When the T20 Cricket World Cup got underway in India and hardly registered over here. It certainly registered after the amazing final. It’s a big deal in the Sub Continent and India always one of the favorites, an event they really should have won on their terms and wickets. After a qualification competition whittled down eight minnows to just two to join the top 8 teams in the world for two groups of five (Ireland and Scotland failing to make an impact) the tournament got underway proper with hosts India versus New Zealand, the women’s version of the vent running alongside. Needless to say no one was watching the women and they were getting the duff wickets.
===India as wobbly as their heads===
A shocking slow dry turner in Nagpur produced a terrible opening match and result for the home team. NZ scraped together 126-7 in an innings that saw just three sixes and a top score of 34 by Corey Andersen, not what the capacity crowd paid good money for. I’m guessing the idea was India would dominate the tournament with their superior spin attack. India still fancied knocking those off but failed miserably, bowled out for just 76 (Satnar took 4-11) in 18 overs, an innings that included just one six and four fours, superstar Dhoni top scoring with just 30 for the 47 run defeat. With their next game in the Super 10s being Pakistan they were already under huge pressure.
Pakistan duly won their opener by running up 201-5 against Bangladesh with half-centuries for Shezad and 40-year-old Hafeez, Afridi taking them past the 200 with 49 off 19 balls. 30 boundaries was more like it. Bangladesh were never really in the game and Al Hasan unbeaten 50* helping them to 146-6 at the close to protect their coefficient run rate, the game notable for the return of Mohammed ‘NOW match fixer’ Amir.
England got their campaign underway with a useful above par 182-6 against defending champions West Indies, Root top scoring with 48 and everyone else chipping in. But it doesn’t matter how god you play if the phlegmatic Chris Gayle is in the mood, which he was, smashing exactly 100 not out 48 balls with a record 11 sixes to win the game all on his own with two overs to spare. Gayle has now hit 98 sixes in Twenty20 international cricket, passing Brendon McCullum's previous record of 91, having played 25 fewer games. It was amazing hitting and the 5th highest successful run chase in World T20. It was the joint third fastest international T20 hundred and the first man to score two tons in the competition. England kept him off the strike early on with Gayle facing just 18 balls off the first 48 but once he faced Rashid two huge sixes were dispatched and he took over. It was Gayles 17th T20 century and he averages and amazing 43 at the format and has the highest in all T20 cricket with 8830 email@example.com!
===Gayle T20 Stats===
-175, the highest T20 score-
-Fastest century at 30 balls-
-43.12 batting average-
Sri- Lanka entered the event with a comfortable win over new boys Afghanistan. The minnows have made huge leaps in the game in such a short time although not that many actual Afghans in the side, mostly a mix of Pakistani dual passports. Stanikzia’s 62 and Shenwari’s 31 off 14 balls helped to build a competitive 153-7 but Dilshan’s unbeaten 83 guided them home for a comfortable 6 wicket win at 155-4.
Australia entered proceedings by loosing to fellow Anzacs NZ. Again the ball was turning and diving and NZ 142-8 on that track was a great effort, Guptill top scoring with 39, Aussie seven bowlers all doing well. Khwaja with 38 set the tempo but once out they collapsed from 44-1(Mitchell McClenaghan's 3-17) to 134-9 off the 20 overs, unable to force the ball over the ropes on the slow dead pitch at the death.. NZ even rested Boult and Southee for the 8 run win as batsmen perished slogging out.
===Must win for England and they did===
It was a must win game for England in Mumbai for their second match, and against South Africa. It did not look good on a very flat track as the seamers were flayed to all corners. Amla 58 (31balls) and de Kock 52 (24 balls) put on 96 in a horrendous 8 overs and at 169-3 the record high score looked on. But Mooen and Rashid managed to slow it a little bit before Duminy with 54*(28 balls) and Miller with 28 off 11 balls added 60 off 4 overs to complete the slaughter to close on 229-4 (Moeen 2/34) for 33 boundaries for the fans.
