All Time XIs – The Grand Finale

Bringing the curtain down on an immense series that has taken us through the alphabet, 200+ years of cricket history and every inhabited continent in the world. The XIs are presented in reverse ranking order, with links back to the selectorial posts.

This post concludes our cricketing journey through the alphabet, a couple of centuries of history and every inhabited continent, with a listing of each XI in reverse ranking order from 26th up to first. I have appended extra comments along the way where my thinking may have changed, or where cricketing developments caught up with me during the course of this series, which has been running since late July. Each XI is also accompanied by a link to the relevant selectorial post.

26TH: THE Qs

The challenge for this letter was actually finding 11 players to constitute an XI, and not surprisingly the final result was decidedly ill assorted. They managed just 7 of a possible 125 points.

25TH: THE Zs

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24TH: THE Is

While this XI has no great strength anywhere its biggest weakness was in the seam/ pace bowling department.

23RD: THE Xs

This was an XI which required a lot of chicanery to pull together. Between the creation of this XI and latter stages of the match ups a women’s tournament took place in New Zealand, and one development there was the arrival in the big time of off spinner Xara Jetly, who were I selecting this XI now would replace MaX Waller, who adds very little to the XI.

22ND: THE Us

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21ST: THE Ns

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20TH: THE Ys

The strong middle order, good spin pairing and one high class fast bowler saved this side from complete disaster.

19TH – THE Cs

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18TH: THE Es

A good spin pairing, two pacers with remarkable records and a world class keeper, but not enough batting for comfort and Bill Edrich the best available back up bowler. More here.

17TH: THE Os

The same score as the Es, but the Os get the higher spot as they won the match up between the two sides.

16TH: THE Ds

Good batting, good pace/ seam bowling, good keeper but the Ds fall down on spin bowling and captaincy.

15TH: THE Js

The Js.

14TH: THE Vs

The Vs superb bowling unit did not quite propel them into the top half of the table, as they lost a split tie (both XIs scoring 69 out 125) to…

13TH: THE As

Solid batting, a top keeper and a superbly balanced bowling unit was just enough to get the As into the top half of the table, since they won their match up with the Vs.

12TH: THE Hs

Stellar batting, a great keeper and a sound captain, but not quite enough bowling to get them to the very top. Neil Harvey might replace Hussey in some people’s estimation, and I would probably have served this letter better had I steeled myself to pick an all rounder (probably George Hirst, with his bowling stock in trade being left arm pace) rather than Hendren, but dropping the scorer of the second most FC centuries ever would have been a huge call.

11TH: THE Ps

The Ps, just missing out on the top ten.

10TH – THE Rs

This exemplifies the advantage of having Rhodes available – you can pick him for any one of several roles depending on your needs. Here, Rhodes the specialist spinner was required and therefore I selected him in that capacity, the one in which he both started and finished his career. The Rs.

9TH – THE Bs

In retrospect, given that Barnes could be said to attend to the leg spinners angle of attack with his ‘Barnes ball’, as explicated by Ian Peebles, himself an England leggie, it might have made this team even better to have selected Palwankar Baloo, Bishan Singh Bedi or left arm spinning all rounder Enid Bakewell in place of Benaud (who could instead be put in charge of the commentary team) to increase the variety available in the bowling department. Nevertheless, the Bs are a fine combination, and it says more about the top eight than it does about them that they ended up ninth.

8TH: THE Gs

If the Gs can be said to have a defect it is that none of their bowlers are left armed.

7TH: THE Ts

The Ts amassed the same number of points (90 out of 125) as the Ks and the Fs, but my tie-splitting procedure ranked them third out of three. Their batting was weakened slightly by the necessity of ensuring that there were relief bowling options available for three specialist quicks who demanded inclusion, a problem resolvable only by turning to the all round talents of Frank Tarrant.

6TH: THE Ks

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5TH: THE Fs

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4TH: THE Ls

Strong and well balanced, but the Ls just missed out on a medal.

3RD: THE Ss

The Ss are a stellar combination, although Sangakkara would not be considered a top flight keeper and the spin options are limited.

2ND: THE Ms

A powerful batting line up and a superbly balanced bowling line up, with Mahmood’s leg cutter meaning that a specialist leg spinner is unlikely to be missed.

