All Time XIs – Match Ups 54

Continuing my extended analysis of how my the all time XIs I have selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another, a brief account of the T20 World Cup final and some photographs.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today the Os occupy the spotlight for the last time, coming into the day on 28 out of a possible 100 points.


The Vs have the better opening pair – Vandort has a proven test record, Orr not yet, and Vine was a regular opener where Oldroyd wasn’t (and being number three behind Holmes and Sutcliffe he wasn’t often in that close to the start of the innings either). Vaughan comfortably outranks Ollivierre and and has to be rated above O’Reilly on captaincy. The Os win the number 4 match up, but the Vs have better batters in positions 5,6 and 7. However, the Os have the better keeper. I rate Vaas ahead of O’Riordan as third seamer but Odumbe ahead of Vine in the spin stakes. The Vs have the better new ball spinner, and Verity outranks Ojha by far more than O’Reilly does Vogler. Both sides have good and varied bowling units, and I feel that the Vs advantage in batting strength and better skipper count for more than the Os keeping advantage. I score this Os 1, Vs 4.


An utter mismatch, with Ws being stronger in batting, pace/seam bowling, spin bowling and captaincy, and the Os winning only on keeping. There can be only one score: Os 0, Ws 5.


There is only one super clear differential between these teams – the Os are better in the pace/seam department, the presence of DeXter and LoXton for the Xs notwithstanding. I think this enough for a good win but not a total whitewash, so score this one as Os 4, Xs 1.


It is close on opening pairs, the Ys are comfortably ahead batting wise in the 3-6 slots, but the Os have two good bowling options in those slot, Odumbe and O’Riordan, while the Ys have only Yardley’s medium pace. S Yousuf wins the batting match up at seven but Oldfield was far the better keeper. The new ball contest is close, but O’Riordan outranks Yardley as third seamer, giving the Os an overall win in the pace/seam department. O’Reilly outranks P Yadav as a leg spinner, but by less than Young outranks Ojha as a left arm spinner, as against which the Os have a third spin option. The Ys bat better and have the better skipper, the Os bowl better and have the better keeper. This is close, but as usual I expect the side stronger in bowling to win out in the long term and thus score this: Os 3, Ys 2.


The Zs have the better opening pair and also win the number three slot. The Os win the number four slot, Odumbe wins the batting element at number five and is the only one of these players to offer a bowling option. O’Riordan is outbatted by Zulch, but he, like Odumbe, offers a good bowling option. Zulqarnain Haider outranks Oldfield as a batter, but the Aussie of yesteryear is streets clear with the gloves. The Os have the better opening pair, plus a genuine third seam option, and O’Riordan’s left arm means that they as well varied in this department as the Zs. The Os also have to be given the spin department, with O’Reilly the only proven top class practitioner on either side, Ojha having had test successes and Odumbe also an international. I think we are in whitewash territory here and duly score it Os 5, Zs 0.


The Os have had strong finish, scoring 13 of a possible 25 points today, to take them to a final total of 41 out of 125, 32.8% overall.


England made history late this morning UK time by becoming the first men’s team to hold both limited overs world cups simultaneously, adding the 2022 T20 World Cup to the 2019 ODI World Cup (England Women and Australia Women have both also achieved this dual feat). The feared rain held off, Buttler put Pakistan in and a superb bowling performance, highlighted by Sam Curran (3-12 from his four overs, a performance which earned him both Player of the Match, and following several other good efforts this tournament, Player of the Tournament) restricted them to 137 from their 20 overs. At one stage, with Stokes struggling to score, this looked like it might be enough, but then left arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi limped off injured one ball into his third over, part time off spinner (i.e right arm slow bowler) Iftikhar Ahmed was called on to bowl the remaining balls of that over, England cashed in and were never thereafter in any serious danger, winning by five wickets with a whole over to spare. Stokes emerged with the highest scored of the day and saw his side to a victory that unlike the one in 2019 even the saltiest of England’s detractors cannot argue with.

Now time for my usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 48

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today the Ms are in the spotlight and they start with 54.5 of a possible 65 points banked. A quick announcement: with Elon the Execrable seemingly set to kill twitter I have set up an account on mastodon –


The Os are massively outclassed all across the board. The only crumbs of comfort for them are the presence of O’Riordan’s left arm and of leg spinner Bill O’Reilly. The Ms are simply too strong and there can be only one score: Ms 5, Os 0.


