Will Quinn | 2:20pm gmt 20 May 2010
On the eve of the tournament, we told you that we could predict the future and could reveal exactly what would happen in this year's World Twenty20. In case you hadn't already figured it out, that was a lie. But there were a couple of decent guesses...
1. Who's going to win the tournament?
There was one emphatic hit here, with the ingenious Martin Chandler successfully predicting that England would take the trophy. Beyond that, though, there's nothing but embarrassment. Neil, Marcuss, Hunter and John all suggested India based on the widely-held perception that pitches in the Caribbean were likely to favour them. James plumped for South Africa. I wonder why people still do that. Haven't they got the memo?
Australia weren't even mentioned, and Graham came closest after Martin when he put forward Sri Lanka. But the wooden spoon went to Ganesh who predicted that the West Indies would win, beating India in the final.
2. Who's going to go out in the first round?
Marcuss and Neil successfully nailed this question, successfully predicting all four teams that would exit at the first stage by playing it safe and not going for anything spectacular. James continued his run of incompetence by predicting an early Australian exit, along with Hunter, but Bangladesh couldn't cobble together a win from anywhere. No one predicted an early English exit, though.
3. Who will be the best bowler and batsman?
Success for the Englishmen amongst us once more, with Martin spectacularly picking out Eoin Morgan and Graeme Swann. Graham scored a decisive hit with player-of-the-tournament Kevin Pietersen, but Murali's injury prevented him from doubling up, while Marcuss looked like he may be onto a dark horse with Saeed Ajmal until Mike Hussey ruined everything. James continued to provide comic relief by suggesting Graeme Smith, proving that you don't need to actually know anything about cricket to own and run a cricket website.
Hunter's prediction is worth revisiting- he picked Albie Morkel and Suresh Raina, but wasn't sure which way round. Raina had an excellent tournament with the bat so wasn't a bad shout, but the implication would be that Albie Morkel was the best bowler when he was in fact only bowled when South Africa were feeling particularly sorry for the opposition.
4. Who or what will be the surprise package of the tournament?
Near universal failure here, with Zimbabwe in particular letting a lot of people down by not even coming close to causing an upset. Graham's excellent knowledge of Afghan cricket came to the rescue, however, pinpointing Hammad Hassan as a genuine wicket-taking threat for the minnow side. Tamim Iqbal didn't quite do what was expected of him- although he was so widely tipped it would barely have been a surprise if he had. James yet again attracts ridicule for suggesting that Bangladesh would knock Australia out in the first round, but save the laughter for Marcuss's suggestion that Michael Clarke wouldn't finish with horrically poor statistics. With Clarke finishing with 92 runs from 6 innings at an average of 15 and strike rate of 80, Marcuss managed to successfully predict the exact opposite
of what actually happened. Nice.
5. Will it be as much fun as last time?
Opinions of the tournament have been somewhat mixed so it's harder to poke fun at people's predictions here. Personally I think John nailed it when he suggested that nothing could possibly top the Netherlands beating England. Ironically it was the English who were least enthusiastic, apart from Graham, who must be commended for using the question to make fun of Tim Bresnan. Since my overriding memory of this tournament is destined to be Guyanese rain robbing Ireland of a chance to take down the Evil ex-Empire I'm going to continue picking on James for telling us that this tournament would definitely be better than the last. Oh well. At least he has a day job.
6. Anything else?
Unqualified and total failure here. James makes it six out of six by predicting that India will score 260 against Afghanistan while Martin's crystal ball appears to have grown very murky, unless someone failed a drugs test, used a bat later declared illegal or injured an umpire while I wasn't looking. Marcuss predicted Taylor top-scoring in both innings when Zimbabwe played New Zealand when in actual fact neither even made it to the crease. John's prediction that Jesse Ryder would get injured is the worst of the lot though, because it should have been inevitable but somehow didn't happen. Perhaps his fellow Kiwis would like him to predict a Ryder injury more often.
Update: It has since emerged that Ryder did in fact injure himself after the tournament ended. I don't think that counts, John disagrees. Predicting a Ryder injury would be too easy if we were allowed to claim credit for him tweaking his stomach a week and a half after his team were knocked out.
So that wasn't exactly Cricket Web's finest hour. I'd say that we'll do better next time on the grounds that it couldn't really get much worse, but I'm pretty sure I said the same thing after the last tournament. Well, at least we tried.