This 100-ball lark has a real Last Man Stands feel to it; the kits look like the teams are vying for a bonus point by all players wearing the same colour tops and bottoms & I really don’t understand what’s going on…
On that note – a big ticking off is due to the red-topped North side who had some wearing green trousers, some blue, some black and even one in red top and bottoms!
All it needed was for the last man to stand and bat alone, double plays to be possible and a £6.50 match fee (even though no tea included) and LMS would be claiming a breach of copyright!
One thing I cannot argue with, despite the 150-second strategic timeout, is that it was quick – the first time I remember looking up at the scoreboard there were only 30 balls left.
Noticeable differences included the usual four-column bowling figures including dot balls rather than maidens. This seems a sensible move with maidens so rare in T20 cricket these days, although just last Saturday, at T20 Finals day, Chris Jordan bowled a maiden. That’s an impressive feat that could be overlooked in this new format.
Most of the day was spent as if playing a new board game for the first time, repeatedly questioning those around you on what can and cannot be done. Though sadly in this case there was no experienced Granny who had been playing the game for years with all the answers. To be frank, no one knew some of the intricacies of this new format.
There was plenty of time spent debating if the new batsman always faces the strike, irrelevant of whether the previous batsmen cross before the catch was taken. Eventually general consensus seemed to be the new idea is to always have the new batsman facing the first ball he spends at the wicket.
I tried to devise my own scorecard, but you could argue it illegible, even somewhat higgledy-piggledy to myself trying to comprehend afterwards.
The terminology is tricky as to what to call it before they switch ends; a 10-ball spell or block? As oppose to an over?
Two sub fielders makes for a fast bowler’s dream, bowl your 20 balls, then sit with your feet up for the remainder of the innings, arguably even less likely to bat with only 100 balls for the top-order to collapse in.
All in all, it’s clearly still a work in progress, with many potential problems to iron out or decide upon. The game itself was interesting, was exciting, but I’m a cricket fan who would find anything resembling bat on ball exciting to watch.
And without a capacity crowd it had a distinct friendly feel to the matches today, thus I don’t feel I can yet pass official verdict upon the format.