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T20 World Cup 2021

‘Klaasen dropping Simmons might be a genuine strategy’ – West Indies opener blasted for historically slow innings

'Klaasen Dropping Simmons Might Be A Genuine Strategy' - West Indies Opener Blasted For Historically Slow T20 World Cup Innings
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Lendl Simmons came in for significant criticism after playing one of the slowest T20 World Cup innings of all time in West Indies’ clash against South Africa.

The opener faced 35 balls for his 16, the exact same number of balls faced by his opening partner, Evin Lewis, who fell for 56. His struggle to score was also shown up by Nicholas Pooran, promoted to No.3, who struck 12 off seven, a strike rate north of 170.

There have only been two slower innings of 30 balls or more in the men’s global event, with Scotland’s Majid Haq hitting 14 off 31, and Bangladesh’s Alok Kapali 14 off 35, both in the 2007 World T20. Simmons’ innings is joint with Matthew Cross’ 26* against Oman in the 2021 edition and that Kapali knock for the longest boundary-less innings in men’s T20 World Cup history.

Simmons was blasted for the go-slow. Some wondered if the West Indies management should take drastic measures to put Simmons out of his misery.

With Simmons dropped by Heinrich Klaasen when he had four off 13, there was speculation, including from a former South Africa analyst, that the missed chance might have been a deliberate move.

It was pointed out that eating up deliveries is nothing new for Simmons.

There was even debate over whether Simmons’ innings might have been the worst in the history of the competition.

However, some were able to take positives from it. With West Indies’ six-or-bust batting approach seeing them dismissed for 56 in their opening clash against England, this was at least proof that the other method wasn’t any better.

West Indies ended up making 143-8 in the pivotal game, with defeat for either side potentially fatal for their semi-final hopes.

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