FIRST: THE Ws

A strong batting line up, a wonderfully balanced bowling attack (Wardle’s ability to bowl left arm wrist spin covers the lack of an off spinner), a quality keeper and one of the greatest of all captains. The Ws are worthy champions.

This has been a fun exercise, though challenging in parts (both weak letters where actually completing an XI takes effort and strong letters where in some cases a second or third XI would beat most of the rest of the alphabet, which require extended acknowledgements of players one has overlooked).

PHOTOGRAPHS

Not one of my largest photo galleries, but I hope you enjoy it…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 65

The final post in the extended analysis phase of this long series. The series will conclude with a grand finale post presenting the XIs in reverse ranking order.

Welcome to the final post in the analysis stage of this series. There may be delays to me completing these posts – I have a minor injury to my right wrist, and although the brace the hospital have provided me with to support said wrist is doing wonders in terms of enabling me to do things with my right hand, I am still somewhat incommoded and probably therefore will not complete things with my usual speed. This post starts with the Ws in the spotlight, with 97 points out of 115 accumulated so far.

THE Ws V THE Ys

The Ws dominate this contest. The only match up the Ys win is in the fast bowling department where W Younis beats Willis – but Whitty beats U Yadav by a greater margin, and Woods blows Yardley out of the water. Thus the only conceivable scoreline is Ws 5, Ys 0.

THE Ws V THE Zs

Total dominance from the Ws here: Ws 5, Zs 0.

THE Ws FINAL SCORE

The Ws have amassed 107 of a possible 125 points, 85.6% overall.

THE Xs V THE Ys

Before going into this match up, a brief note about the Xs. Had I seen developments in NZ domestic cricket in 2022-23 before I selected the Xs MaX Waller would have missed out, and Xara Jetly, a young off spinner would be in, with MaX Walker relegated one place from number 10 to number 11. The Xs have 13.5 out of 115 points coming in to today.

The Ys have much stronger batting, better pace bowling, the better skipper, and the two best spinners on either side. The Xs have the better keeper. This is clear cut: Xs 0, Ys 5.

THE Xs V THE Zs

The Zs have the better opening pair, the Xs win the batting match ups 3-9 inclusive, and AXar Patel, Xenophon Balaskas, Ron OXenham, Ted DeXter and Sam LoXton are all genuine bowling options, while BoX was a much finer keeper than Zulqarnain Haider. MaX Walker ranks first among seam/ pace bowlers on either side, and the Xs, with OXenham, Dexter and Loxton as back up options in this department also have the greater depth. The spin bowling is hard to call, but even if the Zs win, it only reduces the margin of their defeat. I score this one Xs 4, Zs 1.

THE Xs FINAL SCORE

The Xs have scored 4 points today, finishing on 17.5 out of 125, 14% overall.

THE Ys V THE Zs

The Ys have 33 out of 120 so far and the Zs 10.5 out of 120. This suggests a one-sided contest, and that impressions is not awry. The Zs have the better opening pair, the Ys win at nos 3-6, though only Yardley offers a bowling option. S Yousuf outranks Zulqarnain Haider in both departments. The fast bowling is close, with Zaheer Khan’s left arm making up for his slightly high average, but the Ys definitely win the spin bowling department. The Ys also have the better captain. I score this one: Ys 5, Zs 0.

THE Ys AND Zs FINAL SCORES

The Ys finish with 38 out of 125, 30.4% overall, the Zs with 10.5 out of 125, 8.4% overall.

A SPECIAL PHOTO GALLERY

On Saturday night I attended Luminate at Sandringham. For those so inclined (not me) there are fairground rides before the start/ after the finish of the main event, which is walk through wooded areas of the estate, with light features all the way around. I took a lots of pictures while on my way round…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 64

The penultimate post in the analysis stage of this long series.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today sees all the matches in which the Vs are alphabetically first, with them starting on 55 points out of 105. We then see the first match up in which the Ws are alphabetically first. The remaining match ups (W v Y, W v Z, X v Y, X v Z and Y v Z) will be covered in the final analysis post of this series, setting the stage for a grand finale post in which the teams are presented in reverse ranking order.

