The T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia couldn’t have asked for a better start. Wins by Nambia and Scotland that too against Test–playing nations, have spiced up the event ahead of the Super 12s. These are first-round matches, and two results haven’t gone according to the script: Asia Cup champions and former champions of T20 world cup Sri Lanka were lanced down by Namibia, and two-time winners West Indies stumbled against Scotland.
England suffered a major upset in the Men’s T20 World Cup as an inspired Ireland and rain seriously dented their title hopes in Melbourne. After a surprisingly meek performance in pursuit of 158, England, one of the tournament favorites, were 105-5 in the 15th over when rain arrived. With England behind the required rate, Ireland secured a five-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when the match was called off soon after.
England bowler Mark Wood, speaking to Test Match Special: “In T20 cricket, if you don’t play well then you can get punished. It doesn’t have to be the number one team in the world, it can be any team. We were off, they were on and they deserved to win”.
Ireland’s captain Andrew Balbirnie said, “To come here and play the tournament favorites, with so many big names, and put on a show in front of friends and family and so many people around the world is very satisfying. To do this at one of the most amazing cricket grounds in the world is pretty special.”
The result does not end England’s hopes of progressing from Group 1 but it leaves them likely needing to beat Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in their remaining games to go through.
The giant-slaying acts by minnows can be attributed to the unpredictability of T20 games. The shotgun nature allows for short game-changing moments: one brief innings, one over, or even one catch can turn a match around. That’s the nature of limited-over games.