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 Os V THE Vs
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.
THE Os V THE Ws
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.
THE Os V THE Xs
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.
THE Os V THE Ys
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 Os V THE Zs
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 FINAL SCORE
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.
T2O WORLD CUP FINAL AND PHOTOGRAPHS
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…