THE Vs V THE Ws

With the possible exception of Vandort vs Woolley in the number one slot the Ws win every batting match down to number seven (Woods’ batting average equates to about 35 in the modern era, though by the same token he is slightly behind Vaas as a bowler). Worrell outranks Vaughan as a skipper, the pace/ seam trios are hard to split – Vaas as stated outranks Woods, Whitty outranks Voce, but it is tricky to assess which of the two tall right arm quick bowlers, Van der Bijl or Willis was the greater. The spin honours definitely go to the Ws – Warne outranks Vogler by much more than Verity outranks Wardle and Wardle could turn the ball both ways, reducing Verity’s margin of superiority. Additionally, Woolley rates as a better third spinner than Vine (Woolley paid less than 20 a piece for his FC wickets. Thus the Ws have clear advantages in batting, captaincy and spin bowling, the wicket keepers are hard to separate and the Vs possibly have an advantage in pace/ seam bowling. I score this one Vs 1, Ws 4.

THE Vs V THE Xs

The only batting match up the Xs win is at number three, where Dexter definitely outranks Vaughan. The Vs have the better captain, the better pace/ seam attack and the better spin attack, though the Xs have the finer keeper. There can be only one scoreline: Vs 5, Xs 0.

THE Vs V THE Ys

The Vs have the better opening pair – Vandort’s test average exceeds Yardy’s FC average, while Vine batted in a more difficult era than M Young, more than making up for the latter’s slight advantage in the matter of averages. The Ys are comfortably clear at three and four, Vengsarkar outranks Yallop in the number five slot. Verreynne wins the batting match up against Yardley, and rates similarly to S Yousuf as keeper. S Yousuf wins the batting match up at seven, but Vaas is light years clear of Yardley as third seamer. Voce massively outranks U Yadav, while Van der Bijl v Younis is tough to call. Verity is way clear of J Young but I give P Yadav the verdict over Vogler. The Ys have the better batting, the Vs the better bowling. I reckon that the latter outweighs the former and score this one Vs 3, Ys 2.

THE Vs V THE Zs

The Vs boss the batting, have the better captain, a much stronger seam/ pace attack and better spinners. The Zs have no obvious area of superiority, leading to only one conceivable scoreline: Vs 5, Zs 0.

THE Vs FINAL SCORE

The Vs have scored 14 out of 20 points today to finish on 69 out of 125, 55.2% overall.

THE Ws V THE Xs

With the four points scored against the Vs, the Ws now have 92 points out of 110. The Ws are completely dominant in this one, with the sole exception of BoX outranking Watling as a keeper, leading to only one possible score: Ws 5, Xs 0.

THE Ws PROGRESS REPORT

The Ws now have 97 of a possible 115 points, 84.35% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 63

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. This, the antepenultimate post in the analysis stage of this series features those match ups in which the Us are alphabetically first. The Us come into today with 22.5 out of 100 points.

THE Us V THE Vs

The Us have the better opening pair, although there is not much in it. The Vs win the number three slot, with the Us ahead on batting at 4,5,6 and 7, although Verreynne wins the keeping match up against Umar Akmal and Vaas is a genuine top line bowler. The Vs also have genuinely useful lower order batters at eight and nine. The bowling goes meltingly in the Vs favour – Umran Malik being entirely unproven has to be ranked below any of the Vs seam/ pace options, Umar Gul is provably less good than any, and Ulyett’s bowling is less impressive than it looks given that he played in test cricket’s early days – the uprating of his batting due to the surfaces he played on has to be counterbalanced by a downrating of his bowling. Verity outranks Underwood in my view, Vogler has to be rated ahead of the unproven Ur Rahman, and Vine is a better third spin option than Umrigar. The Us do have a stronger batting line up, but the Vs are so massively superior on bowling and keeping as to absolutely discount that. I feel that there is just a tiny chance of the Us batting saving them: Us 0.5, Vs 4.5.

THE Us V THE Ws

The Ws are utterly dominant in all departments – the nearest any of the Us comes to competing with their opposite number is Underwood v Wardle. Only one scoreline is conceivable here: Us 0, Ws 5.

THE Us V THE Xs

Save for DeXter at number three winning over Imam Ul Haq, the Us have the better batting and the better captain, though the Xs have the better keeper. The Us win on pace/ seam bowling, and are probably just second best on spin bowling. I expect the Us to win this one quite comfortably: Us 4, Xs 1.

