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Controversy at Taunton

A few words on yesterday’s T20 down in Somerset.

Firstly, what a good game it was! The teams might have been experimenting a bit, and trying new players, but it was quite an intense finish. If only Liam Dawson could have hit that last ball for four.

If truth be told, England rather messed this one up. Having bowled well on a decent batting pitch with a small outfield, I expected us to chase South Africa’s 174 fairly comfortably – especially when we reached 133-2.

However, momentum swung when Jason Roy was given out obstructing the field. He was the first ever batsman to be dismissed this way in T20 internationals.

When he was first given out by 3rd umpire Tim Robinson, I thought the decision was bullshit. I was taught by two ex-pros (one of whom played for England) at school and we were always taught to run in a line that might ‘accidentally’ block the throw.

Obviously we were taught that you can’t do a sidestep at the last second, or use your bat to deliberately knock the ball away, but running between the line of the throw and stumps was generally considered fine.

However, apparently – and I must admit I didn’t know this – the rules were changed a couple of years ago to discourage this kind of thing. Consequently, because Roy decided to run back on the opposite side of the wicket from where he was originally backing up, he was technically guilty.

Although I still think the decision was somewhat controversial – after all, Roy might argue that he found himself so far over because he wanted to avoid running straight back down the middle of the pitch – it made Robinson’s judgement a lot easier to understand.

I might be a little biased, but I agree with Eoin Morgan when he called it a “50:50” decision. And cricket is full of these so there’s no point complaining.

After the run out South Africa really turned the screw. They had beefed up their attack for this match and their selection proved crucial.

England still had hope whilst Liam Livingstone was at the crease, but unfortunately he never really got going. Instead the Cricket Boks took regular wickets and that prevented us from recovering our early momentum.

Of the new boys on show, Tom Curran looked the most impressive. He’s put on a bit of pace since I saw him last year, and he looks like a decent prospect to me. In some ways he reminds me of a right armed Neil Wagner. It’s not a perfect comparison by any means but they’re both wholehearted, have decent actions, and run in aggressively. Plus, of course, there’s the blonde hair.

I’m looking forward to Sunday’s decider now. It should be a goodun’. I still don’t think these games serve much purpose in the scheme of things, but at least yesterday’s fixture was an entertaining one.

And I shouldn’t let it go unmentioned that Taunton looked as pretty as a picture.

James Morgan

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Controversy at Taunton


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