Croft

Croft

Firstly, the days that my prodigies arrived on earth were the happiest, most interesting days that I have ever had.  I was not sure if to shout, cry or laugh.  I certainly celebrated!

So, even if you are single mothers, doing masterful almost impossible jobs as both father and mother, or if you are really fathers, if only by biology, or idealistically, real male heroes of your off-springs:

“Happy Father’s Day!”

Now, people called what happened at Cardiff ‘cricket drama’.  I think it was plain cricketing stupidity!

West Indies cricketers, mostly fathers themselves, must be ruing their lack of timing, lack of game sense even, in that game v South Africa.  They easily had the game in their hands, and then just threw it away!

Knowing that rain was always going to be a factor, all bits of information and appreciation were necessary.

How could West Indies not know par scores, each over, as suggested by Duckworth-Lewis computations?

It was not difficult to have that information.  Indeed, the par score was actually high-lighted on the score-board, so please do not tell me about “drama.”  This was just plain crap cricket by West Indies!

When Kieron Pollard was out, trying to bludgeon another boundary, when just a single would have sufficed, and keep his wicket, to put West Indies into semi-finals with one wicket less, and better Net Run Rate than South Africa, one had to remember events at Guyana National Stadium, in 2009, v England.

Then West Indies Coach John Dyson, thinking that West Indies were ahead, actually called his batting players in, allowing them to leave the field, thinking that WI had won.  They were actually two runs behind!

Dyson suggested that he had read down the wrong column.  Ironically, at the time, only Shiv Chanderpaul queried that decision.

I remember suggesting that Dyson should have been fired on the spot!  If he was an aviator, he would have killed people every week!  One must always know one’s tools used for work!

But pressure was always on West Indies last Friday.  They goaded, even boasted, that they would win!

West Indies should not have had to scramble to get just 231 from 31 overs; 7.5 runs per six-ball over.

Was South Africa’s bowling, Dale Stein et al, that good?  I say a resounding “No!”

When at the crease, West Indies seems to faze into an aura of melancholy, that open space between heaven and hell known as “purgatory”, where self-assuredness seems to fail them when really needed.

I had previously warned that 50 overs are not T-20’s.  When West Indies played India, that aspect was obvious, West Indies struggling to make that adjustment.

None of West Indies’ wickets v India were the results of great bowling.  India’s spinners simply strangled West Indies’ much vaunted and celebrated batting line-up, with great patience.

Over 50 overs, the bark of West Indies seems much louder than its bite, especially against spin bowling!

Our big T-20 hitters have been unable to come to terms with patience, manipulation and determination to go past an energetic 40 or 50 of hitting out, and to try to stay the full course of the 50-over innings.

The statistics told a strange tale when West Indies batted v India, making just 233 in 50 overs, an innings that put Windies net run-rate low, forcing that all-or-nothing game v South Africa, to qualify for semis.

With its on-paper batting might, Windies should never have been in this quandary of NRR!

But the signs were already there, when West Indies played that first game against Pakistan.

After dismissing Pakistan for a paltry 170, thanks to three wickets each from Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine, West Indies should have walked the required 171, at just 3.42 runs per over.

Pakistan knew that they had to dismiss West Indies to win, since it would have been very difficult to be on the defensive for only 170 runs.  At 6-137, then 7-143, West Indies were in deep mire.

Chris Gayle’s 39 was the innings’ highest score, with only two other scores of 30.  Had it not been for wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin and tail-enders Roach and Narine, West Indies would have been garroted.

West Indies’ throttle was fully retarded when they played India.  None of the batsmen seemed adventurous enough, being as tied down and thrust up as ever.

It was if West Indies actually feared India!

But what exactly is to be feared from India, except its batting?  Certainly its bowling holds no terrors!

Gayle, Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and Johnson Charles, is as good a one-day batting line-up as West Indies could probably presently muster.

Yet, the highest score in the three preliminary games in Champions Trophy was Charles’ 60 against India.

Sammy’s 56 no v India was West Indies’ only other half century of the entire tournament.

That is quite poor!  Shameful!

West Indies talked much but did not deliver.  I expected them to go to semi-finals, maybe even win.

Now, the excuses, bilge and rhetoric will entail.  Meanwhile, India and Sri Lanka arrive soon.

Enjoy!

E-mail:  c.e.h.croft@gmail.com