THE Us V THE Ys

The Us have the better opening pair (Ulyett in the 21st century would probably average 36 with the bat and 30 with the ball or thereabouts). The Ys win at three four, with the Us winning batting match ups at 5,6 and 7. However, Yardley offers more the ball than Umrigar and S Yousuf ranks far higher as a keeper than Umar Akmal. The Ys have the better seam/ pace attack, while the spin bowling honours are split – I rate Underwood ahead of J Young, but P Yadav ahead of Ur Rahman. I think the Ys bowling and keeping advantages are sufficient for them to win this quite comfortably: Us 1, Ys 4.

THE Us V THE Zs

The Zs have the better opening partnership, and also win at number three. The match ups at 4,5,6 and 7 all go the way of the Us, though Zulqarnain Haider wins the keeping match up over Umar Akmal. The Us have a numerical advantage in the seam/ pace department, though only Ulyett provably outranks one of the Zs – even adjusting to allow for the more favourable conditions in which he bowled, Ulyett comes out ahead of Zaheer Khan (though behind Zondeki on this metric). Umar Gul is the least impressive seam/ pace bowler in either XI, and Umran Malik is a bonus option for the Us. Also, on proven record Underwood comfortably outranks Zia Ur Rehman, while Ur Rahman outranks Zahir Khan. I think the Us have this one quite comfortably: Us 4, Zs 1.

THE Us FINAL SCORE

The Us have scored 9.5 of a possible 25 points today, moving on to 32 out 125, 25.6% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 61

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 sees the end of the Ss, who come into today with 84 of a possible 105 points, and the start of the Ts who have banked 67.5 of a possible 95 points from the matches in which they are alphabetically second.

THE Ss V THE Ws

The Ss have the better opening pair, although both Ws offer bowling options. The Ws win the match up at number three, and both sides have superb skippers. The Ss win every batting match up from four to nine inclusive, though Watling outranks Sangakkara as keeper, Warne comfortably outranks Stevens as a leg spinner and Wardle equally clearly outranks the slower incarnations of Sobers, and the Ws also have Woolley as a third genuine spin option. It is close between the front line pace trios, though the Ss have Stokes and the quick version of Sobers in reserve, whereas the Ws have only Worrell. Boiling it all down, the Ss have an advantage in batting and in pace/ seam bowling, while the Ws have much the better keeper, and much the better spin attack. I think the Ws advantages just outweigh those of the Ss and score this Ss 2, Ws 3.

THE Ss V THE Xs

The Ss win every batting match up down to number eight. To a casual observer it looks like they also win the batting match up at number nine, but Fuller Pilch, the best batter of BoX’s era averaged only 18, and on that basis Box is as clearly ahead of Starc with the bat as he is of Sangakkara with the gloves. The Ss are miles clear in seam/ pace bowling and also have much the finer skipper. As against that the Xs have the better spin attack. I still think however that the Ss are so massively superior in the areas where they are superior that this has to be scored: Ss 5, Xs 0.

THE Xs V THE Ys

With the exception of the number three slot, which goes the way of Younis Khan, the Ss win every batting match up down to number nine. They also have an overwhelming dominance in the seam/ pace department. The Ys have the better keeper, and the better spin attack, but neither can save them from the inevitable: Ss 5, Ys 0.

THE Ss V THE Zs

Full spectrum dominance for the Ss: Ss 5, Zs 0.

THE Ss FINAL SCORE

The Ss have scored 17 points out of 20 today, to give them a final score of 101 out of 125, 80.8% overall.

THE Ts V THE Us

The Ts have the better opening pair. A casual observer might think that the Us win the number three slot based on test being more difficult than FC cricket, but Tarrant played a lot of his cricket before WWI, so my own view is that he wins that match up, and he also offers a bowling option. The Ts win the match up at number four, while number five is draw, Misbah Ul Haq’s slightly better batting average being offset by Thorpe’s greater sample size and the lack of support that Thorpe had at test level. Ross Taylor beats Umrigar in the number six slot. Umar Akmal wins the batting match up at number seven, but Bob Taylor wins the keeping element by a much greater margin. The Ts have much the better pace/ seam bowling unit. I also give the spin department to the Ts – Tarrant would be little if any inferior to Underwood as a bowler, and on proven success as opposed to potential Trumble has to outrank Ur Rahman, though their positions may be reversed in a few years time. The Us can make no dent on the Ts, resulting in Ts 5, Us 0.

