New Zealand captain says his team was robbed off eight runs while England captain didn't want too much focus on his fast bowler
Steven Finn knocked the stumps at the bowlers' end at least thrice during the match.
On a day when Steven Finn should have been celebrating his best bowling figures in Twenty20 Internationals, three for 16 from four overs that set New Zealand on a path towards defeat, conversation centred around his habit of breaking the stumps in delivery stride. Finn did so on at least three occasions on the day, and his actions cost New Zealand eight runs by Ross Taylor’s reckoning.
Finn’s habit might appear a curiosity, but it irritated Graeme Smith, South Africa’s captain, enough at Headingley recently for him to get officials to do something about it. On that occasion Smith was the beneficiary as he was caught behind off Finn, only for the ball to be declared a dead ball.
In the lead-up to the ICC World Twenty20 2012, the players and coaches were told by tournament officials that the first time a bowler did this, it would be tolerated, but every subsequent default would result in a dead ball. As Taylor pointed out, this was not fair on the batting team. “I think it cost us eight runs. I disagree with the rule. It’s a rule for one person in particular,” said Taylor. “Unless the batsman gets out you should just carry on. If the batsman gets out it should be a dead ball.”
Taylor’s suggestion of the football-style playing advantage obviously did not find support in Stuart Broad, who did concede that Finn needed to sort the problem out.
“The main point is that Finny’s got to try and stop doing it. And he’s working hard on it,” said Broad. “I don’t know where it’s come from. It’s not as though it’s been a problem all along. It came about this summer when he jumped in a little bit in his action. It’s normal for bowlers to do it with their hand, but I think he actually clips it with his knee. He’s aware of the problem and David Saker [England’s bowling coach] is pulling out whatever hair he has left working the problem out. It’s also important in a world tournament not to make that too much the focus.”
When he was not kicking the stumps over, however, Finn was getting things spot on, and Taylor underscored the role his wickets played. “Finn bowled really well. Two wickets upfront put us on the back foot,” said Taylor, who admitted that New Zealand’s total was a bit below par. “When the ball is new and hard is probably the best time to score.”
If Finn set the game up, it was Luke Wright who finished it, putting together a crucial partnership with Eoin Morgan. For Wright, the innings was one he wouldn’t forget in a hurry. “To win any game for England and win Man of the Match is always memorable,” said Wright. “After the last innings it was just nice to get past the first ball, to be honest. Once I got past that I was able to chill out a little bit and build a partnership.”