Monday, June 23, 2003

Teensy weensy cricket update

In England this year, there is a new competition at county level. This is a limited overs tournament in which the sides get to bat for 20 overs each. The game goes for about three hours, and the whole game is played in the evening. (At the end of the tournament, the two semi-finals and the final will all be played on one day, and the crowd gets to watch the final stages of the tournament rather than one match, sort of like what happens in a sevens rugby tournament). It is unusual for cricket matches to be this short at county level, but many games at lower levels are actually quite similar to this.

In any event, the tournament has been going on for a couple of weeks. There has been a lot of fast scoring, and 150-160 seems to be a good score off 20 overs. One thing that we have been waiting for over the last couple of weeks is for someone to score the first century in the tournament. This requires rapid batting, but it has been clearly possible, and we have been waiting for someone to manage it. Last week Brad Hodge scored 97 for Leicestershire before being out off the last ball of the innings. If he had hit the ball for four instead of being out, he would have done it. On the same day, Andrew Symonds scored 96 not out off only 37 balls for Kent, winning a match against Hampshire with eight overs to spare. Today, though, Ian Harvey did it, scoring 100 not out for Gloucestershire against Warwickshire, as Gloucestershire won with 6.5 overs to spare. Given that his side were only set 135 to win, it is quite impressive that Harvey could manage a century.

It is left as an exercise to the reader to figure out what these three batsmen have in common.

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