So that looked that and England all but out. Not so. What came next was amazing. Roy got them off to a flyer with 43 off 16 balls with 8 boundaries before Joe Root worked with the remaining batsmen with plenty of useful partnerships with a brutal 83 (44 balls) to take England within ten runs of an astonishing victory. Jordan and Willey fell in the final over but Moeen smacked it back over the bowlers head with 4 balls to go for the tournaments and so England’s highest ever run chase of 230-8!!!
====The Big One: India V Pakistan===
The match had to be moved for various reasons but at least it went ahead. But it was another ugly pitch for the 60,000 raucous fans watching on with the ball turning square, Pakistan only managing to squeeze, eek and nick 118-5 off the 20. Kholi had no intention of hanging around and his 55 off 37 balls positive approach set up an easy win as India got home with 25 balls to spare. Big exhale of breath from the hosts all-around.
===West Indies 2 for 2!===
Another low scorer saw West Indies see off a weaker looking Sri Lankan side these days
without Sangakkara and Jayawardene. Many of their spinners have been called for chucking and the highest ever T20 wicket taker Malinga (299), injured. 122-9 (Badree 3-12) off the 20 overs summed them up as they failed to deal with the bone dry and dead pitch., Perera top scoring with 40 off 29 balls. 36-year-old Chris Gayle was given the day off for a slight niggle and so his replacement, Andre Fletcher, said ‘he got dis mon’ and cracked 11 boundaries off 66 balls for 84* to win the game with ease with ten balls to spare at 127-3.
===Afghans up the Kyber Pass without a paddle===
There are only one minnows in the group and so you pretty much have to beat them to go through to the next round. But for South Africa that meant the improving Afghans. RSA hit first, with the emphasis on hit, again piling up 200 plus, de Kock 45 (31 balls), du Plessis 41(27 balls) and de Villiers flaying 64 off just 29 balls, of which 35 came off an 8 ball over by young Rashid. 209-5 and 33 boundaries was great entertainment.
Afghanistan are brave young lions and set about the near impossible task but going very well at the half way point on 105-2 after star mans Shahzad’s 44 off 19 balls. But once you get behind the rate wickets fall through forcing it and that puts you behind the rate even more and so you force it some more and Afghansitan 172 all out chasing the game. New South African T20 star Chris Morris bagged 4-27 and the spin of Tahir with 2-24 for the 37 run win.
===Must win for Aussie===
Australia needed a win to get their campaign back on track and duly did against the improving Bangladeshi team, who hit 156-5 (Zampa 3-23) first up, the type of score that is just not quite enough to win at this level, the rather useful Mahmudullah with 49* off 29 balls. He was the guy who had a great 50 over World Cup and the one to watch in world cricket. Australia set about the 156 with tempo with Khawaja (58) taking them to 115-3 and then Australia getting over the line with relative ease on 157-7 with 9 balls to spare.
=Kiwis make the semi-final!===
A McCullum led NZ were quite brilliant in the 50 over World Cup and shaping up nicely here. Pakistan were next to be taken down as the Kiwis raced to 127-2 with Guptill smashing 80 off 48 balls, even threatening McCullum’s record at one point, now the third highest International T20 run scorer on 1791 runs, the retiring Brendan McCullum still top on firstname.lastname@example.org. Rod Taylor carried on the good work with 36* as NZ posted a competitive 180-5(Sami 2-23).
===Most International T20 Runs===
(NZ) B.McCullum (71matches) 2140 Runs @ 35.66 – 2 hundred.
(SL) TM Dilshan (77 matches) 1848 Runs@ 28.87 – 1 hundred
(NZ) M.Guptill (60 matches) 1791 Runs@ 35.11 – 1 hundred
===Pak off home===
The mercurial Pakistan needed to win but just seemed to struggle with the Kiwis clever use of pace variation, falling well short on 158-5, Sharjeel top scoring with 47. They had wickets in hand but only managed 16 boundaries and two sixes and seemed to give up. Milne 2-26 and Satner 2-29 pinned them to the crease throughout and secured NZ semi-final spot with a 3-3 record. Pakistani captain Said Afridi appeared to call it day on his career with his 97th international T20 wicket in his 98th match, well clear at the top of the all-time list. But we know he will be back for the 100.
