Chasing 398 was an almost impossible task for Afghanistan.
With Twenty20 cricket enveloping the world, leagues around the globe are finding new ways to hold onto fans of the short-format game.
Every prominent cricket-playing nation has introduced its own league. As one ends, another starts.
The teams of these leagues do whatever possible to put up good squads worth attending to see. Foreign coaches with all their international experience are drafted to help owners form team combinations.
But because of this teams pick too many superstars, a strategy that sometimes works against them. Teams comprising a high number of superstars make you think they’ll smash every other side, but they often end up being bundled out of the tournament with almost a run-a-ball score on the board.
In this regard I have listed four teams from four leagues around the world which are strong on paper but fail to reach the latter stages of their respective tournaments – or fail like South Africa tend to in world cups.
All these teams have one thing in common: collapse.
1. Brisbane Heat, Big Bash League
They won the second edition of BBL but have since become a team of this distinct group. They draft in good players from around the world but fail to go through to the finals.
The biggest problem with this type of team is that they have lots of big hitters but a few who can play a solid innings and build a partnership. This is certainly the case with Brisbane.
When the Heat go berserk, spearheaded by so-called ‘bash brothers’ Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum, it’s something to see, but when they go out, everybody tries to emulate their antics and a full collapse almost always follows.
Max Bryant was more recently been picked as a possible bash brother inductee – good when hitting, but can’t carry on the innings much – ensuring the Heat are likely to stay in this category of team for some time.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Indian Premier League
It’s quite hard to believe this team has played ten seasons and is yet to win one. Bangalore’s squad includes big hitters at the top of the order, but their problem is in failing to pick good bowlers to pick up the slack when the top order fails.
3. Lahore Qalandars, Pakistan Super League
This Pakistani team creates a lot of hype by picking all sorts of favourite international players thanks to their advantage of having the first pick in all seasons, but they haven’t reached the qualifiers in any of their three seasons and tend to exit quite dramatically.
Lahore have the problem of picking too many pinch hitters. In previous seasons their openers scored 45 off the first three overs and ended up being 119 all-out. They channelled their collapse-provoking abilities on most of the occasions.
4. St Lucia Stars, Caribbean Premier League
This team has drafted in some big T20 stars, including Shane Watson, and is captained by Darren Sammy. Even Kieron Pollard couldn’t help them reach a respectable position last season.
They have their eyes on big T20 stars in the draft, but they’re always left wondering what went wrong by the end of the season.