No, F50 is not a Ford supercar. Nor is it a model of Ferrari. Well it is but not in this case. It’s my new name for One Day cricket or 50 over cricket. Or Fifty50, to use the Twenty20 nomenclature. If last night’s slog fest between India and Sri Lanka was more typical of ODI cricket, we wouldn’t be so bored with that form of the game. Or perhaps we would if every game was like that.
India posted 7/414 and Sri Lanka fell just three runs short with 8/411. In fact, Sri Lanka were poised to win with two overs remaining. They required just 15 runs (less than the run rate required at the start of the innings), had five wickets in hand and two established batsmen at the crease. A calamity of errors including two run outs saw them fall at the last hurdle.
Why is a total of 400 such an enigma? 400 has been passed only eight times in 2542 ODI matches and only since T20 challenged players to re-think the boundaries. On four of those occasions, the bowling team was a minnow (Netherlands, Ireland, Bermuda and Zimbabwe) so let’s forget those. The other four innings came from just two games. That’s right – in the only real matches where 400 was scored, both teams managed it.
I guess that suggests that the right conditions are required. Pitch, ground size and outfield all contribute. It might also mean that necessity is the mother of invention. Would Sri Lanka have made 411 if they batted first? Sangakkara’s 90 from 43 balls was maniacal – pure Afridi. Surely he would not have batted like that if he didn’t know it was required. And aren’t we glad he did.
The third Test between Australia and the West Indies starts today and for Clint McKay, opportunity knocks. Who knows, Steve Smith, the biggest outsider since Mark Edmonds, might even experience a miracle call up. Play begins at 10:30 Perth time, which is 1:30 Sydney time.