The Ms have the better opening pair, but Ponting and G Pollock win the number three and four slots batting wise, although Macartney offers a bowling option. Miandad beats Pietersen in the number five slot. Pant wins the batting element of his match up, but Marsh was the finer keeper. Procter may well have had a Milleresque record had he got the opportunity to enjoy a long test career, and these two legendary fast bowling all rounders are well nigh impossible to separate both as players and as captains. S Pollock outbats Marshall but is outbowled by the latter, P Pollock is outranked by McGrath. Murali comfortably wins the battle of the off spinners over Prasanna, but Charlie Parker, shockingly treated by the England selectors of his day, has to rated above Mahmood. These two sides are both very strong in batting, the Ms have the better keeper and the better pace bowling unit, while Parker, a left arm spinner, gives the Ps attack a better overall balance. I think the Ms advantage in pace bowling is just enough for them to win this one by the barest of margins: Ms 3, Ps 2.


The Ms utterly dominate in batting and pace bowling, have the better keeper and the better skipper. Only in spin bowling do the Qs have anything to offer, but I think the gulf between the sides in other areas is so massive that even on a raging Bunsen they will be powerless: Ms 5, Qs 0.


The opening pairs are fairly evenly matched – each features a high quality left handed opener and a brilliant right handed opener whose test opportunities were limited. Richards clearly ranks ahead of Macartney with the bat, but the Aussie offers his side an extra bowling option. The Rs win the number four slot on sample size and the relative lack of support Root has had for much of his career. As against that Miandad outranks Ranjitsinhji, and Miller wins the batting match up at six. We have a keeping clash of titans, in which for me Russell narrowly outpoints Marsh. Roberts, Rabada and Richardson are just outmatched by Marshall, McGrath and Miller, Murali outranks Rhodes, Mahmood outranks Robins, and the Ms have a sixth bowling option in Macartney. The Ms have a definite advantage: Ms 3.5, Rs 1.5.


Morris rates ahead of Strauss, but Sutcliffe, provenly a big occasion player has to be rated ahead of Merchant, and therefore say that the Ss have the better opening pair. G Smith at three wins the batting match up against Macartney, with the usual caveat not applying, since the Ss have Sobers in their ranks. S Smith at four comfortably outranks Mead, Sangakkara at five wins the batting match up against Miandad, though Marsh wins the keeping match up comfortably. Sobers is well clear of Miller with the bat, but the Aussie’s fast bowling is ahead of any of the opposition save Steyn. The Ms have the best single spinner in this contest in the person of Murali. The Ms pace attack is superb, but all are right arm bowlers, whereas with Starc and the quicker version of Sobers the Ss have two left arm pacers. The quick version of Sobers is arguably the Ss fifth pace/seam option behind Stokes, so they have more depth in this department than the Ms. This is a mighty contest, but I think the Ss just have the edge: Ms 2, Ss 3


The Ms have scored 18.5 of a possible 25 points today, moving them up to 73 out 90 points, 81.11% so far.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 36

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. The Is occupy the spotlight, with 2.5 of a possible 55 points. Before getting to the main body of this post I pause to congratulate Ireland on a thumping nine-wicket win over the West Indies, a result which qualifies Ireland for the Super 12 stage of the T20 world cup and eliminates the West Indies.


The Is have a small advantage in spin bowling, but the Ms are absolutely dominant everywhere else and there can be only one outcome: Is 0, Ms 5.


The Is have a somewhat better batting line up than the Ns overall, the Ns have a much better pace attack, the Is have the better spinners. Nixon outranks Imtiaz in both departments, and I rate Noble a better captain than Illingworth. I think the Ns advantages in fast bowling and captaincy are the telling factors and score this Is 1.5, Ns 3.5.


Neither side is especially strong in batting, the Os have much the better pace bowling unit, a somewhat inferior spin attack, but much greater variation in their attack than the Is. The Os also have far the better keeper. I think the Os pace bowling settles the issue, but not by an emphatic margin: Is 2, Os 3.


The Ps absolutely dominate in batting and pace bowling, have the better keeper and the better captain, and arguably win the spin bowling match ups as well – Prasanna definitely outranks Illingworth as an off spinner, while for all that the England selectors of the day treated him scurvily I would rate Parker ahead of Ironmonger as a left arm spinner. Thus I score this Is 0, Ps 5.


The Is a stronger in batting than the Qs, and they do actually have a seam attack, albeit a modest one, whereas the Qs have one accredited seamer. The Qs have the better spin attack, but I expect the Is to win this one comfortably: Is 4, Qs 1.


The Is have scored 7.5 of a possible 25 points today, putting them on 10 out of 80 so far, 12.5%.


This is a somewhat different photo gallery. Yesterday I had to attend Sawston Health Centre in deepest Cambridgeshire for a CT scan. This entailed a 15-20 minute walk to King’s Lynn station, train to Ely, second train to Whittlesford Parkway, 25-30 mins walk from Whittlesford to Sawston, and similar in reverse save that I changed trains at Cambridge North on the homeward journey as the service I boarded at Whittlesford terminated there. Most of the photographs were taken at various stages of that journey…