===Most International T20 Wickets
(Pak) Afridi (98 matches) email@example.com
(Pak) Umar Gull(60 matches) firstname.lastname@example.org
(Pak) Said Ajmaal (64 matches) email@example.com
===The Tigers roar no more===
India had to put the minnow away to secure progression but we all know how strong Bangladesh are becoming although the Tigers had yet to beat Indian in T20 in four attempts. India were first up and compiled a no mans land 146-7 with everyone contributing but no one going big and powerful. The Bangladeshi bowlers definitely kept the score down here. The Tigers set about the runs in similar fashion losing regular wickets on a pitch offering seam and spin. They should have won the match from 126-5 with three overs to spare but just fell apart at the end leaving themselves an awkward 11 off the final over. They got it down to two runs of three balls with a big boundary but lost three wickets with those last three balls, run out on the last one to lose by one run, the level closest finish in World Cup T20 history. It’s amazing that you get so few games finishing on the last ball in T20. Bangladesh were out.
===England finally beat Afghanistan===
The United Kingdom’s only success in the war in Afghanistan was the emergence of their cricket team, what the Empire was supposed to be all about, after all, the place to resolve out differences. But this was a match up England could not afford to lose and so had to impress. They firmly placed their jackboot on banana skin, not the Afghans neck, slumping to an embarrassing 85-7 before Moeen (41*) and Willey (20*) with an unbeaten 57* off the last few overs, something to bowl at. The Indian heat and dry pitches are not out thing. Nabi and Khan with 2-17 each didn’t let up in the early overs, bowlers England would not have faced yet.
Afghanistan had to get the bulk of these runs with their top five as they simply didn’t have the depth of batting. But they were soon 85-7 as well. They managed a few more after that but never in with a chance of winning and closed on 127-9 (Willey 2-23, Rashid 2-18), Shafiqullah with 35* not having enough power shots to steal it. England win by 15 runs and go on - Afghanistan go home.
===Aussie send Pak home===
Australia had the chance to dump out Pakistan and compiled an extremely useful 193-4. Aussie are dangerous because their first five batsmen are deadly and Watson not bad either. Smith blazed 61* putting on 62 with Maxwell (30) and 74 with Watson (44). Anyone of their top 7 could get a hundred, and indeed they have. So with no rain around Pakistan needed their record chase of 194 and were in the game after half-way at 110-3, Latif 46. Malik picked up the challenge but wickets tumbled as player after player wholed out on the ropes and his unbeaten 40* couldn’t bring them home as they finished on 172-8, James Faulkner’s 5- 27 the best bowling of the tournament so far, four of those in six balls. Pakistan going home early.
===Windies 3 and 0===
No team enjoys T20 more than the West Indies and up for South Africa. If you can get rid of a potential big team from the group game so to avoid in the final then now is the time. Another poor slow and low strip spoilt the match as South Africa squeezed 122-8 out of a 112 pitch, de Kock again the many with the bat with a run a ball 47 and Wiese with a slightly quicker 28 the only other score of note. Gayle is having a ball and was the star bowler with 2-17 of his occasional off breaks (very occasional as he last bowled in R20 in 2012) and Bravo (2-20) and Andre Russell (2-28) also on the mark. Russell’s presence in the tournament was controversial as he had missed his third drugs test in 12 months just before the even started but an appeal postponing his case hearing.
It was never going to be an easy chase on the now shocking track but West Indies just got up with 2 balls to spare on 123-7 for the 3 wicket win. Charles with a run a ball 32 took them to halfway at 66-3 and then ex captain Marlon Samuels took them close to the line with a run a ball 43 before Braithwaite smashed them over the line with a big six with three balls to go. ‘Leggy’ Tahir was excellent with his 2-13 but simply not quite enough runs to defend.
