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Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan's ability to adapt to the circumstances makes him a very valuable presence

As pluckily as Ireland bowled and fielded, it would not have been a fair reflection of the cricket played by England had the Duckworth-Lewis system denied them their passage into the Super Eight stage of the tournament.

The recalculation of the West Indies target the previous day from an imposing 192 from 20 overs to just 60 from six with all their wickets in hand was not the best advert for the system, which appears to need a reassessment for Twenty20 cricket.

I agree with Paul Collingwood's observation that a total of 191 will win the match 95% of the time, while Duckworth-Lewis on this occasion made the team batting second firm favourites.

The West Indies' revised total was assisted by England's bowlers conceding 30 runs from their first 14 deliveries, and while there is never a satisfactory means of determining the outcome of a rain-affected game, even the most strident West Indian supporter would admit that the calculation was skewed in their favour.

England batted superbly in that game. Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter are clean and powerful hitters who easily clear the inner fielding circle in the first six overs.

It helps, too, that they are left and right-handed; it makes it even more difficult for the bowlers to keep them under control, and both batsmen should enjoy the conditions even more in Barbados and St Lucia rather than the very sluggish surface in Guyana.

Kevin Pietersen looks in good form, while Paul Collingwood does not. He was dismissed cheaply twice in Guyana, once because he could not get going, while against Ireland his footwork was tentative, which accurately sums up England's batting as a whole in that game.

The revelation has been Eoin Morgan, who is brimming with confidence.

Jack S

With Luke Wright he cleverly dismantled the West Indian bowling attack in their partnership of 95 in only 56 balls, while his invaluable 45 against his old countrymen was more of an accumulative innings in which he manoeuvred the ball into gaps and ran busily between the wickets.

His ability to adapt the circumstances makes him a very valuable presence at number five.

I was surprised that England preferred Ryan Sidebottom to James Anderson in their opening matches, and although Sidebottom offers a different angle being left-arm over the wicket, Anderson is one of the most accomplished boundary fielders in the world.

But while it is difficult to make too many judgments based on two washed-out matches, England do look mobile in the field.

My prediction that Sri Lanka are a good bet to win the tournament took a knock when they lost their opening game, and then lost the services of Muttiah Muralitharan.

New Zealand looked impressive, but with no giant-killing having taken place in the preliminary round, every team will now consider they have an equal chance of making the final.

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see also
England through after rain drama
04 May 10 |  England
World Twenty20 day five photos
04 May 10 |  Cricket
Duckworth hits back on rain rules
04 May 10 |  England
Collingwood eyes rain-rule change
04 May 10 |  England
England lose rain-affected clash
03 May 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
29 Apr 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 teams guide
28 Apr 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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