England and sports success very seldom go hand in hand. In my lifetime, the only international sports tournament I can recall England winning was the 2003 Rugby World Cup. So at the beginning of the Twenty 20 World Cup, I was not expecting much from our England team, the only test cricket playing nation in the world not to have won a major championship. As the week has progressed, I have begun thinking; Maybe….just maybe.
It all started as a bit of a damp squib (literally), with both of England’s group games falling foul to the West Indian weather. In those two matches England were beaten by the hosts on the Duckworth/Lewis method, a method that has been called into question by some involved in the game. England’s next game against Ireland almost went the same way, only for the match to end a no result, meaning England advanced to the Super 8 stage.
Pakistan, South Africa, and New Zealand would now be England’s opponents in the Super 8 stage, all battling it out for a place in the Semi Finals. First up were Pakistan, who were brushed aside by England, winning by 6 wickets, with Kevin Pietersen being the pick of the batsman with 73 not out. It was Pietersen again, who alongside Craig Kieswetter set England on their way with a partnership of 94 runs, with the team finishing on 168 for 7 against South Africa. The duo, ironically enough, were both actually born and raised in South Africa, only to settle in England and opt to play for there new country. A lackluster South Africa performance led to them being bowled out for just 129.
The victory means England go into Monday’s game against New Zealand knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the last 4. One thing is for sure, if England do progress, they will need to hope their influential batsman K.P. is back. Pietersen has returned to England for the birth of his first child, hoping to return to the Caribbean for the Semi Finals on Thursday or Friday. Despite the long way to go, England’s performances have encouraged many that a possible shock could be on the cards.