===Kiwi 3 from 3===
The increasingly brilliant New Zealand needed to knock over minnows Bangladesh in Kolkata to secure top spot on an ok wicket and compiled a useful 145, slightly scarred by losing quick wicket at the end, the superb Kane Williamson with 42 and runs from Munroe (35) and Taylor (28). Rahman Mustafizur took the second five wicket haul of the World Cup on the tuning pitch with 5-22 and Al Amin good with 2-27. Bangladesh reply was pretty dire and didn’t have the depth to recover from a shocking start 48-7 dribbled out into 70 all out (Elliot 3-12 & Sodhi 3-21), the lowest international T20 score ever at Eden Gardens and the lowest against NZ. NZ go through with the 75 run win and Bangladesh goes home. The game recorded a record ten guys being bowled in an international T20 record.
===England go through to the Semi Finals!===
Roy got England underway with a measured 45 off 39 balls but when Root was out for 25 England were a little behind the rate for the pitch surface at 88-3 off 12 overs. So enter Butler, one of the world’s most dangerous one-day batsmen, smashing a 10 boundary 66 off 37 balls before running out of overs. Maybe time to let him open against the harder ball and move Hales up the order. 171-4 was above par.
Sri Lanka are not the powerful side they once were and have lost all their match winners with just 39-year-old Dilshan (the second highest T20 run scorer at 1848) the threat in the first 5 now. But he was gone first over and SL soon 18-4 and all but out as Willey (2-26) got the ball swinging. The dangerous Angelo Mathews put on 80 in ten overs with Kapugedera (30) and 43 with Perera (20) as the game moved back to the status quo at 136-6 and the big sixes flying. But the much criticized Chris Jordan got some pace up and bowled it full for an excellent 4-28 as the injured Mathews (73*) failed to smash anymore big boundaries – and not trusted the guys at the other end to – as Sri Lanka finished on 161-8 for the ten run defeat and so also going home with South Africa in the group. England were through to the semi finals, only their second for 24-years in the World Cups.
===India through…Australia out!===
The winner of hosts India v Australia would go through and the loser would go out. With that in mind Australia hit first and compiled a par 160-6, Finch 43, Maxwell 31. It should have been more, 50-1 off just 22 balls but with just two sixes in the last 5 overs it wasn’t enough. The feverish home crowd definitely chipped off 20 from that score. India’s replay was measured and powered on by Kholi’s brilliant 82* off 51 balls as his massive and elegant hitting got them over the line with 5 balls to spare and so the semi-finals with the 6 wicket win. It was one of the most beautiful innings we have seen with Virat hitting 31 runs off just 11 balls at one point to set up the easy final over and the best bat in this format for South East Asia by far. The retiring Shane Watson nailed 2-23 but Faulkner the weak link with 1-31 off 3 and that was that for the Green & Gold.
===Final Group 2===
NZ P4 (Q) W4 - 8 Points
INDIA P4 (Q) W3 - 6 Points
Australia P4 W2-4 Points
Pakistan P4 W1- 2 Points
Bangladesh P4 W0 - 0 Points
Two dead rubbers ended the group stages as Afghanistan scrambled home by 6 runs to an off the gas and already qualified West Indies. Zadran (48) anchored Afghanistan to a tedious 127-7 on a likewise wicket with the spinners dominating again (Badree 3-14) and 2-24 for the always excellent Andre Russell. West Indies reply was labored and at 96-6 a dead even game but the testosterone Windies just couldn’t deal with the dry turner and fell 6 runs short on 117-8, spinners Khan and Nabi with 2-26 keeping them out. Maybe they just wanted to avoid NZ? A first ever T20 World Cup win for Afghanistan will give them great heart.
The final group game meant wickets needed a rest and worn out, a vacant and already out Sri Lanka bowled out for 120 with 3 balls to spare, old man Dilshan 39. They were 45-0.This team had simply got too old and with 5 guys over 35 in the last World Cup they hurting now for not bringing through younger lads. Kyle Abbott 2-13 and 2-15 from Behardien the RSA bowling highlights. South Africa, also out, had no trouble knocking that off and their 7 wicket win in 17.3 overs saw Amla score a run-a-ball 56 and du Plessis with 31 before De Villiers finished the game in two overs with 20 not out. Only one South East Asian side had qualified for the semi-finals.
