2017 / 3:23 pm

          Simon, do you remember if the 2005 Aus vs ROTW series was given international status? I think it was, can’t remember for sure.

          It’s going to be the same old waifs and strays who’ve been enticed by the cash. I can see a line up with a few third rate Saffers and Windies players combined with their pick of SL, Bangladesh & Zimbabwe players


          • Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 3:54 pm

            How can they give international status to an ICC X1? Is the ICC a country now? Is Giles Clarke a king or Prime minister?

            This is such a crock. The ICC is a bigger country than Holland or Scotland, or Zimbabwe now?

            Me thinks someone at the ICC needs Pakistans vote very, very badly!


          • Sean B Jun 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

            From what I remember, I think international status of a match requires the ground to be an ICC approved ground, hence why the Scot vs. SL couldn’t be classified as international as Beckenham is basically an out ground. Think the same happened with England playing the UAE a couple of winters ago.

            However, yes it’s a complete farce. I have no doubt that the cockroach has ulterior motives..


          • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

            Sean, indeed it was

            The ROTW matches in 1970/71 were more deserving of international status – and I think I’m right in saying that the Packer matches don’t even have f/c status, let alone count as Tests?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sean B Jun 24, 2017 / 4:06 pm

            Thanks Simon, I thought they must have been as they were ICC backed unlike the Packer series…


          • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 5:38 pm

            Sean, yes they use the ground as the excuse – but that’s obviously all it is. Groundsmen are not ICC-contracted and there are no ground dimension requirements (Eden Park would be trouble for one if there were).

            Liked by 1 person

          • d'Arthez Jun 24, 2017 / 6:39 pm

            I thought with the UAE – England game the issue was that the UAE did not / could not cough up the extra 100k (in pounds) to make the game have official status. Never mind that would have meant they would have blown a substantial portion of their budget on that one particular game …


          • Sean B Jun 24, 2017 / 6:49 pm

            I think that’s correct yes, but they weren’t playing the game at an ICC accredited stadium, from memory they were holding it at the venue for the off-season county T20 games. I think the £100k or so was for enough ground improvements and TV access to certify it being an international status ground.

            Still think it’s complete blarney mind,…


          • d'Arthez Jun 24, 2017 / 7:46 pm

            No, it was not against UAE, it was against Hong Kong (and that was in November 2015). My memory failed me there.


            “England also declined to make their 50-over match with Hong Kong on Sunday an official ODI. Remarkably, it is understood that the ECB claimed not to have the funds available to pay their players full match fees.”

            The issue was that the ECB would be forced to pay the players more for that game (match fees), and we all know how insolvent the ECB is …, and how necessary that the Big 3 Power Grab was (which makes it slightly odd, that the ECB voted in favour of dismantling that monstrosity). Even if there was a concern about the stadium, they could easily have shifted it to an ICC-approved ground. It is not like they are non-existent in that part of the world.

            Hong Kong, has played all of 4 matches against Full Members. All four in the Asia Cup (2 in 2004, 2 in 2008). So that ODI status that they won a few years ago, has served them really well.


          • Sean B Jun 24, 2017 / 7:51 pm

            Yep you’re right, but it was held in the UAE that’s where the confusion lies.

            I remember it now because Etheridge got pissy as his side of events got taken to the cleaners. He had been talking to Simon Cook, whereas others had been talking directly to Tim Cutler, who had a different opinion altogether.

            Not that we were smug about finding this little gem out…


  9. Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    June 24th, longest day & heatwave has been and gone, nothing on the TV, still no Test cricket!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Liew can sometimes get it very wrong but he’s one of the very few willing to challenge ECB dominant narratives….

    England are a young team?

    “In the past decade, no country has given fewer international debuts (in all formats) to players under 21. Crane was the sixth; Australia and India have given 11, Pakistan 20, Bangladesh 26. We are the only major nation that has never taken a teenager to a global tournament”.

    No, they really are a young team!

    “At the Champions Trophy, England and New Zealand were the only countries not to include a single player under the age of 25”.

    Well, so what?

    “England’s core is overwhelmingly drawn from a single generation, born between around 1987 and 1991….With a couple of exceptions, they have all grown up together, come through the same age-group sides, have the same interests and influences, and so it follows that their outlooks on the game will be largely uniform. Naturally, this is a huge benefit for team cohesion – this is one of the closest, most tight-knit England squads in many years. But it means that on the field, England increasingly resemble 11 players with a single brain. The fresh perspective that an untried teenager or grizzled veteran might bring is simply absent”.


    (I’d put this together with something Strauss wrote – but has since forgotten – about a team can be too cosy with each other and what Bresnan told the DM not to long ago about being already carrying multiple injuries and dosed up on cortisone before England finally picked him in painting the picture of what’s wrong with the England set-up)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Jun 24, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      “England increasingly resemble 11 players with a single brain. The fresh perspective that an untried teenager or grizzled veteran might bring is simply absent”.

      Its is a feature, not a bug.

      We hear a lot about automation and robots and driverless cars. England are building a model that soon won’t require a captain.


      • SimonH Jun 24, 2017 / 8:23 pm

        The make-up of the one England team that won an ICC tournament fits in with what Liew is arguing – grizzled veterans in Collingwood and Sidebottom, a bowler who was a mystery to the rest of the world (Yardy), a few young dashers like Kieswetter, solid all-format performers at aroiund their career peak (Swann, Broad) and a bit of stardust from you-know-who. I think their ages ranged from 23 to 36.

        They probably didn’t particularly like each other in some cases – but who cares?

        Still, according to the media they won because the coach was a genius and something to do with wind directions.


  11. Rooto Jun 24, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    Lazily-backed England team go down to barnstorming all-round performance from talented, but unfancied team from the subcontinent, whilst cracking under the pressure and putting in a fairly unprofessional performance. Worth carrying out a compare and contrast on the media reaction. This will be swept under the carpet, I fancy.


    • Rooto Jun 25, 2017 / 6:49 am

      Sorry. Just reread what I wrote last night. There’s a ‘not’ missing at the end. Quite important!
      I think – haven’t read widely this morning to check – the women’s team will get a lot more flak than the ‘way we play’ men’s XI.


  12. Miami Dad's Six Jun 25, 2017 / 8:51 am

    A bit of a late comment.

    As someone who lives in the south, it was good to go to a new ground. Taunton was a worthy host and a nice change from Cardiff or Southampton.

    Did anyone from England speak to anyone from Somerset about the best thing to do when winning the toss? A 5pm start in June on a cloudy day, at a ground with no floodlights? I know Morgan and Bayliss have their ears nowhere near the ground when it comes to the County circuit. I know this because it was bloody dark at the end! Livingstone and the others should be completely excused not getting over the line. Winning the toss then being in that situation – unacceptable.


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