PROVIDENCE: England captain Paul Collingwood said there was a “major problem” with the rules for rain-affected matches after his side’s eight-wicket loss to the West Indies in their World Twenty20 opener.
England made 191 for five, featuring 55 from former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan and ended up drawing the highest yet total in this tournament, after being sent in to bat by West Indies captain Chris Gayle. But, after a couple of downpours, the West Indies were left with a revised target of 60 in six overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, which they achieved with a ball to spare.
Rain, which had interrupted Sri Lanka’s victory over Zimbabwe earlier here Monday, effectively rendered that score meaningless and making the England-Ireland clash a winner-takes-all clash. “I think 95 per cent of the time when you put 191 runs on the board you are going to win the game,” said Collingwood. “There’s a major problem with this Duckworth-Lewis in this form of the game,” Colingwood insisted. The system, devised by English statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, has been widely regarded as the fairest yet in deciding rainaffected matches.
But there are signs it is struggling to come to terms with scoring rates in Twenty20, which wasn’t even on the horizon when the method was first used back in 1997. Monday’s defeat was the second time in a year England had lost under the Duckworth- Lewis method to the West Indies in the World Twenty20. Previous systems led to farcical conclusions such as at the 1992 World Cup in Australia where South Africa went from needing 22 runs off 13 balls to beat England in the semi-final to an impossible 21 runs off one ball following a rain break.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle had some sympathy for England and words of caution for his bowlers. “I would support what Collingwood just said. I could have been in the same position as well,” Gayle added. But Gayle said the way his bowlers had been punished by England’s batsmen had left the team with plenty to ponder. “We have got to go back to the drawing board, but give credit where it’s due and England’s batsmen batted very well,” he said. “We need to look on the areas where we went wrong.”
England had started well thanks to their opening pair of Michael Lumb and Kieswetter 76 came off the final five overs, with Rampaul being the most expensive bowler. But it was in-form West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy, the manof- the-match, who checked England’s progress with two wickets in the tenth over, bowling Collingwood for six and inducing Kevin Pietersen to hole out to midwicket.
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