Rain, lightning and flashing McCullum dash England hopes at World Twenty20 as Stuart delivers Broadside at umpires

By Peter Hayter


England skipper Stuart Broad may face disciplinary action from the ICC after openly criticising the umpiring he felt condemned his side to defeat on Saturday in their opening World T20 match against New  Zealand in Chittagong.

Broad described the decision-making of onfield umpires Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel as ‘distinctly average’ after they kept the players on the field during an electrical storm, allowing New Zealand to  complete victory by nine runs on the Duckworth Lewis method in a five-over match.

Broad felt the risk to players and spectators was too great for the umpires to allow the match to continue and did not rule out urging the England and Wales Cricket Board to make an official complaint to the tournament’s organisers over the result.

The match further reduced England’s slim prospects of progressing from the group stage and earning breathing space as they look to get over the Kevin Pietersen issue.

Off you go: England captain Stuart Broad follows New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum as play's suspended

Off you go: England captain Stuart Broad follows New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum as play's suspended

Over: The covers are brought on again in Chittagong as England's World Twenty opener ends in misery

Over: The covers are brought on again in Chittagong as England's World Twenty opener ends in misery

Broad said: ‘We can feel aggrieved to have that as a loss against our name because I think it would have been a tight game.

‘To be as polite as I possibly can be, I think it was distinctly average  decision-making keeping us on after the first lightning strike at the start of the fifth over.

‘Though you can’t do much about the weather coming in, technically we thought we should have come off for the lightning earlier, which would have saved us from losing the game.

‘It’s not sour grapes because I think both sides were uncomfortable being out there.

‘I asked the umpires for a bit of clarity on the decision-making and they said they didn’t see the lightning and didn’t think it was a threat.

‘You can guarantee from our team we felt like it was a threat and, with a batsman pulling away from a 
delivery after 4.2 overs, I think the batsmen saw it as well.

Breakthrough: England quick Jade Dernbach took the valuable wicket of Black Caps opener Martin Guptil

Breakthrough: England quick Jade Dernbach took the valuable wicket of Black Caps opener Martin Guptil

Slugger: England opener Michael Lumb found his stride with 33 off 24 before his untimely dismissal

Slugger: England opener Michael Lumb found his stride with 33 off 24 before his untimely dismissal

‘At the end of the day it’s a game of cricket so I wouldn’t be putting the crowd’s and players’ safety under threat. Personally, I’d have had the players off the field.

‘It’s a loss against our name but it’s a hard one to take.’

Not much was expected of Broad’s side before the game, yet until the captain began his first over, they had done most things right. They squeezed out a total of 172-6 with the bat and looked capable of pulling off an unexpected victory.

Then, with lightning flashing over the ground, that prospect was dashed in four deliveries by the power, mathematical expertise and tactical awareness of Brendon McCullum, with, England feel, too much help from the onfield umpires.

When Broad began the fifth over of New Zealand’s innings, the Kiwi skipper did not seem to grasp the urgency of the situation. If the over was completed, the match would be decided on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

High-five: New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan (right) celebrates taking the wicket of Lumb

High-five: New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan (right) celebrates taking the wicket of Lumb

Innovative: England No 3 Moeen Ali looks to caress a ball through the offside in Chittagong

Innovative: England No 3 Moeen Ali looks to caress a ball through the offside in Chittagong

Weighted: A balanced and positive Jos Butter on his way to 32 from 23 balls

Weighted: A balanced and positive Jos Butter on his way to 32 from 23 balls

Party's over: The flashing bails and displaced middle stump mean the end of Buttler's spirited knock

Party's over: The flashing bails and displaced middle stump mean the end of Buttler's spirited knock

After two dot balls, however, which left New Zealand on 31-1 and still requiring 11 runs from the last four balls to reach a winning score, a flash of lightning appeared to concentrate McCullum’s mind.

He let rip, hitting the next two balls for four and six to leave a single needed off the last two deliveries.

Another crack of thunder forced him to pull away as Broad was about to send down his next ball, then the England skipper produced a brilliant yorker to leave New Zealand one short of the theoretical target.

But McCullum’s smash of Broad’s final ball over his head for six before the rain duly arrived two balls later left New Zealand, on 52-1, the winners and England cursing the storm and the umpires.

Drenched: The ground staff work to protect The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium square as rain belts down

Drenched: The ground staff work to protect The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium square as rain belts down

Helpless: Broad leaves the field after another rain delay

Helpless: Broad leaves the field after another rain delay

Broad said: ‘It would have been a fantastic game if it had gone the  distance, and 170-odd was a competitive total.

‘It doesn’t change what we need to do as a team. We can take some real good things from today and we have to win our next three games. It’s simple.’

Though encouraged by signs of progress, England were not perfect. Moeen Ali and Michael Lumb each got out after laying a platform for a score touching 200, though Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara ensured they still set New Zealand a stiff target.

But in the end it would have been tough for England to escape the feeling that, even though they played well enough to win, at the moment they cannot seem to buy a victory.

New order: Kevin Pietersen supports wife Jessica Taylor's hair salon launch on Ledbury Road as England loses

New order: Kevin Pietersen supports wife Jessica Taylor's hair salon launch on Ledbury Road as England loses

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

Shut up moaning Broad, you and your team are not good enough, in fact brainless when it comes to this format of the game. Thank god it is not really cricket.

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Come rain, hail or sunshine we are just not good enough to win the tournament. KP must be to blame once again according to the selectors.

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Duckworth Lewis, average in the 50 over games, distinctly useless in the 20/20 format.

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Paul Newman and DM have found out from Flower and ECB that KP was responsible for the untimely rain. Strauss has text messages to show that KP wishes it was raining on some earlier occasion. And there are further confirmation that KP had whistled in a peculiar way before the rain started. This loss is now blamed on KP and the dressing room is happier as the loss can be blamed on the rain and not on the bowling that was coming apart!

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When the moment came and NZ realised they needed 11 off the over they got the runs needed. England needed to bowl an over that conceded less than 11 runs, they failed to do so. NZ won. No complaints from me. We (England) need to show some mental toughness, something that is seriously lacking. English cricket is very depressing atm, a bit of Aussie grit would not go amiss.

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Good score England but the weather can be cruel at times - all teams get this so just try to get better. KP's fault.

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England made a decent score but they will definitely need to improve with the ball otherwise the lightning might just follow them around the entire tournament.

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I was pretty sure only the Aussies complained if they lost in such a manner ? Oh well, I do agree its a very harsh rule.

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Great to see you in form again RWA. Well done. I have missed your unique brand of idiocy.

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Hey Dad ! A misogynist as well ! Your attributes just keep increasing.

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It's a disappointing way to lose but I'm sure New Zealand would've won if the weather had been fine. It will be hard for us to defend anything under 200 with Dernbach, Jordan and Bresnan bowling for us!

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Look on the bright side at least that Pie Chucker Broad only went for 16 off his one over....

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You obviously have very limited knowledge of cricket to make a comment like that,so why are you posting on a cricket forum. In this format Broad has taken 61 wickets at 23 apiece which puts him high up on the International table.

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To all those who red arrowhead my previous comment regarding "pie chucker Broad".He is currently fifth in the leading wicket takers list,not too bad for a pie chucker!

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