THE Ts PROGRESS REPORT

The Ts are now on 72.5 out of 100, 72.5% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Today’s gallery comes in two parts – I have revisited by cricket cigarette card collection, digging out the first set I ever acquired, some years ago, and the ones I chose to photographs form the first gallery, with links to posts that the players feature in included…

…part two of the gallery features some of my regular photographs.

All Time XIs – Match Ups 56

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created 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 have selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today sees the end of the Ps, who start the day on 64 out of 100 points.

THE Ps V THE Vs

The Ps have the better opening pair, and Ponting wins the batting match up at number three, while Vaughan and Procter were both excellent skippers. Pollock and Pietersen both definitively win their batting match ups as well. Pant and Verreynne are much of a muchness, while Procter outdoes Vaas in both departments, though Vaas is less far adrift with the ball than figures suggest – he is part of a stronger attack than he ever had to opportunity to be IRL. Voce and Van der Bijl probably represent a better new ball pairing than S and P Pollock – Van der Bijl was the best of the four, though he never got to play test cricket, and Voce’s left arm gives them the advantage of greater variation. The Vs have unarguably the better spin attack – Verity outranks Parker, as great a bowler as the Gloucestershire man was, Vogler outranks Prasanna, and they have a third genuine option in Vine. The question here is whether the Vs bowling resources outweigh the Ps as much as the Ps batting resources outweigh the Vs, and I don’t think they do. I score this one Ps 3, Vs 2.

THE Ps V THE Ws

The Ws are ahead in all departments save keeping, which is a draw. Anything the Ps can do, the Ws can do as well or better, leading to only one scoreline: Ps 0, Ws 5.

THE Ps v THE Xs

The Ps dominate in all departments, with the sole exception of keeping, where BoX was probably a finer practitioner than Pant. Ps 5, Xs 0.

THE Ps V THE Ys

The Ps are stronger in batting, way ahead in fast bowling, ahead in keeping, probably ahead in captaincy and maybe fractionally behind in spin bowling: Ps 5, Ys o.

THE Ps V THE Zs

Absolute domination from the Ps once again, and a third straight whitewash in their favour to end their match ups: Ps 5, Zs 0.

THE Ps FINAL SCORE

The Ps have scored 18 out of 25 points today, finishing with 82 out of 125, 65.6%

PHOTOGRAPHS

All Time XIs – Match Ups 52

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked 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. This post marks the fourth-fifths of the way point in the analysis part of this series, after which there will be a grand finale post presenting all 26 XIs in reverse ranking order. Today sees the end of the Ns, who so far have 22 of a possible 105 points and ushers the Os into the spotlight, with 12.5 of a possible 70 points to their credit.

THE Ns V THE Ws

The Ws dominate in departments and there can be only one scoreline: Ns 0, Ws 5.

THE Ns V THE Xs

The Ns have better batting, better pace bowling and a better captain. The Xs have the better keeper and the better spin bowling. I expect the Ns to win this but not in a whitewash: Ns 4, Xs 1.

THE Ns V THE Ys

The Ns have the better opening pair, the Ys win at number three and draw at number four, and win at number five. Noble wins the batting match up at number six, but P Yadav is comfortably the better bowler. Nixon undoubtedly outranks S Yousuf with both bat and gloves. The Ns are dominant in pace/ seam bowling, with their fourth option in that department, Nichols, outranking the Ys second, U Yadav. The Ys definitely have the better spin attack – Young outpoints Nadeem by even more than P Yadav outpoints Noble. This is close in batting, and the question is whether the Ns pacers or the Ys spinners have the bigger advantage over their opposite number. I just give this to the Ns: Ns 3, Ys 2.

THE Ns V THE Zs

The Ns are well ahead on batting, have the better captain, the better keeper and the better pace/ seam bowlers. The Zs have slightly the better spinners, and I will allow them one big day out: Ns 4, Zs 1.E

THE Ns FINAL TALLY

The Ns have scored 11 of a possible 20 points today, to finish on 33 out of 125, 26.4%.

