Reaction Weekend

Cricket World Cup: Wrist spin and bumper barrages make for some spectacle

BY Allan Massie   /  7 June 2019

So far the World Cup has been better and more interesting than I thought, even feared, it might be. Scoring has by today’s ODI standards been agreeably modest. Bowlers haven’t been sacrificial lambs. Instead there has been in most matches a fair contest between bat and ball, and that is something to be welcomed. Excited forecasts of innings scores of 400 – even, surely absurdly, the first ODI total of 500 – haven’t been realised. That may change of course, if we get a couple of weeks of scarcely broken sunshine. No doubt, the tournament so far has been a bit disappointing for those who measure happiness or satisfaction by the number of sixes hit, but comparatively low-scoring matches are often more interesting and more exciting, because – odd as it may seem – in such games there is more pressure on both batsmen and bowlers.

There are some things I don’t like to see. Praise for a “hostile bumper barrage” is one, and it was distressing to see that fine classical batsman Hashim Amla retiring for a head injury assessment after being struck on his helmet by a very fast ball from Jofra Archer, which seemed to have been deliberately directed at the head.


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