A wonderful final. Terribly sorry for Ben Stokes, but it was still headless bowling of the last over. Many congratulations to Windies, deserved.
I have always been pretty snooty about T20, which lacks the subtlety and complexity that makes cricket such a deeply satisfying sport. But I have come to enjoy T20 for its energy and vibrancy, and the final today was a fitting climax to what has been a riveting tournament. Scotland in the early stages, and the surprising competitiveness of their spin bowling in particular. The Dutch falling improbably short in a run chase then getting knocked out by rain. Shahzad of Afghanistan and their joyful cricket.
It just got better. New Zealand’s spinners defending an improbable total against India. Bangladesh failing astonishingly to score one run off the last three balls against India. Kohli and Root’s classicism. Those are just memories which stand out.
For a time it looked like the depth of England’s batting might have dug them out of their deep hole against Windies in today’s final sufficiently to win. Joe Root’s two wickets in his surprise over were astonishing. But you have to query Morgan’s decision not to bowl Moeen Ali at all in the final, after his two overs against the New Zealand run chase were key to England’s semi final win. And frankly if there was one bowler likely to go for 19 in the last over, it was Ben Stokes. He got two wickets against New Zealand at the death from rank full tosses. After Jordan’s penultimate over I was shouting at the TV “not Ben Stokes, please.” Perhaps my TV does not work, because it seems Ollie Morgan could not hear me.
But still – Brathwaite!