===Final Group 1===
West Indies (Q) P4 W3 - 6 points
England (Q) P4 W3 - 6 Points
South Africa P4 W2 - 4 Points
Sri Lanka P4 W1 - 2 Points
Afghanistan P4 W1 - 2Points
Not only did the England guys get to the semi-finals but the girls too. The women’s T20 comp has been running alongside the men’s but poorly supported and publicized. Quite simply South East Asians are embarrassed by women’s cricket. The pitches have been poor and the spectacle just not there, 65 yard boundaries too much for the girls. Sixes are rare and scores are low and it’s just not what T20 is supposed to be. Games are averaging a combined 223 runs off 37 overs.
England V Australia was the challenge and England restricting the Aussies to 132-6 with Lanning’s run-a-ball 55 the backbone. England have started well every time in the run chases but once the openers are out it crumbles away. They were 59-0 against the Windies and finished on 109-9. It was 42/1 against finished 98-8 and here it was 67-0 and finishing on 127-7, 6 runs short of victory. Should the girls play off the women’s tees? Yes. The girls blamed all the travelling between venues but they simply through the final away with some terrible shots when at one point they needed 38 of 31 balls, ones and twos…
===England are in the World Cup Final!!===
England men’s team was much more focused and powerful in their semi-final and limited New Zealand to 153-8 off the 20. Baring in mind NZ were 89-1 at half way and 132-3 at 15 overs with Munroe well set on 46 and Williamson smacking 32 it was a great effort, Jordan and Stokes really dragging it back in the last four overs which went for just 20 runs with some quick deliveries. Stokes 3-26 was candidate for man of the match, it was that decisive. England were decisive and raced after the score with Roy putting on 82 with Hales (20) and then Root on 27* and Butler hitting the winning runs again with 32* of not very many balls for the 7 wicket win with 3 overs to go.
England V West Indies
Well you all know the result but what a great final it was. It was a decent pitch and so England’s 155-9 too short. Root (54) needed to stay there longer and David Willey, who has the fastest ever T20 hundred by an Englishman, needed to be in at 6 or 7 to get more balls. Oddball spinner Badree’s 2-16 proved critical in keeping the score away from the 180 they needed as England slumped to 111-7 (Braithwaite 3-23) before Willey smacked 21 to set some sort of score.
West Indies also struggled against the new hard ball and rocking at 11-3 (Root 2-9). Gun chewing Samuels steadied the ship at 104 but two quick wickets left it an even game at 107-6 (Willey 3-20). So enter Braithwaite, a huge unit, who is there to swat sixes. With 19 needed off the last over with Stokes up for it the equation being so simple helped the big man. He basically needed five boundaries so planted his feet had to swing at everything. If it had been 12-14 he would have to think about it more and may have messed it up. But Stokes fired in four leg side full tosses and Braithwaite hit everyone for six, an astonishing site. No one-day match has ever been won like that. Samuels ‘measured’ 85 off 66 balls was not enough to prize the MOM away from big Braithwaite.
===West indies win the World Cup by 4 wickets!===
West Indies girls had won the Women’s World Cup earlier by beating Australia and also the lads have won the Under19s World Cup this year. The Caribbean flare is back and has found a new home.
Sky Sports 3 is given free with Sky Sports 1 because its a use less channel to watch. All that is shown on the channel most of the times is repeats of the same things shown on Sky Sports 1. Sometimes only you had live football when international football was on.
Mostly on the show you would get documentaries on the show or shows that just looked in to the lives of the people in sport. It did not just fit in well as being a good sports channel at all and Sky give it for free because they know its use less.
I remember tuning in to the channel at 7 o clock at one point and nothing was on to watch. They just had a blank screen so that just showed this channel shuts early at times because they do not know what to show on it. Some WWE wrestling repeats at times were shown on the show but not much else was seen on the show.
Do not ever get tricked by Sky telling you that you will get Sky Sports 3 as a bonus. That is just a trick to make you buy the package with them, this channel should be on freeview for people on the entertainment package. What good use does Sky Sports 3 have even these days?Their is nothing on the show to watch for us sports viewers hardly expect documentaries mostly!
