Thursday, July 30, 2009


American sports fans find it bewildering that soccer matches can end in a penalty shootout. What to make of skipping a game entirely and proceeding straight to a bowling contest in cricket, then? Essentially it's the equivalent of a baseball game being decided by giving pitchers from each team 10 pitches at a batter-less home plate; whichever team throws more strikes out of 10 wins.

This week featured the quarterfinals of England's Twenty20 Cup, the shortest version of cricket. Heavy rain twice forced postponement of the match between the Lancashire Lightning and the Somerset Sabres. Both teams are scheduled to compete in other matches this weekend. Rather than postpone the game to a later date, after all the semi-finals aren't scheduled until August 15th, the two teams took part in a bowl-off behind closed doors at an indoor practice facility.

Each team got ten chances to hit the stumps, Somerset prevailed 5-1. Succinctly summing up the situation, Lancashire's captain Mark Chilton said, "It’s a naff way to go out of a competition."

Here is the "thrilling" video of the bowl out.

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