Friday, 27 April 2012

The Bowl Out

Fantasy Bob is sorry to his worldwide readership to let the subject of football sully these pages.   However his attention alighted on the semi-finals of the Champions League this week.  Penalties were to the fore in these matches, as much for being missed as for being scored.

 The so called 2 best players on this or any other planet both missed.  One during regular play, the other during the penalty shoot out. The convert a penalty you have to kick a ball from 12 yards within a wooden frame 8 feet by 8 yards.  Notwithstanding the goalkeeper attempting to distract this is quite a big target, as targets go.  There are smaller barn doors.  But they missed - Messi hit the cross bar - Ronaldo's effort was saved.  So they didn't miss by much.
Fantasy Bob declines to watch penalty shoot outs.  Some people love them.  They might prefer not to bother with the preceding 90mins plus extra time of toil sweat and rolling around in agony following the merest contact with an opposing player. The penalty shoot out has everything that is needed.  Except half time and the opportunity for advertisements.  Perhaps this will come.

Cricket's equivalent of the penalty shoot out to be used to decide a match which finishes level used to be the bowl out.  This was replaced more recently by the super over.  The bowl out involves players from either side bowling at an unguarded wicket.  The ball must bounce in front of the batting crease.  If it hits the stumps a point is scored.  Each side puts 5 players up for this.  If it is still even it is sudden death.

This was first used in 1991 in a NatWest match between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire. The Minor County won. There have been 2 international bowl-outs, both in T20 matches. In 2006, New Zealand beatWest Indies and in 2007 when India beat Pakistan during the ICC World Twenty20 in Durban. In 2009 a more unusual bowl out took place - indoors. This was needed to decide the English T20 quarterfinal between Lancashire and Somerset which had been rained off on 2 consecutive days. When it was washed out for a third time, the players resorted to the Old Trafford indoor centre where Somerset triumphed.

Alfonso Thomas
winning the indoor bowl out
In 2008 the ICC decided to use the superover instead of the bowl out.  Each side faces one over and the side scoring more runs wins. There have been 2 T20I superovers both in New Zealand. In teh first Chris Gayle blasted 25 runs as West Indies beat the hosts. There was a rumour that Gayle found the new format much to his liking he found 20-20 too lengthy and boring. The second match showed that superovers can be low scoring too. Shaun Tait must have thought he had won the game for Australia when his over went for only 9, but Tim Southee trumped him by restricting the Aussies to 6 for 2.

There were 2 superovers in the same day at the same ground last August.  Both the semi-finals of last year's FriendsLife T20 competition at Edgebaston were decided by superovers after rain had affected both ties.  Somerset and Leicestershire winning over Hampshire and Lancashire respectively.

Fantasy Bob has taken part in 2 weather induced bowl outs. In both he was calm and efficient in the face of the clamour of the crowd. In both ties he hit the stumps and ended up on the winning side. The target is 22 yards away and is 28 inches high and 9 inches wide. No barn door is as small. Could Messi or Ronaldo do better than FB?  (Sadly there is no footage or picture of FB's triumphs).


No comments:

Post a Comment