A cliche you often hear is “small margins”. It actually means in reality the rub of the green. No one would use the phrase to describe Sussex’s defeat by Northants of 393 runs (a record defeat) or England ‘s 119 run victory over New Zealand.
With Middlesex lying bottom of the second division I can hardly gloat over Ivan’s county as they still lie third. Mine is the county that won the Championship slightly controversially with Somerset believing they were “done” by Middlesex and Yorkshire agreeing a draw two years ago. It’s the county of Patsy Hendren, Denis Compton and Bill Edrich and twenty years of dominance under the two Mikes (Brearley and Gatting).
As Tom Hollingworth noted, the Black Caps did not have to win to qualify, merely protect their superior run rate over Pakistan.
The admirable Tony Salzman on TMS did explain how run rate worked but surely it’s fairer to use the criterion of Pakistan beating New Zealand first and the run rate second.
With Jason Roy back England are looking the real deal but the crucial element takes place before any play has taken place, namely the toss. The conditions and pitch favour the team that bats first and this is another thing that needs review.