I remember the days that I had terrestrial TV. Back in those dark, dismal days, I watched about as much sport as a mole with a passion for curling! In other words I could not watch much. That is not because I chose to watch none, but that I could not. Then we got Sky, and along with all the sports channels you could want. There are 5 sports channels in total for sky (1,2,3,extra and .com), I never really know which one I am watching, I just choose the one with the best sport on it. Having so many sports channels means that there is usually something worthy of watching. If you have not converted to the sky side, then you may not have witnessed the brilliance onf being able to watch sport, whenever you like. It really is brilliant. I do not think I watch much terrestrial sport TV anymore, lets face it, Grandstand is useless, and channel 3 and 4 are not much better. With Sky, you get usually 3 Premiership matches a week, at least 4 other Division matches and usually cup matches as well. And that is just football. As well as football, the 5 sports channels show mainly cricket, rugby, golf, athletics and all of the other popular sports. They even show a squash program once a week for enthusiasts like me. I am sorry, but if you are a sports enthusiast then you should have Sky sports, if you do not, then you are not a sports enthusiasts. Ok, that is slightly harsh. Many people can not afford Sky so they can not get the sport. However if I could, I would not pay the TV license, and only watch sky. I am not sure of the exact price, because we pay it all together, however I think the sky package (with sports) is about £18 a month. Ok, Sky Sports is not perfect though. It does have it downfalls. It is riddled with advertisements (especially in golf coverage), and this lets it down alot, especially considering it is a pay channel. Also, to take up viewing time, the chats before live matches are exc
eedingly long. Some matches, such as Internationals have 1.5 hours of chat. That is rediculous and unnecessery. If you like to watch sports, then you will certainly feel that there is not enough on terrestrial. So I ceratainly advise getting the Sports Sky package (and the movie one too as that is good too, read my review on that too!). The SKY really is the limit for sports related TV.
I've already given my opinion about Sky Sports coverage in general (check out my reviews of Sky Sports 1 & 2). Sky Sports 3 is more of a bonus channel than anything else. They only broadcast for 12 hours a day, from midday to midnight and there are very few major events shown on the channel. They tend to use it for times when there are lots of events taking place at the same time. The rest of the time it shows repeats or 'alternative sports' like seniors golf. Like I said before, if you're serious about your sports, subscribe to Sky Sports 1 and 2 and then you'll get Sky Sports 3 thrown in for nothing. Can't say fairer than that. I'm not 100% sure how much the sports package is on it's own as I buy the full package for £32 a month. Whatever, it's worth it.
I, think this channel is a bit of an extra where sky make it up by showing extreme sports, or sports which do not get much coverage. This channel has alot of Speedway on, which is good for people who like it but don't watch it often as the other t.v. channels do not show it. My dad likes this channel alot, because they are the main channels for showing county cricket, and highlights of test criket. But, in my book i do not rate this channel, it shows sports that i don't like, but i guess someone must like American Football, and Basketball.
Sky Sports 3 isn’t worth the paper it’s wrote on. It only really works for 12 hours a day and mainly shows repeats of the rugby and golf. In the morning it has hundreds of episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine which we really paid £30 a month to watch and when it comes on it has the worst TV programs a sports viewer could want to watch. It’s a bit like Sky Sports News where you see what was on Sky Sports 1 and 2 yesterday. The only good thing is that it has a lot of rugby on which is unfortunate to say but true, a dying sport taken over with the billionaire sports such as football and golf (soon to be). Sky sports 3 needs to be changed soon or people are going to be fed up paying for a channel that isn’t needed.
Available to most of the UK via terrestrial signal and analogue, Sky Digital this channel is quite good which has surprised me. The programming is very good especially on an evening for example I usually watch the Nine O Clock movie, which is usually a premier for a terrestrial channel. I have to admit that I watch this channel through the Digibox, as the picture quality is crap via terrestrial here in East Cleveland. Fort Boyard is one programme CH5 made which is very good as well as some consumer and nature programmes. If you want a good movie to watch for free the watch this channel