THE Os V THE Ps

The Ps absolutely boss the batting, winning every match up, a number of them by huge margins. Oldfield rates above Pant as a keeper. Procter wins the battle of the all rounders in both departments, though O’Riordan’s left arm does give the Os extra variation. S Pollock is clear of Old and P Pollock at least matches Olivier. Prasanna is about even with Ojha, but the Os also have Odumbe, and O’Reilly outranks Parker. I think that the Ps colossal advantage in batting and obvious advantage in pace/ seam bowling, plus the fact that they have the superior captain more than compensate for their disadvantages on the keeping and spin bowling fronts, though I will as usual in these cases allow the Os spinners one big day out: Os 1, Ps 4.

THE Os PROGRESS REPORT

The Os have 13.5 points out of a possible 75, exactly 18% so far.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 47

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 starts with the Ls in the spotlight, with a score of 77 out of 105 and ends with the Ms taking their place there, having garnered 49.5 out of 60 points in the match ups in which they are alphabetically second.

THE Ls V THE Ws

The Ls have the better opening pair, but the Ws win the batting match uops at three, four, five, six and seven, though the Ls have the better keeper. The Ls have an advantage in pace/seam bowling, although Whitty’s left arm somewhat negates that. The Ws win the spin bowling, especially given that they have a third option in that department in Woolley. I think the Ws have this one, but not by a huge amount: Ls 2, Ws 3.

THE Ls V THE Xs

The Ls win all departments save keeping, where BoX outranks Langley, making this one very straightforward: Ls 5, Xs 0.

THE Ls V THE Ys

The Ls have the better opening pair and just win the match up at number three. The Ys win at number four. The Ys win the batting element of the match up at number seven, though Langley has to rate as the finer keeper. The Ls are massively ahead in pace/ seam bowling and also win the spin bowling, though less conclusively. The Ls are well clear overall and I see no possible scoreline other than Ls 5, Ys 0.

THE Ls V THE Zs

The Ls absolutely dominate the batting, have the better keeper, the better captain, by far the better pace/ seam bowling and the better spin bowling: Ls 5, Zs 0.

THE Ls FINAL SCORE

The Ls scored 17 points out of 20 in these last match ups, giving them a final total of 94 out of 125, 75.20% overall.

THE Ms V THE Ns

The Ms have the better opening pair by far, though the Ns win the batting match ups at three and four, albeit Macartney offers a genuine bowling option. Miandad blows Dave Nourse out of the water at number five, Miller outbats Noble and outbowls Sarfraz Nawaz, while both captains are superb. Nixon outbats Marsh, but the legendary Aussie was undoubtedly the greater keeper. Marshall and McGrath clearly outrank Ntini and Nortje as a new ball pairing. Muralidaran massively outranks Noble as an off spinner, and Mahmood’s leg cutters have no equivalent in the opposition ranks, while for all his status as a no3 batter, Macartney’s left arm spin outranks that of Nadeem. The Ms are at least a match for the Ns batting wise, and massively superior in bowling: Ms 5, Ns 0.

THE Ms PROGRESS REPORT

The Ms now have 54.5 out of a possible 65 points, 83.85% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 44

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another, with the Ks last day in the spotlight.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today is the Ks last day in the spotlight, and they have 68 of a possible 100 points so far.

THE Ks V THE Vs

The Ks boss the batting, they have the better keeper, the better captain and the better pace bowling unit. Only Hedley Verity saves the Vs from a complete wipeout in all departments, but not even his presence alters the scoreline: Ks 5, Vs 0.

THE Ks V THE Ws

The Ws have the better the opening pair and also comfortably win the number three and four slots. Kallis beats S Waugh at number five. I Khan and Watling are equals with the bat, Worrell and I Khan is a clash of captaincy titans, Woods ranks higher with the bat than Kirmani and is on similar plane to I Khan with the ball. The Ws have the better spin combination, and Whitty’s left arm gives them the edge in new ball bowling as well. I would say Woolley is a better sixth bowler than Kallis as well. I think the Ws winning this, though it would be a hell of a contest: Ks 2, Ws 3.

THE Ks V THE Xs

Apart from DeXter having a small advantage over Kanhai in the number three slot and BoX being the better keeper, and probably pretty close with the bat (Pilch, the best bat of BoX’s era averaged under 20) the Xs are thoroughly outclassed in all departments: Ks 5, Xs 0.

