Rwanda in the Under 19 T20 World Cup

A look at Rwanda’s involvement in the inaugural Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, plus some recent photographs.

Greetings from the frozen wastes of West Norfolk – the freeze here has now got to the stage where Bawsey Drain is partially frozen over, never mind the ponds. In today’s post I look at a great story to emerge from the inaugural Womens U19 T20 World Cup, and make some suggestions for the future.

THE BIGGEST SUCCESS OF THE TOURNAMENT

Obviously in absolute terms this will belong to whoever ends up lifting the trophy, which will not be Rwanda, whose journey will end at the Super Six stage (England, New Zealand and India are all looking strong, and no one familiar with Australia in knock out stages would dare rule them out), but in relative terms, to reach the Super Six stage, and to win one match at that stage (v West Indies) on Rwanda’s resources far outranks any of the achievements of the big guns.

RWANDA’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Rwanda are an excellent bowling side (Henriette Ishimwe, who took four wickets in four balls to seal the win over Zimbabwe had a comparatively quiet match in the Super Six win over West Indies, when the spinners dominated) but struggle with the bat – that great win over West Indies was achieved with only four wickets and two overs to spare even after dismissing their opponents very cheaply. If a side is going to be weak in one department I would prefer it to be batting, as a good bowling side can often make up for frailties with the bat, whereas there is nowhere to hide if your bowlers cannot do the job.

RWANDA GOING FORWARD

The top sides should make space for Rwanda in their schedules – more competition against them could only improve Rwanda. I would also like to see domestic competitions (Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy, Charlotte Edwards cup, The Hundred, The WBBL, and coming into existence later this month, the WIPL) include Rwandans among their overseas signings. There are a number of current Rwandan players who would be excellent value as an overseas signing in these leagues. A new nation with no prior cricketing heritage making its presence felt on the world stage can only be a good thing for those of who want the game we love to continue to grow and develop, and I give these young Rwandan women my heartfelt congratulations for their contribution to this tournament.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Time for my usual sign off…

Early Thoughts on The Hundred

A look at cricket’s newest format, The Hundred and some photographs.

It has been a while since I last posted here, and it is time to rectify that omission. The new cricket competition, The Hundred got underway on Thursday evening, and I now offer my early thoughts on it.

ABOUT THE HUNDRED

The Hundred differs from other formats of cricket in the following ways:

  • No overs – there are blocks of five balls, a bowler may bowl either five balls or 10 balls at a stretch depending on the captain’s decision, and the players change ends every 10 balls. The total innings duration is 100 balls per side, hence the name. Commentator Dan Norcross made an intriguing Paris Metro based suggestion for naming these blocks – tickets on that transport are purchasable in blocks of five or ten and the word for such a block is ‘carnet’, pronounced ‘Car-nay’.
  • Each bowler may bowl up to 20 balls in the course of the innings.
  • The fielding captain is permitted to take one strategic time out lasting two and a half minutes at any time after the first 25 balls.
  • The first 25 balls are a Power Play in which only two fielders may be placed more than 30 yards from the bat, while for the rest of the innings five may be placed deep
  • If the fielding side have not started the last set of five balls by a certain preset tine they are punished by being required to bring one extra fielder in close.

PROS AND CONS

Many readers will be aware that when it was first mooted I was strongly opposed to The Hundred. I still think that it is cluttering up an already overcrowded calendar, and still have concerns about the absolute marginalization of the county championship, and I also feel that some of those pushing this competition have been unnecessarily antagonistic towards existing fans in their search for new ones. However, it is here to stay, it is very enjoyable. Also, it has undoubtedly been a huge boon for women’s cricket, with the women’s games an integral part of the tournament rather than a sideshow. On Saturday over 21,000 spectators watched the two women’s games, being respectively the largest and second largest ever audiences for a women’s domestic game in this country.

SOME OF THE MATCHES

The highest score of the competition to date came from Jemimah Rodrigues, who with the top order crumbling around her so that the score at one point was 19-4 chasing 131 to win scored 94 not out off 42 balls to carry her side to victory. Alice Capsey, the youngest player involved in the tournament, lit up Lord’s on Saturday morning with a glorious 59 off 41 balls. Yesterday at Manchester saw a bowling dominated day – in the women’s match Birmngham Phoenix tallied 113 batting first, which proved enough to win by 20 runs. Then in the men’s match Phoenix became the first side to be bowled out inside 100 balls, managing a measly 87 off 86 balls. Matt Parkinson for the home side, the Manchester Originals, took 4-9 from 19 balls, finishing the innings by taking three in four balls including as good a ball as a bowler of his type can produce – pitched on leg stump it tilted the middle stump backwards. Just to ensure that the total would never trouble the Originals Phil Salt gave the reply a flying start with 22 off 11 balls, as half the required runs were knocked off in the 25 ball Power Play. Thereafter there was no way for Phoenix to apply any pressure, although Benny Howell, a crafty medium pacer, bowled well for them.

YOUNGSTERS TO THE FORE

At the same time as the new competition is going on, so is the Royal London Cup 50 overs per side competition. With so many first choice players not available to them the counties have had no option but to select quite a number of youngsters. Yesterday’s match between Yorkshire and Leicestershire saw Harry Duke at the age of 19 rack up his first professional century, helping his side to a convincing victory.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…