THE Ks V THE Ys

Only in the number three and four slots do the Ys have a definitive advantage over the Ks. The Ks have an overwhelming superiority in pace bowling, though the better balance of the Ys spin pairing just gives them that department their inferiority everywhere else means that the scoreline in unaffected: Ks 5, Ys 0.

THE Ks V THE Zs

The Ks dominate this outright, with the Zs not even matching them anywhere: Ks 5, Zs 0.

THE Ks FINAL SCORE

The Ks have scored 22 of a possible 25 points today, meaning that they finish with 90 out of 125 points, 72% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

All Time XIs – Match Ups 38

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 installment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today sees the Is last four match ups, with that team currently on 11 out of 105 and then the Js take to the spotlight, of which more later. The T20 World Cup saw two cracking matches today – Sri Lanka won convincingly in the first match, and the India-Pakistan match was one of the most extraordinary matches ever seen. Pakistan scored 159-8 batting first, and India lost four early wickets in the reply before Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya shared an excellent partnership. In the closing stages Pakistan had a problem – they had one of their minor bowlers, Mohammad Nawaz with one over still to bowl, and gambled on bowling the fast bowlers through first and leaving him with the 20th over. When India needed 28 with eight balls remaining it looked to have worked, but Kohli hit sixes off the last two balls of the 19th and Nawaz had ‘only’ 16 to defend rather than 20+. Things went well for Nawaz initially and India needed 13 off the last three balls, and then calamity struck for Nawaz – he bowled a no-ball which was clouted for six, and then his next delivery was called wide and suddenly it was five needed off three balls. By the time the last ball was due to be bowled scores were level, and Ashwin, on strike, kept a cool head and took India across the line. Kohli, who had recovered from an awful start (12* off 21 balls) to finish on 82* was the only candidate for Player of the Match.

THE Is V THE Ws

The Ws win the batting match ups all the way down to number six, have the better skipper, absolutely dominate on the fast bowling front, and even outdo the Is in spin bowling, the latter’s strongest suit. There can be only one score: Is 0, Ws 5.

THE Is V THE Xs

The Is are for once ahead on batting, neither side has much pace bowling, though MaX Walker is the best single practitioner on either side, and the Is are a bit ahead on spin bowling. As against that BoX claims the keeping honours and less far below Imtiaz Ahmed in batting than the figures suggest – the best batter of BoX’s era, Fuller Pilch, averaged less than 20 in FC cricket. This is a tough one to call, but I think the presence of MaX Walker just swings it the way of the Xs – Is 2, Xs 3.

THE Is V THE Ys

The Is have the better opening pair, with T Iqbal the class act of the four players concerned. The Ys win the 3,4 and 5 slots. Iremonger at six outranks Yardley in both departments, S Yousuf wins the keeping honours by more than Imtiaz Ahmed wins the batting order. The Ys dominate the bowling, with even their pace attack outranking that of the Is and the spin attack being of similar standards. I think the Ys are winning this quite comfortably: Is 1, Ys 4.

THE Is V THE Zs

The Zs have marginally the stronger top six, but none of their front line bowlers can do anything significant with the bat. The Zs have the better new ball bowlers, the Is the better spinners. Illingworth rates higher as a skipper than Zaman. I think the all round skills of Iremonger and the higher standard of the Is spinners plus Illingworth’s captaincy swing it their way: Is 3, Zs 2.

THE Is FINAL RESULTS

The Is have scored 6 points out of 20 today and finish with 17 out of 125, 13.6% overall.

THE Js V THE Ks

The Js have 24.5 of a possible 45 points in the bank as they take the spotlight.

The Js have the better top three, the Ks are stronger batting wise in positions three through seven, but Jupp and Johnson partly compensate for that. The Ks have the better fast bowling, although the left arms of Johnson and Johnston give the Js extra variation. The Js with Jupp’s off spin, Jayasuriya and Johnston in his slower style have a better balance spin combo than the Ks. I think the Ks have this, but the Js are far from negligible: Js 2, Ks 3.

THE Js PROGRESS REPORT

The Js have 26.5 of a possible 55 points, 48.18%.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…